Most new all-in-ones are evolutionary changes to what’s gone before, but occasionally some changes are more revolutionary. Touch panels have been growing in popularity on recent models from HP, Epson and Lexmark, but Canon, with its PIXMA MG6150, is the first to build the panel into the lid of an all-in-one.
Canon has gone for the full, high-gloss, piano black look that has a lot of style, until you start to smudge it with your fingerprints. And you will smudge it, as you use the printer's control panel. The top surface has a control ring indented into it, along with an OK button. The only physical button is for power and the 75mm colour LCD, which sits flush with the scanner’s top surface, can be raised up by pressing a full width bar directly behind it. You can then angle the screen as you like.
The touch controls illuminate when their functions are available, so the panel changes its format from function to function. It's all slightly magic and the touch buttons are very sensitive, with each press being accompanied by a subtle beep from the printer.
The photographic-style icons are smart and futuristic, with functions appearing three at a time through the main menu. These cover useful extras, such as photo reprint, fun photo print, PDF document print and special prints of predefined papers, such as ruled notebook paper and graph sheets.
The flatbed scanner is a CIS device and below this, the front panel folds down to become an output tray. Once this is opened, you can pull down an internal cover to reveal a slot for the CD/DVD carrier, which provides direct disc printing, a useful extra in the printer.
The output tray takes paper from a 150-sheet cassette underneath the machine, which is awkward to open, as there's insufficient purchase for your fingers. There's also a 150-sheet tray at the rear, once you've lifted up the paper support, though Canon recommends you reserve this for photo and other specialist papers.
To the right of the output tray, a fold-out cover reveals three memory card slots, for all the common types, with a USB/PictBridge socket below this for direct printing. At the back are sockets for USB and Ethernet connections, though the machine also supports Wi-Fi. Wireless setup is straightforward, if you have a router with pushbutton security, less so if you have to enter a pass code using just the navigation ring.
Canon provides its usual range of support software for printer and scanner and supports both Windows and OS X. Physical setup involves slipping in the semi-permanent printhead and the six ink cartridges, where Canon adds photo black and grey inks to the CMYK set. This is intended to improve photo prints, particularly back and white, and to aid the printing of duplex pages.