Canon's PIXMA MP610 was an excellent all-in-one, combining a very generous feature set with excellent print quality and reasonable costs. Its successor, therefore, has a lot to live up to and the PIXMA MP630 is, wisely, not a radical departure from its predecessor.
The case design of the MP630 is still largely composed of frosted silver and piano black, but in different places. Like the MP610, it's a substantial machine, with a black rim to the lid, echoing the black base. A paper tray pulls up from the rear and there's a second feed from a tray underneath at the front, both of which can hold up to 150 sheets paper. The front tray is intended for plain paper but the rear one, with a straighter paper path, can take either plain or photo paper.
With the output tray folded down from the front of the machine, you can get at the internal, flip-down cover, which gives access to the feed for CD and DVD printing. A disc carrier is supplied and this handles both standard discs and the smaller, credit card sized media.
The flatbed scanner can take single sheets of plain paper or photo prints, but there's no transparency adapter set into the underside of the lid, as there is in the PIXMA 980.
Set into its top side is a fold-up, 62mm LCD display and underneath this is the now standard Canon control panel, incorporating two softkeys and the company's easy-to-use, click-dial control for menu navigation. This has to be the easiest way of negotiating setup options yet incorporated in a printer.
On the heavily curved, right front edge of the machine is a flip-open cover, which reveals three memory card slots, so you can plug in virtually any of the current formats. There's a PictBridge socket, too, though this is below the cover door and is always available. The only PC data connection is a USB 2.0 socket at the back, though a Bluetooth adapter is available as an option.
Hinge up the whole of the scanner section of the PIXMA MP630 and you can get at the clip-in, lifetime print head and the five ink cartridges. The all-in-one uses a separate pigmented black ink for printing text and four dye-based colours for graphics and photos. A bank of red LEDs show when each cartridge is correctly plugged in and flash when its ink is low.
The software bundle includes Canon's usual mix of scanning, printing and photo management applications, including an OCR engine. It installs without any fuss and only takes around 10 minutes.