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Canon's range of PIXMA multifunction printers are well made and have good feature sets, but most of them are aimed at digital photo enthusiasts, using six, coloured inks and a second black to provide high-quality photo prints and fast plain paper printing.
These printers are in the MP range, but there is a parallel MX range, too, with a slightly different emphasis. The MX four-colour printers, again with a second black, are aimed at the SOHO market, though they'll still make a good attempt at a photo.
This PIXMA MX850 is the top of this second range and offers pretty much everything you would expect from an inkjet all-in-one. It's a big printer, particularly in its depth; its footprint is nearly square on the desk. It's styled in silver and black, with a nicely integrated Auto-Document Feeder (ADF) on top. There's a 150-sheet paper tray at the back and a paper cassette of the same capacity slots in underneath. Both paper trays can take media from 15 x 10cm up to A4, providing flexible paper feed for plain and photo paper.
A well-designed, full-width control panel juts out from the front of the machine, offering a 62mm LCD display, a series of fast-dial buttons for the integrated fax facility and a full number pad, together with a four-way wheel of controls for menu navigation. Four, illuminated function buttons select Copy, Fax, Scan and Memory card modes and big buttons at the right-hand end initiate black and colour copies.
There are two, multi-format memory card slots behind a cover on the right-hand side of the front panel, with a PictBridge socket below these. The printer can also handle direct CD/DVD print; just flip down an internal cover and slide in the supplied disc carrier.