Review: Canon Pixma MP560

Our score: 5/5
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June 3, 2010 4:06 PM
 
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Published: June 1, 2010 11:00 PM
By Marine Goy
Hardware

Canon's


You use the scroll wheel underneath to control the screen
MP560 is a high-end multifunction printer that's aimed both at home users and small businesses.  It can join WiFi networks, scan your documents and print on both sides of the page from one of two different paper inputs.

It has a small, non touch-sensitive colour screen measuring 2'' which is controlled by a scroll wheel.  Like the other printers in the range, it uses separate cartridges for each colour of ink.  Indeed, the MP560 looks just like the MP550, except the latter lacks both WiFi and double-sided printing.

The MP560's 1 picolitre ink droplets and better-than-expected 2400 dpi scanner should keep amateur photographers who want to make their own prints happy.
 
Speeds: Fast for Documents

We measured speeds for printing office documents that were close to those found on the excellent MP640.  As we've always found since we started using the ISO standard for this test, Canon's own figures weren't as impressive as those we got from our lab.


Double-sided printing is also always slower, and here falls to just 3 pages per minute in both colour and black-and-white.

For photos, the comparison with the MP640 is less favourable: it can make an A4 print in 58 seconds and a 4 x 6'' photo in 27 s.  Here, though, the same two tests took two and half a minutes and 46 s respectively.


Energy Consumption & Noise Levels

The MP560 does well here, with an energy consumption of 16 W while working, just a shade below the 18 W we found on the MP640.  A standby of 2.6 W is a little higher than the majority of inkjets, most of which get under 1 W.

The 44 dB we measured when it was printing make this a pretty quiet printer.  Remember that inkjets generally run at around 50 dB.


Quality: Four Stars All Round!


Because it's so even, we've given the printing quality four stars both for office documents and photos (both colour and black and white).  The MP560 has not four, but five separate ink cartridges.  It has two separate black inks, which it uses for different jobs: one is pigment-based and used for printing text (the resins make for more durable documents), while the other is designed to produce more subtle variation in photos.

Our colour test documents were accurate and very usable.  Both graphics and text were accurately reproduced, although the performance in black and white is a little less impressive.  The individual ink drops are still visible in some images and the blacks are very deep.

Compare the Canon Pixma MP560 to other printers in our Product Face-Off

Photos are very accurate, despite a slight orange tinge which makes photos brighter than they otherwise would be.  Some people find that attractive, others less so; it's a question of taste.  The individual drops of ink are entirely invisible.
 



Scanner & Copier

The scanner is very fast, and only takes 5 seconds to produce a pre-scan, four seconds to scan a photo at 75 dpi and 10 seconds at 300 dpi.  A postage stamp took 21 seconds to scan at 1200 dpi.

Colour copies take 27 seconds, which is a little longer than black-and-white copies which only need 19 seconds.  That's still perfectly average though.

Our analysis of the accuracy of the colours revealed them to be very similar to the MP640, with an average discrepancy of around of 8%, peaking at 10% for yellow and black.  However, when you compare the output of the two printers side by side, the MP560 is clearly much better: it's both sharper than the MP640 and offers more detail.



Cost per page

The total cost per page using the MP560 is 7.6 p per page, compared to 9.5 p on the Epson PX810FW, 11.1 p on the Lexmark S605 (using XL cartridges) and 10.4 p on HP's Photosmart Wireless.  That leaves lower than average running costs, and only the Kodak ESP 7 does better.

ISO lifespan test for text documents

Cartridge Price ISO Lifespan Cost per page
PGI-520BK (black) £7.70 324 2.4 p
CLI-521C (cyan) £8.05 535
1.5 p
CLI-521M (magenta) £10.25 510 2 p
CLI-521Y (yellow) £8.05 530
1.5 p
PGI-520BK (black) £7.70 3425 0.2 p
5/5 Canon Pixma MP560 DigitalVersus 2010-06-02 00:00:00

Pros

  • Very low running costs: 7.6 p per page
  • Low energy consumption: 16 W while working
  • Excellent quality photo printing, invisible ink drops
  • WiFi and double-sided printing
  • Fast office printing: 13 ppm in black and white

Cons

  • Display not touchscreen
  • Printing speeds plummet (by three times!) when printing double-sided
  • Slow copier
  • Standby almost reaches 3 W

Conclusion

The Canon Pixma MP560 is a slightly less impressive version of the MP640: it's a little slower (especially with photos), and has a smaller screen. The quality, though, is just the same, meaning you get better value for money. If you're feeling impatient, though, the more expensive printer will do the same job quicker.

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