Canon has always made a lot more laser printer engines than completed machines, but increasingly has ranges nearly as good as companies like HP and Brother. The Canon i-SENSYS MF4450 clocks in at under £150 and still offers a four function, mono machine with a very neat design, for a home or small office.
The machine has a textured grey top and sides, with a glossy black concave front, looking slightly like the La Défense building in Paris. The 35-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) sticks up at the left-hand end of the top cover and its top flips over to become the feed tray.
The control panel projects nearly horizontally from the front of the machine. It’s well-designed, with a five-line, backlit LCD display to the left of a circular navigation ring and with long, illuminated mode buttons for Copy, Fax and Scan, behind. To the right is a numeric pad for dialling fax numbers and task buttons to start and stop copies and scans. At the extreme left are fax and other controls, as well as four quick-dial keys.
Below the control panel is a small balcony with a pull-out and flip-over extension. This is the output tray, although it sits high above the main paper tray. The paper tray has a clever cover, which can fold up inside the printer when you close its front panel, but still provides protection from dust and spillages when it’s loaded with paper. There’s a single-sheet multipurpose feed which uses the top of the tray cover as its platen.
At the back are USB and phone sockets, as well as one for a mains kettle lead. USB is the only data link on the Canon i-SENSYS MF4450, though the MF4580dn also has a network connection and both it and the MF4570d can print duplex pages, which this machine can’t.
When we tried to install drivers on our 64-bit, Windows 7 PC, Windows claimed it couldn’t install into the environment. This appeared to be because there were only 32-bit drivers on the supplied CD. We downloaded 64-bit drivers from the Canon site, but are surprised the CD didn’t include them.
Software supplied with the machine includes Presto! PageManager and Canon’s own MF Toolbox.