Review: Canon Pixma MX7600 Office All-in-One - Page 2

By Eric Grevstad
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A Silver Six-Shooter

Once you've wrestled it out of the box and removed fewer than 200 pieces of packing tape, setting up the MX7600 is a straightforward if slightly time-consuming process. After lifting the cover, which contains both the scanner and control panel, you drop the printhead into its slot at rear center and push a plastic tab to lock it in place then repeat the task for the row of five ink cartridges -- the pigment-based and larger regular black cartridges, followed by yellow, magenta, and cyan. In an adorably convenient feature, the quintet have LED lamps on their tails that light up to show that the cartridges are installed correctly.

After installing the sixth and largest ink cartridge --- the clear ink, which snaps into a carrier of its own at front left -- you can close the lid and get a cup of coffee while the Canon adjusts and aligns itself.

Replacement cartridges are priced at $18 for the clear ink and $15 for each of the other inks. Data on exact life expectancies are hard to come by, but we can tell you the non-pigment black cartridge was definitely the shortest-lived in our testing -- we'd estimate 600 pages tops. Judging by Canon's on-screen status gauge, the others' page counts should stretch into four figures, with the clear ink the longest-lasting.

A flip-open tray on top serves as the 35-page automatic document feeder, while a vertical sheet-feed tray at rear holds photo paper or other special media. Regular paper goes into a shallow (150 pages) drawer at bottom front center.

While it's intended for use as an office rather than digital-photo-lab accessory, the Pixma does follow modern printer practice by loading and printing images directly from flash-memory cards. Two slots for an assortment of CompactFlash, xD, Secure Digital, MultiMedia Card, and Memory Stick modules hide behind a door at the printer's right front, just above a PictBridge USB port for taking images directly from a camera.

One of Canon's provided software applications, Easy-PhotoPaint EX, combines previewing, selecting, and printing photos in various layouts with the usual rudimentary editing functions -- rotate, crop, and manual brightness, contrast, and sharpness adjustment -- plus automatic red-eye removal and face sharpening or smoothing for portraits.

Surprisingly, the photo printing functions available via the Canon's control-panel buttons and 1.8-inch LCD outstrip those of the bundled software -- the menu navigation is painstaking, but offers access to options such as noise reduction, RGB hue adjustment, and boosting blue and green for more vivid photos.

Following Instructions

Most of the MX7600's front-panel controls are intuitive, with LCD prompts steering you through jobs such as walk-up black-and-white or color copying and prominent copy, fax, scan, and memory-card buttons for sorting available functions by job type. The Canon's fax capabilities are extensive, including eight one-touch speed-dial buttons plus a directory of 100 other speed-dials, group dialing, and 250 pages' worth of transmission or reception memory.

The 48-bit flatbed scanner offers 4,800 by 9,600 dpi optical resolution (600 by 600 dpi for scanning single- or double-sided documents using the ADF), with the familiar options of scanning to an image or PDF file or e-mail attachment. Again, hardcore users can rely on LCD menus while a program called MP Navigator EX offers friendlier access to routine functions. NewSoft's Presto PageManager document management and Nuance's ScanSoft OmniPage SE optical character recognition software are part of the default software install.

As a copier, the Pixma MX7600 provides 25- to 400-percent zoom as well as options to fit to page, fit two or four pages to page, and copy single- or double-sided originals to double- or single-sided pages. One option can pep up faded colors in originals, while another erases the black or gray areas around a scanned page from a book.

Adapted from Hardwarecentral.com.

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This article was originally published on October 29, 2008
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