Top positive review
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Very good but a little frustrating!
on 13 November 2010
When my ip3000 started to show its age, I spent spent months trawling through reviews of printers and came to the conclusion that almost all printers get aboout 20% telling you it's brilliant and about 20% that say buying it was the worst decision of their lives! When I finally made a decision I found that the printer I'd chosen (Canon MP640) had been superceded by the MG6150 so I went for that.
As you'd expect, it arrives in a large box containing the printer itself and a selection of bits that have to be connected to or inserted into it. I've done this sort of thing many times both at home and at work but I still found it necessary to consult the instructions as some of the assembly is far from intuative. Fitting the print head is probably the most demanding (but still quite easy) as you have to be very careful not to damage it as you put it into place. It's worth reading the instructions and studying the diagrams first. It took me about half an hour to get it all done bu the result was a good looking machine which appears to be well made with no flimsy bits that might break off as soon as you start using it.
Loading the software was easy on my PC and my wife's laptop. I wanted to use the printer wirelessly (it's got LAN & USB connection too) so I had to spend a few more minutes setting that up on the printer itself. You'll need to dig out your router's id and password to allow the printer to connect but it still only took a few minutes. The slowest part of this process is entering the password as there is no keyboard as such and you have to select the various letters and numbers using the up, down left and right buttons. It's a little time consuming but you only have to do it once.
The top of the printer has a pop-up screen built into it as well as about a dozen touch sensitive buttons to control it. These all work very well and I've found that you don't even have to actually touch them; just getting a finger very close will do.
Once you have worked through all the setup, printing is as easy as you could expect. Just press the PC's print button and the printer will automatically lower the output tray door ready to receive the printed paper. There are two input trays: a cassette under the printer which slides out at the front and another on top which can be used for envelopes or photo quality paper. The printer will select the appropriate paper if you select it from the print dialogue.
You'll find that the first print of the day (or after an hour or so's break) will take quite some time while printer goes tharogh all the processes it considers necessary. I find this frustrating but I haven't found a way to prevent it happening so frequently. The print quality is excellent. Black and white documents are crisp and colour illustrations come out pretty much as you'll see them on screen. Colour photos also come very well, albeit a little slowly. The colours are crisp with no noticeable bleeding into areas whre they don't belong. The printer is capable of producing borderless prints which are of excellent quality right up to the very edge.
Apart from printing documents are photos from the PC, the MG6150 has three main functions all selectable by using the just one of the buttons: scan, copy and photo.
Copying is simple; just lift the very top of the printer to insert the document to be copied, lower it again and press the Copy button. You can select up to 99 copies, magnify from between 25% and 400%, lighten or darken the output and choose colour or greyscale output as well as which paper to use.
Scanning is just as easy and gives a choice of output file type (JPEG, TIFF or PDF), the size to be scanned (A4, Letter, 15 x 100mm or auto)and the scan resolution as well as several other options. Scanning an A4 document to TIFF at 600 dpi took a total of about 30 seconds to arrive on the PC.
The Photo function allows you to print JPEG files directly from a memory card. The Photo function is selected automatically when you insert the card and by using the buttons and the on-screen display you can select which images to print as well as cropping them, choosing output size, format etc.
Ink consumption seems to be quite high but that goes for almost all inkjet printers. A complete replacement set of six genuine Canon inks will cost you about £50. I don't use compatable inks as their quality is very variable and I've even damaged a printer by using them in the past. It's worth the extra cost to get the genuine article.
Pros: Excellent print quality, easy to set up even if the assembly is a bit fiddly. Apart from the first print of the day it's fast enough for most users. Lots of different functions all of which are easy to use. Wi-fi connectivity makes using it from a laptop so much easier. User interface takes a little getting used to but becomes very easy, very quickly. Prints on both sides of paper without having to turn it over. Prints on CDs. It's quiet enough for me to use late at night at home without fear of waking my wife!
Cons: Very slow to get going when it's first swiched on. Only reads JPEGs from memory card. Wastes ink by cleaning itself so often.