Canon PIXMA MX870 – Inkjet All-in-One Printer Review - Canon PIXMA MX870 Review

Canon quotes ISO speeds of 9.4ppm for black print and 6.1ppm for colour. These are quite modest, compared with the opposition, who often spec their machines at well over 30ppm – ridiculous speeds for an inkjet. When we printed our 5-page text document, it took 52 seconds, which equates to a speed of 5.8ppm, and this increased to 7.14ppm for the 20-page – not far off the 9.4ppm claim.

A 5-page text and colour graphics test took 1.20, or 3.8ppm, which isn’t quite so impressive. These slower speeds are down to the long time the printer spends housekeeping before starting to print, sometime up to 25 seconds.

Duplex printing, which is standard on the PIXMA MX870 is something Canon hasn’t improved. Our 20-side, 10-page document took a mind-numbing 9:46, just one page per minute. This is mainly because of the pause needed for ink drying between sides, but other inkjet manufacturers manage duplex printing a lot more quickly.

Copy speeds are reasonable, with a single page taking 27s and a five-page document from the ADF completing in 1:16. Photos are also faster than many, with a 15 x10cm print taking 52s from SD card or Pictbridge.

The print quality is pretty good. Photo prints are bright and accurate, with smooth variations between colours in landscapes and plenty of detail in both light and dark areas. Colours on plain paper are also clear and definite, with little sign of dither patterns in solid fills. Black print isn’t quite as good as from previous Canon machines, with some feathering visible, giving a fuzziness to emboldened characters.

The increase in VAT has pushed the cost per page up, but outweighing this, the page yields Canon quotes are lower than from many previous machines. The costs come out at 3.4p for an ISO black page and 7.9p for colour. Both these are good in comparison with many of its inkjet and colour laser competitors.


Although the changes in the PIXMA MX870 are only small, they add up to an overall improvement is several areas, such as printing costs and ease of use. The main bugbear – the speed of duplex print – hasn’t been addressed, though, and is a lot slower than from equivalent HP or Lexmark machines.

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