Canon PIXMA MX870 review

Can this new multifunction device continue Canon's recent run of successful printers?

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Our Verdict

A brilliant machine. Print quality is excellent and speed is acceptable


  • Stellar print engine
  • Packed with features
  • Easy to operate


  • A little bulky

The Canon PIXMA MX870 is a slightly more office orientated version of the PIXMA MP640, adding fax functionality and a 35-sheet ADF but losing the facility to print directly onto optical discs.

Its stablemate earned a five-star review back in MacFormat issue 215, and the new machine succeeds admirably in living up to these high standards.

The MX870's build quality is exceptionally good, as are the useful little touches such as the LEDs that light up to show an ink tank is fitted correctly. The paper tray opens automatically when the machine's about to print, and it's so easy to set up and use that you barely need its comprehensive printed manual. Connectivity is also covered through USB, Wi-Fi or Ethernet options.

Its print quality lives up to the high standards set by recent Canon releases. The five-tank system uses pigmented black ink for text printing, giving vivid, clear results with very little bleed. It's waterproof too – perfect for envelopes and flyers.

In our speed test, a 20-page document printed in four minutes, 58 seconds, which is a little slow but acceptable for a home-office machine.

The MX870 performed very well in our default-quality, plain-paper photo test, giving a very serviceable print with very little banding. The colours were a little bleached, but overall it's as good as you could expect given the paper quality and print speed.

But it's when we slotted some photo paper in the rear tray and ramped up the quality to high that the printer really came into its own: beautifully rich colours, super-smooth gradient ramps and outstanding detail. If you value quality over speed, the MX870 gives no cause for complaints.

The Canon PIXMA MX870 is ideal for home and home-office use. Its print standards are every bit as good as our current favourite machine, the Canon PIXMA MP640, so which one you go for depends on whether you value the MX870's fax features and sheet feeder over the MP640's on-disc printing. The choice is yours.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeInkjet Multifunction Printer
Maximum Photo Print Speed39 Second
Wireless LANYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Standard Input Media Capacity300 sheets
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
ISO Color Print Speed (ipm)9.4
ISO Mono Print Speed (ipm)6.1
Product FamilyPIXMA
Maximum Print Resolution9600 x 2400 dpi
Brand NameCanon
Form FactorDesktop
Print ColourColour
Duplex PrintingAutomatic
Media SizeA4, A5, B5, Letter, Legal, DL Envelope, Commercial 10, Custom Size, 100 mm x 150 mm, 130 mm x 180 mm, 200 mm x 250 mm
Multifunction DevicesCopier/Fax/Printer/Scanner
Recommended UsePhoto Print
Maximum Fax Resolution300 x 300 dpi
Optical Resolution2400 dpi
Copy ColorColour
Scan ColorColour
Fax ColorColour
Number of Input/Multipurpose Trays Installed2
Number of Input Trays Supported2
Interpolated Resolution19200 dpi
Maximum Input Media Capacity300 sheets
Height226 mm
Width491 mm
Depth437 mm
Media TypePlain Paper, Envelope, Glossy Paper, Photo Paper, Semi-gloss Photo Paper, Matte Paper, T-shirt Transfer, Photo Sticker
Colour Depth48-bit
Copier TypeFlatbed
ManufacturerCanon, Inc
Product ModelMX870
Product NamePIXMA MX870 Multifunction Printer
Product LinePIXMA
Scanner TypeFlatbed
Screen Size15.7 cm (6.2")
Modem Speed33.60 Kbps
Image SensorCIS
Manufacturer Part Number4206B008AA
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Canon supports the industry-wide ISO standard for measuring print and copy speeds. This makes it easy to select the right PIXMA for you based on real print performance. The PIXMA MX870 offers fast ISO ESAT speeds of 9.4ipm for mono documents and 6.1ipm for colour.

Number of Copies99
Platform SupportedPC, Mac
Limited Warranty1 Year
Transmission Speed3 sec/page
Weight (Approximate)11.80 kg