Canon Pixma MX725 Review: Multi-function inkjet with great photo output

This entry is part 9 of 80 in the series Printer

Canon’s latest multi-function printer is designed for home and office. Read our Canon Pixma MX725 Review.

Having just reviewed a HP multi-function printer, I was very interested in the different approach that Canon might take to the same problem. Its Canon Pixma MX725 is a beast of a box, measuring 491 x 396 x 231mm and finished in the sort of high gloss black plastic designed to attract dust at range.

Canon Pixma MX725 Review

From the classic do-anything mould, it’s a scanner, copier, fax machine, photo-printer and dish-washer. Okay, I lied about one of those features, and it wasn’t faxing, sadly.

You can connect to it using wi-fi or a wired Ethernet LAN, and it supports all the popular cloud printing systems for mobile device output. There’s also a USB port for dumping scanned files onto a memory stick or for printing from one..

The obvious missing network feature here is Bluetooth, which you can add with a USB dongle at extra expense if you absolutely must have it..

Print quality is top notch, built around Canon’s up to 9600 x 2400 dpi five-cart system, providing black text pigment plus CYMK. Matching the output strength, Canon added a 2400 x 4800 dpi scanner, with a 35-page document feeder.

Unusually for such a cheap device, there are also two paper bins: one that takes 250 sheets of up to A4 paper and a 20-sheet tray built specifically for envelopes and smaller photo stock..

This is an almost identical specification to Canon’s more expensive MX925 design, in all but the size of the control panel display and a few other minor differences, like the Canon Pixma MX725 doesn’t offer disc printing. Given that the MX725, unless disc printing is an absolute must, the MX725 is a more cost effective option..

As multi-function printers go generally, I really appreciate the five-ink system here, as you won’t be throwing a triple color cart away with ink in it.

But it needs to be said that the good things in this design are a counterbalance to the physical enormity of the device, because it’s huge, being so big that it only serves to underline some of the patent absurdities that Canon placed on the outside.

The most obvious of these is the tiny 2.5” display and associated keypad, presumably cobbled from old phone technology. If HP can put a very readable touch panel on its HP Envy 7640 for not a lot more than this price, then why can’t Canon?And I’m not sure why it was necessary for all the controls to be on a panel that hinges with the scanner cover? I discovered that ergonomics aren’t a strong point here almost immediately, when the output tray automatically deployed, covering up the USB slot I then needed to access. There are three other entire sides for this port to go, so why put it under the output tray?

Fax functionality is available for those people who have convinced themselves that 300 dpi (200 dpi in color) images sent via analogue are far superior to scanned 2400 x 4800 dpi ones digitally transmitted attached to an email.

However, if you can look past its elephantine girth and ill-conceived controls, inside this giant black box is actually a rather good print engine and a decent quality scanner.

Photo printing in particular is exceptionally good, and it’s reasonably quick considering the bewildering number of individual picolitres dispensed to produce a borderless A4 print.

The catch, and it’s not exclusively a Canon issue, is the depressing cost of ink printing, which isn’t something even the wealthy should make a regular habit. Canon has tried to offset this somewhat by offering XL and XXL carts, demonstrating that it has a design that could be less expensive to run from the outset but, depressingly, isn’t..

In its defense, Canon has four color ‘value’ multi packs, though it’s yet to launch a monthly ink subscription service. Inkjet printing isn’t cheap however you do it, though at least this printer uses CL-555, CL-551 and CL-550 carts, which are common to many other Pixma designs..

While I salute the dual paper sources, network options and high print quality, Canon really needs to ditch the dumb phone controls and scale this box down dramatically.

If it can do that and bring it in around this price, it will have an absolute winner on its hands.

Mark Pickavance

Verdict

Multi-function inkjet with great photo output.

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Specifications

• 250-sheet paper cassette and two-sided 35 sheet ADF.• Wifi and Ethernet connectivity.• Print from and scan to mobile devices with Pixma Printing Solutions app.• Pixma Cloud Link, Google Cloud Print and Apple AirPrint support.• A4 document 15 ipm mono / 10 ipm color.• Auto two-sided print, XL and XXL ink options.• Prints up to 9600 dpi and no waste with five single inks.• Dual Function Panel and 6.2cm color display.

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