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Multifunction printers

Canon Pixma MP990 review

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The Canon Pixma MP990 is Canon’s top-of-the-range Pixma inkjet multifunction printer – refreshed and now armed with integrated wireless and USB flash drive support.

The MP990 has an automatic duplexer, direct CD/DVD printing, a 3.8in LCD display and the ability to scan 35mm slides and negatives using bundled attachments.

It connects over USB, Ethernet and 802.11g WiFi, but can’t use both network interfaces simultaneously. WiFi setup is a matter of entering your router’s WEP/WPA/WPA2 password or simply pushing a button if your router supports WPS.

An integrated multi-card reader supports SD, MemoryStick, MemoryStick Duo and CompactFlash for directly printing photos. A frontmounted USB port connects to PictBridge-compatible cameras and mobile phones as well as flash drives. The port is recessed, so it won’t take large or awkwardly shaped USB flash drives.

Canon’s Easy Scroll Wheel has been slightly redesigned, and not for the better. The wheel now looks and feels a little less polished, and stops responding if spun too quickly. While this won’t make any difference most of the time, entering long wireless network passwords can be a particularly frustrating process.

Canon has built a web-based interface into the MP990 – a feature usually reserved for networked laser printers. The interface is useful only for changing and configuring network settings, but the ability to input the WiFi password without the Easy Scroll Wheel is handy.

The MP990’s speed is marginally better than its predecessor’s, though it’s still not the best printer if you’re in a hurry. Print quality is fantastic. Text characters are sharp and accurate across all font sizes, while colours are vibrant in document graphics, if not always solid. Photos suffer no notable colour inaccuracies or aberrations. Like the Pixma Pro9000 Mark II, we achieved deeper blacks in black and white photos when printing with full colour consumables rather than greyscale.

The MP990 uses six consumables, for a reasonable total running cost. It also boasts an impressive scanning resolution of 4,800 x 9,600dpi, though this quality is only available when using the negative and slide attachments. Scan resolution is capped at 600dpi when initiating a job directly from the control panel, though this is sufficient for text documents and most photos.



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