A colour office printer which can also provide colour copies, scans and faxes can be the cornerstone of a small to medium-size office. Canon’s i-SENSYS MF-8280Cw offers all these things and is definitely big.
It's mainly white case, with a black insert around the output tray, only helps to reduce the apparent size slightly and a fairly chunky Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) on top doesn't help.
Below this, is a well laid out and substantial control panel, including a large, seven-line colour LCD display, large easy-to-use mode buttons, a numeric pad for fax dialling and special buttons for copy enlargement and to scan directly to two designated PCs.
Underneath the control panel to the right is a front panel USB socket, from which you can print documents and photos – though without the facility to display thumbnails – and scan to.
Perhaps the oddest thing about this multi-function device is its paper tray. A 150-sheet tray slides out from the bottom of the front panel. Yes, we did say 150-sheet; a lower capacity than several inkjet all-in-ones aimed at the SOHO market and costing a lot less than this device.
Take the Epson Workforce Pro WP-4025DW, which has a 250-sheet cassette and an 80-sheet rear tray as standard, with the option of a second 250-tray.
On the i-SENSYS MF-8280Cw there's a single-sheet feed slot for special media, such as envelopes, but no option to add a second tray to increase the overall capacity. If you intend to share this machine on even a small network, somebody is going to have to refill that tray very regularly.
The four combined drum and toner cartridges slide out together in a tray, once you’ve folded down the front panel, and are very easy to remove and replace. The bundled software includes Presto! Page Manager and Canon's own MP Toolbox. They work well together to provide document management and OCR from the scanner.