Pixma MP540 review

Nobody with an interest in the multifunction inkjet printer market can fail to be impressed at how many models are available for considerably less than £50. But, in all honesty, many of these products flatter to deceive. After all, what’s the good of spending even £40 if the product makes an unimpressive job of printing - and takes a long time to do that job? With that in mind, those with an eye on image quality would do well to cast their sights just that bit higher and opt for the Canon Pixma MP540.

From the first moment you set eyes on the MP540, there’s a feeling of all round class that you simply wouldn’t expect from a multifunction inkjet printer costing around £67.

From its pristine silver curves, to the neat control panel hidden away behind a secret door, or the way the output tray automatically drops into place when the MP540 sets off on a print job, this device has a feeling of quality.

It’s pretty well featured too. The slick colour TFT gives you easy access to a slew of functions, and the MP540 uses a cunning scroll wheel for fast progress. You don’t get WiFi at this price, but the MP540 is otherwise well kitted out with memory card slots and PictBridge for direct printing from a camera. Perhaps the most surprising feature is that the MP540 has two paper trays - one dedicated to photo paper. This allows you to split your time between photos and plain A4 without having to constantly take paper in and out of the paper tray.

The MP540 isn’t the fastest of printers. Indeed, at 2.4 pages per minute (ppm) for a colour photo in standard mode, it’s bordering on the sluggish given the price.

However, the quality is very good, with crisp definition on text (standard quality is available at 6.6ppm) and strong colours in images. The highest 9,600 x 2,400 quality modes offer considerable depth at 0.5ppm (1.6ppm for text). The MP540’s scan facilities are equally high quality, and produce faithful results in good times.

OUR VERDICT

Slick, very user-friendly and high in quality, the Canon Pixma MP540 is on the whole a superb printer at a great price. It’s perhaps not quite as fast as we’d like but, otherwise, it’s a very good model.

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