The Canon Pixma MX870 is an all-in-one printer that prints, scan, copies, and faxes and works well in both a home and office setting. It has a few neat features, like automatic duplexing to save paper, built-in wireless & Ethernet for networking, and prints with true color accuracy, especially photos.
The Pixma MX870 is fairly large, measuring 9 x 20 x 17-inches and weighs over 25 pounds! It looks pretty modern with a gray plastic exterior and a compact, short height. Setup is pretty straightforward and simple, just unpack the device, install the print head & cartridges, put in some paper, run the installation wizard and follow the prompts to connect the device and finish setup. The MX870 can be connected to one computer via USB or shared on a network by means of the Ethernet port or built-in wireless networking. One downside, however, is that Canon doesn't include any USB cable in the box.
Wired network setup is easy, just connect it to your network via Ethernet cable and it's ready to go with no need to connect via USB. Wireless network setup can be done one of two ways, either through USB on one computer using the installation wizard on the CD or by inputting the wireless network settings right from the control panel on the front of the printer. Another added bonus to networking the printer: Canon has a free iPhone application to print photos straight from the iPhone.
There are five ink cartridges that this printer uses: cyan, magenta, yellow, pigment-black (text-printing), and dye-black (photo printing). The paper capacity is 150-sheets and that's for both of the paper trays on the front and back. This is convenient for users who want to keep plain copy paper in one tray and photo-quality paper in the other. There is also built-in duplexing, which means it will automatically flip paper over to print on the backside to save paper. You can also connect a camera via the USB PictBridge port and print right from there and the same thing goes for memory cards (CompactFlash, SD, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, xD) and USB thumb drives. Photo previews are shown on the front-facing 2.5-inch color LCD display.
Office users will appreciate the 35-page automatic document feeder for multipage documents up to legal size. It will also duplex (flip over) pages to scan if they're double sided automatically. Scanned documents can also be saved to an inserted USB thumb drive as well. The MX870 acts as a standalone fax machine too by connecting it to a telephone line and even sending faxes from a computer connected by either USB or networked works as well.
Print speeds are fairly decent with the Canon Pixma MX870 and possibly on the speedier side with some jobs. Printing 4 x 6 photos took around 2 minutes and just over 4 minutes for 8 x 10s. Text quality with the MX870 is very good and seemed crisp and well-formed at the usual font-sizes. Color graphics printed quickly and looked good, but we should note the printer did seem to lay ink onto the paper quite heavily at times, which may lead to decreased life of the cartridges.
Photo quality printed from pictures taken with an 8-megapixel camera turned out extremely well. Printed on Canon glossy photo paper, test color and black & white photos looked very true to the eye and didn't have any noticeable off-colorness or misrepresentation.