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The PIXMA MP270 uses the same print engine as the PIXMA MX340 we looked at a couple of weeks back. You might expect the two to have very similar performances, therefore, but from past experience this is very rarely the case. Rare, but not unknown, as these two machines produced exactly the same times for our 5-page text, 20-page text and 5-page text with colour graphics documents.
They’re not bad speeds, either, with a maximum black text figure of 6.9ppm and a colour figure of 2.4ppm. They’re quite a way below the rated figures of 8.4ipm and 4.8ipm Canon quotes, though, which is odd in itself. Despite using the same print engine as the PIXMA MX340, the company only rates that machine at 7.5ipm and 4.5ipm.
Without an ADF you can only produce single-page copies from the PIXMA MP270 and this one managed it in a sprightly 38 seconds. A 15 x 10cm photo took one minute, 23 seconds in high-quality print mode and 54 seconds in normal mode.
Normal print quality is more than sufficient for day-to-day photographs and, while not quite up to the standard of Canon’s four-colour and six-colour printers, it produces smooth, clear photos, with plenty of foreground detail and a good colour gamut. Even dark areas of images show up well and colours are natural throughout.
Plain paper prints are also good, with clean, black text, though perhaps not quite as crisp as from more expensive printers in the range. Colour graphics on plain paper show a little dithering, but nothing too distracting and colours are solid and attention-grabbing. Colour copies are particularly good – you can tell which is original and which copy, but you have to look closely.
Even in the couple of weeks since our review of the PIXMA MX340, consumables prices have dropped slightly, so using the high-yield cartridges for this machine gives page costs of 4.2p for ISO black pages and 9.1p for ISO colour ones. These costs are pretty much on a par with those from other entry-level all-in-ones, though they drop with the rising purchase price of the printers themselves.
This is a pretty exceptional machine for £40. Although you have to put up with the slightly eccentric use of the single-character LED display – we recommend you print out a key to what all the characters imply – it achieves most of the functions you might want from a basic multifunction printer. Print quality is fair, speed is reasonable and running costs are no higher than the competition. For this kind of money, you could ask for little more.