Review: Canon Pixma MP980

Our score: 5/5
Reviewed: April 29, 2009 11:00 PM
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Published: April 29, 2009 11:00 PM
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The Pixma MP980 is a multifunction for those for whom photos are a priority – both prints and digitalisation (a 35 mm film adaptor unit is supplied). It has 6 separate cartridges (dye-based black and dye-based grey), Wi-Fi that is piloted from a large 8.8 cm screen and a rotating scroll to facilitate navigation. The scanner has high res options: up to 4800 dpi, so great for big enlargements.

Office printing: rapid, intelligent…

Further up the range than the MP630, the MP980 gives similar speeds – very rapid for an ink-jet. We got an average of 10.4 ppm for our black and white test documents and 8.8 ppm for colour (test in standard mode). This is fast: the average for ink jet models is around 6 or 7 ppm. These speeds don’t mean quality has been compromised either: tinted areas are homogenous on our graphs with legible characters. Good depth of blacks in text in standard mode. Draft mode lacks a bit of depth but remains entirely legible and usable for personal documents. Colours are slightly plaer but remain convincing.


  x3 enlargement

The printer is already very quiet in print mode but Canon have also included a quiet mode.

Quiet mode? When activated, printing is almost inaudible. Very good but it should be noted that as the printer now prioritises sound levels above speed, the printer no longer works as fast: 20 seconds for a 2 page colour document in standard but almost a minute in quiet mode. A three-fold loss in speed. And this when even if you have really sensitive ears, standard mode really is quiet enough.

The MP980 is then what you call a complete package: good speed, good quality. All that remains is to look at the costs per page and cartridge lifespan.

Cartouche Prix (à partir de) Autonomie ISO Coût par page
PGI-520BK (noire) 9,99 € 344  2,90 cts
CLI-521BK (noire photo) 6,74 € 1505  0,44 cts
CLI-521C (cyan) 6,88 € 446  1,54 cts
CLI-521M (magenta) 6,98 € 447  1,56 cts
CLI-521Y (jaune) 6,98 € 446  1,56 cts
CLI-521GY (gris) 6,89 € 1395  0,50 cts

The Pixma MP980 has 6 cartridges (including the dye-based black and an innovation, dye-based grey). This means that the cost per page is not as economical as it could be. Slightly below the average. So you do get a pretty good cost per page, along with the speed and quality.

Photos: quality and speed...

You get a 10x15 colour print in 20 seconds – from the time the printer selects the page from the stack. If however you count the speed from when you send the data, it takes a little under a minute.

As with office docs, photo prints are of good quality. Compared to the MP630, the MP980 seems to give photos that are a little less sharp: in fact it accentuates the contours less. The colour table is also different and produces more neutral colours, closer to the originals. The MP630, and generally all cheaper Canon models, give more saturated, warmer prints that flatter the eye but are less accurate. The additon of a grey cartridge also ensures you get better black and white prints without coloured tinges. 1 picolitre droplets are used that are invisible to the naked eye. You truly do get a very nice lab quality result.
Cartouche Prix (à partir de) Autonomie ISO Coût par page
PGI-520BK (noire) 9,99 € 3245  0,30 cts
CLI-521BK (noire photo) 6,74 € 540  1,25 cts
CLI-521C (cyan) 6,88 € 312  2,20 cts
CLI-521M (magenta) 6,98 € 253  2,76 cts
CLI-521Y (jaune) 6,98 € 290  2,40 cts
CLI-521GY (gris) 6,89 € 187  3,68 cts

Soit un coût total, hors papier, d'environ 13 cents. Note: the black pigment cartridge levels do go down little by little even though in theory it is not used for photos (due to occasional cleaning of nozzles).

5/5 Canon Pixma MP980 DigitalVersus 2009-04-30 00:00:00

Pros

  • Good quality for both photos and office docs
  • Wireless: wi-fi
  • Very quiet

Cons

  • High print cost
  • No software in Linux

Conclusion

Rapid, quiet and offering good prints both in terms of photos and office docs, the Pixma MP980 is a printer for very demanding users who want the best quality prints possible.

OUR SCORE 5/5
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