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Canon Pixma MP640 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £129
inc VAT

This feature-packed multifunction device delivers on all fronts, and is an excellent choice for families with multiple PCs.


colour inkjet MFP, 9ppm print speed, USB, 10/100 Ethernet, 801.11b/g wireless, IrDA infrared, 176x450x368mm

Canon’s feature-packed Pixma MP640 has both wired and wireless networking, memory card slots, a CD-printing tray, two 150-sheet paper trays and an automatic duplexer.

The 3in colour screen makes it easy to use features such as copying, direct printing and disc label copying. It has a pigment-based black ink for text prints, along with a set of four dye-based inks for colour documents and photo printing.

Standard-quality text prints looked great and print speeds of 7ppm are reasonable. Draft text appeared at almost 10ppm and was dark, sharp and easy to read. Colour prints on plain paper looked good, despite slightly pale tones. Prints on photo paper had no such problems, though, with rich colours and smooth mid-tones. The MP640 takes 50 seconds for a 6x4in print. Photos cost around 39p if you use Canon’s most expensive paper, though.

Scan and photocopy quality was equally impressive, with accurate colour reproduction and plenty of detail. Canon’s superb ScanGear software has a Thumbnails View mode that recognises multiple documents, rotates them to remove wonky edges and presents each one as a separate object for scanning. Advanced settings let you tweak colour and sharpness before the image is captured.

Occasionally, the MP640 took a half-minute pause for maintenance. Otherwise, it performed respectably in our tests, even though it’s not the fastest around. Print costs are lower than average for an inkjet at 6.8p per colour page and 2.3p for a page of mono text.

With reasonable print costs and outstanding quality on everything from photos to business documents, this reliable all-rounder is up to almost any task. It’s neither the fastest nor the cheapest MFP, but it provides a great balance between quality, speed and price.

Basic Specifications

Maximum native print resolution9,600×2,400dpi
Max optical resolution4,800×9,600dpi
Output bit depth48-bit

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A49ppm
Quoted speed, colour A48ppm

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.03m 28s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.05m 0s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfacesUSB, 10/100 Ethernet, 801.11b/g wireless, IrDA infrared
Optional printer interfacesBluetooth
Noise (in normal use)47dB(A)
Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption idle1W
Power consumption active14W

Paper Handling

Maximum paper sizeA4
Maximum paper weight105gsm
Standard paper inputs2
Standard paper input capacity300
Maximum paper inputs2
Maximum paper input capacity300
Duplex (code, cost if option)Yes


Printer technologythermal inkjet
Supported operating systemsWindows 2000/XP/Vista, Mac OS X 10.3.9
Other inkjet features3in colour screen, automatic print head alignment, replaceable print head
Other inkjet optionsN/A

Buying Information

Consumable parts and prices350 page pigment black PGI-520BK, £8.20; 670 photo dye black CLI-521BK, £7.57; 505 page cyan CLI-521C, £7.34; 471 page magenta CLI-521M, £7.60; 505 page yellow CLI-521Y, £7.26
Price per colour A4 page4.5p
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge350
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s)505
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s)N/A
Warrantyone year RTB

Print Quality

Number of ink colours5
Number of ink cartridges5
Maximum number of ink colours5
Maximum number of cartridges5
Quoted photo durability30 years
Quoted photo durability sourceCanon

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview6s
A4 document at 150dpi8s
A4 document at 300dpi12s
6x4in photo at 600dpi12s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi54s

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.016s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.025s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.0N/A

Photo Features

PictBridge supportYes
Direct (PC-less) printingYes
Supported memory cardsUSB flash drive, Secure Digital, SDHC, Compact Flash, Memory Stick/PRO, Memory Stick Pro Duo
CD printingYes

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies99

Fax Features

Max mono fax resolutionN/A
Fax memory (maximum mono pages)N/A