From an aesthetics point of view, the Canon PIXMA MP460 is a disaster, as it looks big and boxy, while the sloping top is simply unappealing.
This isn't just a matter of cosmetics as the scanner bed is also set at an angle, instead of lying horizontally; this isn't a general problem, but it does make it fiddly to set up your copy correctly. The design also means the paper input support holds the pages close to the vertical and could be more substantial, while the fold-down output tray is very short.
Installing the Canon is a quick job, as you simply plug in the pair of cartridges and run the CD. Even though the software package consists of MP Navigator, Easy PhotoPrint, Adobe RGB, Easy WebPrint, ArcSoft PhotoStudio 5.5 and ScanSoft OmniPage SE 4.0, it 's a one-click process. Uninstalling the software when we had finished was a different story as we had to remove each piece of software individually.
The mono print speed is good and fast but, as usual, it doesn't approach the manufacturer's claimed figures. Colour printing lagged behind other printers with a pause between pages because, according to a message displayed by the drivers, 'the printer is waiting for the previous page to dry'.
We suspect that Canon feels the need to do this because it chucks loads of ink at the pages and we noted that dark coloured areas got overly wet and were slightly wrinkled. This is a bit of a concern as a pair of new ink cartridges costs £26 (inc. VAT) and we fear you'll get through them at a fair rate. This offsets the low initial price of the printer, but it should still be of interest to anyone who doesn't print off reams of pages.