Canon's Pixma MP620 color inkjet multifunction printer offers connectivity and capacity galore. While its design has a few shortcomings, overall the Pixma MP620 offers a good deal, especially for a busy home or school setting.
A few premium features distinguish the silvery Pixma MP620. The control panel replaces a raft of buttons with a scroll wheel that lets you spin through options shown on the adjacent, tiltable, 2.5-inch color LCD. The remaining buttons are clearly labeled and easy to use. Standard connectivity covers USB, ethernet, and Wi-Fi; you need a US$50 extra-cost adapter to enable Bluetooth. It has two media slots that take most kinds of cards, but you'll need to buy a third-party adapter to use the XD Picture Card format. The PictBridge port accepts only Canon-compatible devices.
The 150-sheet output tray automatically unfolds itself from the front panel when you initiate a print job. You get two 150-sheet input trays: one underneath for letter-size plain paper, and a second in the rear for larger or thicker media. Unfortunately, on my test unit, raising the telescoping guides for the rear vertical input involved a lot of tugging and clattering, and I accidentally collapsed them numerous times. Another drawback: The MP620 lacks an automatic document feeder (ADF) and duplexing capabilities; if you need those features, check out the similarly priced Dell 948 All-in-One or Lexmark X6570.
The MP620 performed fairly well in our tests. It posted average speeds, producing 7.6 pages per minute (ppm) with plain text and 2.2 ppm with graphics. The printer's pigment black ink produced impressively crisp, dark letters.
On color graphics it uses a dye-based second black, plus cyan, magenta, and yellow. We found a bit too much yellow in some of our color graphics samples; flesh tones, in particular, looked orangey on plain paper and a little jaundiced on Canon's own photo paper. Despite that and a slight graininess, images otherwise looked vivid and natural. Scan and copy tests yielded good results as well.
At the time of this writing, Canon had yet to publish yields for the five separate ink cartridges. Other Canon printers with a similar design have had reasonable costs.
Canon's usually solid documentation had one notable problem this time: The printed Setup Guide features a confounding flowchart of installation options that stymie rather than advance the process. Aside from that, Canon's better-than-average rating in our Reliability and Service survey bodes well for your overall experience.
The Pixma MP620 delivers a wide variety of features in a well-designed package. Its connectivity and generous paper handling make it particularly well suited for families or students.