Canon has started to use the new ISO standard for speed testing and quotes the ESAT print set, which gives times for continuous printing and excludes initial processing. This is probably why it’s quoted speeds, which are for page images rather than pages, are optimistic, when compared with real-world results.
The company quotes 7.3ipm for black and 5.5ipm for colour, but our five-page black text test took 54 seconds to complete, a speed of 5.5ppm. This didn’t increase when we ran the 20-page test, as the printer fiddled around priming its cartridges for 24 seconds before starting to print. This processing time, which you have to live with when using this machine, is excluded from the ESAT ISO results.
The five-page colour test returned 3.3ppm and printing 15 x 10cm photos took between 1:06 to 1:57, depending on source. While this isn’t particularly quick, it’s still reasonable for a good quality photo print.
And these are good quality photo prints. Our main landscape image showed excellent foreground detail, smooth colour variation and plenty of detail in shadowed areas of the image. Colours are bright, but never unnatural.
Colour graphics on plain paper are also vivid and eye-catching, though sometimes a little dark by default. A special word here for colour copy quality, which produced copies very close to our colour originals, by no means always the case. This is true of scans from the A4 flatbed, too, which produced high colour fidelity. Finally, black text print is clean and sharp, though it’ll never be as crisp and dense as from a laser.
The only running costs on the PIXMA MP620 are the five ink cartridges which, if you hunt around, can be found for under £10 each. Given the ISO page yields quoted, which are all in the 300 to 500 range, page costs come out at 3.9p for black and 9.1p for colour. The black page cost is rather high, compared with costs from other machines in the same price range, but the colour page cost lies in the middle of the field.
The PIXMA MP620 is a good, mid-range all-in-one machine, with the advantage of wireless connection and the flexibility of twin paper trays…if you can get them both to work. While it doesn’t have several of the extra facilities of the MP640, there’s a good price differential between them, so it’s very much a question of horses for courses.