Canon Pixma MP640 Review

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Canon continues to produce high quality AIO (All-In-One) printers, with the PIXMA MP640 being one of their latest offerings. Built for ease-of-use, the MP640 includes some useful options, including built-in Ethernet connectivity with Wi-Fi capabilities, ChromaLife 100+ 5-color ink system, a maximum color resolution of 9600 x 2400 dpi, 3.0-inch LCD screen, Bluetooth compatibility, and built-in card reader. Canon also claims this unit can produce a 4x6-inch photo in just 20 seconds.

To help improve you overall experience, Canon has included several user-friendly options, like Advanced paper handling, an Auto Scan mode, and the Easy-WebPrint EX software. Auto scan mode simplifies scanning by identifying, scanning and saving an original file in the correct format with just the touch of a button. While the advanced paper handling feature, which includes Auto Duplex printing, will help you conserve your paper usage by up to 50%, and with a two-way paper feed switch you can switch between plain paper or photo paper in seconds. Lastly, the Easy-WebPrint EX software is a useful utility for printing documents from the web, and includes an Auto Clip feature that allows you to choose a specific part of a web page to print, rather than printing 4 pages that are not needed; again we can see Canon striving to help reduce paper loss/waste.

When used with many Canon dSLRs, the PIXMA MP640 supports "Canon-to-Canon Direct Advantage" custom printing functions. The Canon-to-Canon connection allows you to perform minor edits, print shooting information directly on a print, or print a contact sheet directly from the camera without using a computer. The MP640 also supports wireless printing from infra-red (IrDA) enabled cell phones and Bluetooth-equipped devices. 


PIXMA MP640 Key Features:

  • AIO multifunction photo printer, flatbed scanner and color copier
  • Direct print from memory cards and PictBridge compatible cameras
  • ChromaLife 100+ 5-color photo ink system, individually replaceable ink tanks
  • Easy-Scroll Wheel makes menu operation easier
  • Dual paper paths with top and bottom trays, auto paper switching
  • Two-sided printing with built-in duplexer
  • High-resolution flatbed up to 4800x9600 dpi optical resolution
  • Scan documents to Adobe pdf or convert to text with OCR software
  • Microscopic 1-picoliter ink drops produce detailed photos
  • Borderless printing in 4 x 6", 5 x 7" and letter sizes
  • 3.0-inch high-res color LCD for preview and editing
  • Auto-Image Fix function
  • USB 2.0 high-speed interface
  • Wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Infrared wireless JPEG printing from compatible cell phones
  • Bluetooth compliant
  • Labeled as a Canon Green Generation product
The Canon Canon PIXMA MP640 is available now with an MSRP of US $219.99.

In the box you'll find:
  • PIXMA MP640 All In One Printer
  • Document Kit (Cross Sell Sheet,Getting Started,Important Information Sheet, Warranty card, etc.)
  • Ink Tanks (PGI-220 Pigment Black,CLI-221 Cyan, CLI-221 Magenta,CLI-221 Yellow, CLI-221 Black)
  • Power Cord
  • Print Head
  • Sample Media (MP-101 8.5" x 11" / 2 Sheets)
  • Stater pack of 4x6-inch Photo Paper Plus Glossy II paper 



Mechanics & Performance

The MM640 is a very nice looking unit, with a modern black and silver finish. Measuring 17.8" (W) x 14.5" (D) x 6.9" (H), this AIO device offers a nice sleek size that should fit nicely in your work or home office. With the option of using either of two paper feed sources, you have several possibilities for quickly changing from one paper type or size to another.

Setting up the MP640 takes only minutes, made easy thanks to the included "Easy Setup" instructions. After you have removed the printer from it's packaging, you now have the short task of removing all of the safety tape, which help any moving components for safer transport from the factory to either your retailer or your front door.

Next, you power up the unit and install the print head and then the 5 separate ink tanks. If you plan on using this printer with your PC or Mac, you will then insert the included software CD, with includes the device drivers, etc.  As mention above, you can connect the MP640 to your computer using a USB cable, or it can be connected to your home network using either an ethernet cable or Wi-Fi. Installation of the included software and drivers on my Windows 7 machine went without a hitch, taking about 15-20 minutes total to get this AIO printer software installed, and then connect the MP640 using my Wi-Fi network.

canon_mp640_lower_tray.jpgOne feature we have come to love about Canon's PIXMA printers is the dual paper sources; a typical top sheet loader and a cassette style internal tray located on the bottom.

Here you can see the lower unit. I was a bit disappointed that the lower tray is specified for using Plain printer paper only. In the past, this tray was our number one choice for storing photo paper, as it helped keep it kept safe inside of the printer and protected against dust and dirt. If both the top and bottom trays are loaded with plain paper, the MP640 can automatically switch between them when one runs out of paper.

The built-in duplexer is a big plus on a printer of this price. This feature can reduce the amount of paper you use and allows you to create your own "ready to be stapled" photo albums, newsletters, product catalogs, etc.


canon_mp640_controls.jpgAbove you can see all of the printer controls, along with a nice large 3.0-inch color LCD. This unit folds down, covering the controls to give the printer a nice clean look. You can also tilt the screen several degrees to make it visible from the standing or sitting position. This display is used to navigate the menu system, including previewing, editing and selecting images to be printed. 

AIO device controls: Beginning in the upper left you can see the power button, next are the two Function buttons located under the LCD. They will select the options list in the bottom right and left corners of the LCD. Next we have the Stop, and just below that are the Black and Color Start buttons. The "double arrow" icon is the NAVI button used to display the on-screen guide. Below that is the HOME button that returns you to the main menu. The large 4-way selector helps you sort through the menus screens. The OK button in the center confirms selections. Inside the 4-way selector is the Easy-Scroll Wheel that you rotate to select the unit's main functions. To the left of the Easy-Scroll Wheel is a small Back button.

Lastly on the right of the Easy-Scroll Wheel are the + & - buttons used to specify the number of copies or prints you require.


Print from Memory Cards


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Located behind a swinging door on the bottom right hand side of the printer are the memory card slots. The MP640 can read from SD Memory, SDHC, MultiMediaCard,  CompactFlash/Microdrive, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick Duo, and Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. To read MicroSD/SDHC or xD-Picture cards, and additonal adpater is required.Once you plug a card into the printer, it will appear as a removable drive on your computer.


Located just below the memory card slot door is the PictBridge port used for direct printing from most modern digital cameras and camcorders. This port also supports a USB connection to a computer. To the right of the PictBridge port is an infrared receiver which allows the MP640 to communicate with compatible cell phones and PDAs.




Flatbed Image Scanner


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Under the lid you'll find the flatbed scanner. The top is adjustable to accommodate anything from a single piece of paper to a large book on the scanner bed. High-resolution Contact Image Sensor technology scans up to 4800 x 9600 dpi with 48-bit internal (24-bit external) color depth. There is no auto document feeder on this model, it handles one sheet at a time. Scanned documents can converted to a text file or saved as a .PDF files using the included MP navigator EX software or the 'Scan-to-PDF' function.

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