Editor's Note: We originally reported that the head component of the Canon Pixma MP620is under life-time warranty protection. This was a mistake and weapologize forthe error. The head component is under warranty for one year.
The Pixma MP620 from Canon is one of the better-performing multifunction color inkjet printers for the price. It prints faster than competing models, and delivers better-quality documents, too. And while it doesn't have a fax feature, the MP620 can connect via USB or to a network through Ethernet or Wi-Fi.
One weakness of the MP620 is the front-panel controls. A central jog wheel is surrounded by arrow buttons. A bunch of other buttons fill out the control panel, some of which are dynamic function keys, which require you to look at the 2.5-inch LCD display to see what they'll do. The end result is a cluttered panel and sometimes confusing user interface. Another weakness is that the print head alignment process requires the user to examine test prints and make judgments; most competing products handle this step automatically.
In typical Canon fashion, the printer has a separate inkjet print head, and then individual ink tanks. The end result is that the consumables cost significantly less than competing designs that include the inkjets in the ink cartridges.The MP620 has the standard cyan/magenta/yellow/black ink tanks but also a second, large-capacity black-ink tank.
The MP620 does not have fax features or an automatic document feeder (ADF) for the scanner/copier functions. It does have a USB port on the front in addition to the 9-in-1 card reader, but you can't print photos directly from a USB drive. You can scan documents and photos directly to a USB drive, however. In addition to its Ethernet port, the Pixma MP620 also has built-in support for 802.11b/g wireless network connections. The network configuration software worked fairly well, though we had to tweak the IP address for the printer port to establish a wireless connection.
The printer was blazing fast on our tests; over a wireless connection, it averaged 5.9 pages per minute while printing a five-page test document, and took just 57 seconds to print a 4 x 6 photo; these times bested both theBrother MFC-490CWand theHP Photosmart C4580by a considerable margin. Printing via its USB connection yielded similar results of 5.8 ppm for a five-page document and 59 seconds for a 4 x 6 photo. Scanning was also fast at 20 seconds per page, and copying took 39 seconds per page; both times were just a few seconds slower than the MFC-490CW ran.
Photo quality was above average, better than the Brother MFC-490CW and only slightly less than the HP Photosmart C4580. Color gradients were excellent, but the colors did not seem quite as saturated as on the HP prints. Then again, the HP printer is optimized for photos.
If you are looking for one device to join the family PC to handle just about any print or photo task you might have, the $149 Canon Pixma MP620 gives you an excellent combination of performance, quality, and features. It's not perfect, but it comes closer than many other similarly priced competitors.