The Canon Pixma MP560 is a wireless all-in-one printer that offers both printing and scanning, but no fax capability. It offers cheaper ink costs and better paper handling than other similar products. Having wireless built-in is a huge advantage and there's even an optional Bluetooth adapter too.
At a modest price of around $150, the silver and blank body of the Canon Pixma MP560 makes a great addition to the home office or dorm room. It has a pretty sleek design too, such as having all of the printer's controls hidden in the printer's closed state. Everything is hidden under a flap on the top right, which opens up to reveal all of the controls and a 2-inch LCD screen. The controls for the MP560 are pretty easy to use; they consist of a scroll wheel that doubles as a directional pad and a few other buttons. Under the same flap is also a PictBridge port and three media card slots.
Paper can be fed into the MP560 one of two ways: first through the conventional tray underneath the output and the second from behind, which is nice for photo paper and paper of higher thickness. The back tray holds up to 150 sheets of paper from 4x6 to legal stock and the front tray holds 150 sheets of regular letter size paper. There's also automatic duplexing on the MP560 too, which means it will automatically flip over a sheet of paper and print on the back if desired.
The printing resolution for the Canon Pixma MP560 is 9600 x 2400 dpi, which means it is definitely geared toward photo-use, but it does work good as a document-only printer too. What we didn't like, however, was the occasionally slow print speeds for both text and photos. Plain text prints at around 6 pages per minute and graphics were only around 2 pages per minute. These speeds aren't horrible, but they aren't the fastest either. Scanning speeds using the top flatbed scanner, however, were very fast for both text and graphics.
The Canon Pixma MP560 uses five different ink tanks for optimum printing quality. Plain text prints were quite good on the normal setting, but in draft mode, they looks slightly fuzzy and of somewhat poor quality. Graphics and photos printed very nicely, with good color representation, clean lines, and smooth color gradients. Scanning while fast as mentioned earlier, sometimes let us down with slightly unclear scans of text and skewed colors in photos. Overall, however, the Pixma MP560 prints and scans pretty well for a home office setting and considering the modest price.
As mentioned earlier, this printer does offer wireless network connectivity to allow printing from a wireless computer anywhere on your network. Setup can be tedious, as most users will want to connect it to a computer first via USB and setup the network settings, which can be quite daunting for novices. You can, however, input your network settings right into the device via the onboard controls, but that can be a cumbersome experience due to the scroll wheel and small screen. No issues were encountered while getting the wireless setup as we just followed through the directions and the on-screen setup wizard on the installation disc. An optional $50 Bluetooth adapter is available separately for Bluetooth printing.
Replacement black ink cartridges cost around $15 and the color cartridges cost about $12 each, which is relatively cheaper than other similar models.