Review: Canon Pixma MP630

Our score: 4/5
Reviewed: September 11, 2008 11:00 PM
5 want this Me too!
 
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Published: September 11, 2008 11:00 PM
By Nilofar Hadjanadjiboudine
The MP630 from Canon is a version of their MP620, but this time without WiFi, which has been replaced by the automatic back-to-back printing also found on the earlier MP610. 

It's not a simple matter of choosing between wireless connectivity and recto-verso printing though, as the MP620 is generally a lot more expensive than this printer - WiFi doesn't come cheap, it seems.

Canon's cartridges do not include the printing heads, and are essentially just small bottles of ink, which makes them easy to recycle once they're empty. 

As we've seen in other reviews, though, that means that this printer is more suited to regular use as the cleaning program that occurs each time it is switched on can use up a lot of ink.

Office Printing: Fast and Sharp


Canon claims that the MP630 is a little faster than the MP620, but in our tests, they both had similar results: around 8.5 pages per minutes for color documents and 10.4 pp black and white documents in standard mode. 

That's very quick, and well above the average which is usually around 6 or 7 ppm.  

The quality can be seen too, with deep blacks, sharp characters and lively colors.  This is an excellent office printer.

Sample of color graphics/text test document.  Click to compare with other products in this comparison.

Pages arrive quickly and are of excellent quality, but aren't as cheap as they used to be, despite what the arrival of separate cartridges promised. 

To make matters worse, this printer takes a new design of cartridges too, which are incompatible with earlier models. 

Canon claims they are more compact than before, but that's of little comfort for users thinking of upgrading from one Canon model to another.

Cartridge
Lifespan (A4 pages)
CLI-521C (cyan) 505
CLI-521M (magenta) 471
CLI-521Y (yellow) 505
PGI-520BK (black) 350
Cartridge lifespan - ISO test for office documents

With the high cost of replacing three separate color cartridges, you'd be well advised to do most of your genereal office printing in monochrome if you use this printer.

Two optional settings are worth noting. 

The first is the ability to reduce the amount of time spent waiting for the ink to dry in between the production of each page. 

We turned it all the way down to zero without any loss of quality. 

A second is a silent mode, which is a great extra to a product that is already very quiet.

Photo Quality: Professional prints don't come cheap


In our tests, the MP630 set a record for the fastest printing of a 4 x 6'' color print, which only took 20 seconds. 

What's more, these prints are of such good quality that a lot of people in our office had difficulty picking them out from professional prints made at a photo lab. 

This finesse comes at a price, though, as the photos produced on the MP630 are very delicate and easily damaged, especially when they're fresh out of the printer in just 20 seconds.

Cartridge
Lifespan (prints)
CLI-521BK (black) 665
CLI-521C (cyan) 205
CLI-521M (magenta) 206
CLI-521Y (yellow) 211
Cartridge lifespan - ISO test for photo printing

With each of the four cartridges only capable of producing a fairly limited number of prints,  these printers risk having a high cost of ownership, especially if you find it hard to get cheap cartridges for them.
4/5 Canon Pixma MP630 DigitalVersus 2008-09-12 00:00:00

Pros

  • Very fast
  • Excellent quality photo printing
  • Excellent quality office printing
  • Silent mode

Cons

  • Cartridges run out quickly
  • Photo prints sometimes ten towards the red
  • Not very energy efficient - uses 6W on standby and 17W while in use

Conclusion

The MP630 is definitely our multifunction of choice. With automatic double-sided printing and great quality photos and office documents, it's hard to see how we couldn't recommend it. The downside is that it lacks WiFi, found on its sister model the MP620, and that its new cartridges seem a little less efficient.

OUR SCORE 4/5
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