Canon's new ChromaLife100+ ink and paper system makes for more vibrant reds than previous versions and the MP640 makes the most of this to produce spectacular photo prints of the highest quality, while being equally adept at general purpose document and graphics printing.

We liked

Quiet, reliable and easy to use, the MP640 is an object lesson in elegant sophistication. It's great being able to load plain paper in the main input cassette underneath the printer, yet still be able to add photo paper and other specialist stationery into the rear input tray when you need to.

The standalone control system is equally intuitive and easy to use, and a wide range of media card slots include CompactFlash, SD, SDHC, MMC and MS compatibility.

Speed and quality are the keywords when it comes to scanning, photocopying and printing, with the MP640 excelling in every area for mono or colour documents and photos alike. Build quality is also reassuringly impressive, feeling a cut or two above the norm.

We disliked

Canon printers up to and including the PIXMA iP4500 series had similarly-priced but higher-capacity cartridges, making them considerably cheaper to run than competing models from the likes of Epson, HP and Lexmark. By comparison, running costs of the MP640 are merely average.

Verdict

Cleverly designed and beautifully put together, the MP640 ticks all the right boxes for functionality and ease of use, while also proving unbeatable in terms of print speed and quality.