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Canon PIXMA MP640 review



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Canon PIXMA MP640
  • Canon PIXMA MP640
  • Canon PIXMA MP640
  • Canon PIXMA MP640
  • Canon PIXMA MP640
  • Canon PIXMA MP640
  • PIXMA MP640 Inkjet Multifunction Printer - ColourDesktop (Copier, Printer, Scanner - 9 ppm Mono - 8 ppm Color - 20 Second Photo - 9600 x 2400 dpi - 300 sheets Input Capacity - USB, PictBridge - Fast Ethernet, Wi-Fi - PC, Mac)


Our Score:


You could be forgiven for not noticing Canon's new range of PIXMA all-in-one printers, as they all look very similar to their predecessors. Slightly different lines in their silver and black cases are probably not enough to distinguish them from last year's models, but on the PIXMA MP640 there's one tell-tale sign; a blue, flashing Wi-Fi logo.

This is a mid-range all-in-one device with several of the niceties Canon builds into its machines, such as twin paper trays and CD/DVD direct print. It is a substantial device, with the company's unique design which sets the control panel in the scanner lid, protected when not in use by a fold-down cover, which itself contains the machine's 75mm LCD display.

The control panel is particularly well laid out with large, easy-to-use buttons for the main functions, two programmable buttons for context-sensitive entries and Canon's unique little click-wheel for selecting menu options.

Under the lid there's a standard flatbed scanner and if you lift the whole of the scanner section up, you get easy access to the five cartridges in the semi-permanent head carrier. As is becoming increasingly standard, there are two blacks, a pigmented one for printing text and a dye-based one for picking out details in photo prints.

The right-hand front corner includes a curved cover, which hinges open to reveal three memory card slots, adding CompactFlash to the standard SD, MemoryStick and xD mix. Below the slots is a USB socket, which can take USB drives as well as PictBridge cameras.

Paper handling is versatile, with a 150-cassette which slides in under the machine from the front, supplementing a standard 150-sheet upright tray at the back. Canon recommends you use the rear tray for photo blanks and the cassette for plain paper, but both are capable of feeding either media.

There's also Canon's convenient direct CD/DVD print facility, where you load disc blanks into a carrier which slots in from the front, once you've pulled down an internal cover.

Canon offers a good selection of support software, including an excellent CD/DVD label design applet. Drivers are provided for both Windows and OS X and install in a simple, workmanlike manner.

Wireless connection is also a straightforward, two-stage process, where the printer is first logged onto the wireless network, using WPA or WPS. The software installation then picks up the newly available printer.


November 8, 2009, 6:28 am

It's a nice design, but it's a shame that it requires microchipped cartridges, and the hassles that entails.


November 9, 2009, 12:17 am

Nice review. I would like to read one for the MP990 too which seems more interesting to me.

Kevin Gordon

November 9, 2009, 6:11 pm

I bought one a few weeks ago, after returning an Epson and then a HP wireless printer. The Canon is much better than the other two. A testament to this is that I haven't and am not planning or returning it.

And the self-opening paper tray is just sooooooo cool!


November 12, 2009, 10:00 pm

Just bought one of these - fantastic print quality, and works pretty much flawlessly with both Windows 7 and Snow Leopard (though the latter required some lateral thinking to get it to install!)


February 10, 2010, 10:45 pm

"Duplex print speeds are better than before, as the paper rests for only a second or so between sides, where some of the machine's competitors wait as long as 15 seconds before printing the second sides."

Unfortunately there is a price you have to pay for this. Namely when automatic duplex printing is enabled (even when you only need to print one page) the pixma mp640 will print the text much lighter. So black will look more like very dark grey.


March 20, 2010, 9:02 pm

Excellent review. Good printer for the money. Setup was easy, especially the network part which can be a nightmare for some printers - just let the printer search for your network under the 'easy' setup choice, then instal the software and you are ready to go. I searched the web and came up with the professional quality ILFORD Galerie Smooth Gloss 290g/m2 photo paper, 100 per box, for the best results and economy for this printer - no Canon paper can match Ilford in price and quality. However, stick with the Canon brand inks. Pictures really look stunning, the primary reason I bought this printer for. I don't care about other features that much. I have laser printers at home for the regular text printing. Make sure you print out something every week to avoid clogging, which is less of a problem with dye based printers like Canon MP640 as compared to the pigment ones. Save your pictures in an album for longevity. Have fun.

David Hamer

April 5, 2010, 1:38 am

I was considering buying this printer, however, I just read a review on another website that stated that to scan a document to the PC you have to have the USB connection made. It will not work via wireless! Can anyone verify this as true or false? I require a fully wireless printer, having to have a USB cable connected to achieve one part of the functionality is a 'no go' for me. Thanks, DH


April 12, 2010, 9:34 am

@ David Hamer - i have this printer and i have no problems scanning a document to PC over wifi. In fact i have never connected it using a USB cable at all. There is a little bit of software that runs on your PC and listens out for scanning jobs from the printer so maybe the reviewer had 'forgotten' to install the software.

As an aside i also have a Playstation 3 and that can also print to this model over wifi (not that you'd want to very often but if you didn't have a pc it might come in more handy). All in all the best printer i've ever owned by far.

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