Canon Pixma MP970The Canon PIXMA MP970 Photo All-In-One Printer has a modern design and will look great next your computer or in your home office. The device is lightweight at only 26 pounds, but wait - you don't have to carry it around to share it among computers - it has a built-in ethernet port. Controls on the new MP970 are very clearly labeled and all functions can be handled from the control panel on top of the printer. The Easy-Scroll Wheel works like iPod controls and makes navigating the menus easy. In fact all menus and controls are nicely laid out and logically organized. The 3.5" color LCD screen is large and bright. If you prefer to leave the receiving tray closed (it looks cleaner) the printer will automatically open the tray before it starts to print.The MP970 is EPA Energy Star compliant as all office devices should be. The MP970 does almost everything - a flatbed scanner, a color copier and a high quality photo printer. You can print directly from memory cards, PictBridge-enabled digital cameras, Bluetooth and IrDA enabled devices. It's an economical and fast photo inkjet printer with great print quality and it's a speedy printer with both a top sheet feeder and a bottom paper cassette. The only function a home office might miss is fax capability. Sample print times are shown below and were printed on plain paper. For items printed from the PC, print time begins when the computer finished spooling the file. The Color photo sample is 3008 x 2000, sRGB JPEG, 2.7MB. The Black & White photo sample is 3008 x 2000, grayscale JPEG, 1.1MB. 8 x 10 Black & White photo from Mac over ethernet - 57 seconds
These numbers show that the MP970 is slower than it's sibling, the MP610. Does that matter to you considering all the features of this printer?
Canon reports the maximum speeds from the MP970:
Printing directly from memory cards is easy. You can crop photos before printing if desired, or brighten faces, remove red-eye and perform other edits. Printing from memory cards is as fast as printing from a computer.
Home office users will appreciate the MP970's capability to make 2-sided copies. The scanner lid adjusts to allow thick objects, like books, to be placed on the scanner just as easily as a single sheet of paper. Canon's Dual Color Gamut Processing Technology will automatically optimize copy quality based on the type of original you are copying.
Considering its price the MP970 does a good job of scanning photos and film. There is a built in film scanner in the device's lid. Scan functions can be controlled from several of the bundled applications such as the MP Navigator or ArcSoft Photo Studio. After scanning photos with Photo Studio you can retouch them with much of the same tools as those available in PhotoShop. After scanning documents you can convert them to PDF or text files using the included OCR software.
The bottom line - We started out asking if the MP970 was worth the MSRP of $299 - it is priced $100 more than it's sibling the MP610. Well, I think the 970 is a great value. It's a high quality, multifunction device with ethernet built in. And the addition of Photo Studio to the bundled software is sweet. I also think you'll like the MP970's print quality. Test prints of sample images looked great on the glossy Canon Photo Paper despite the fact that the MP970 has fewer print nozzles than the 610. Don't forget, Canon has a lot of great support and interesting print and craft projects online. Our tests showed the MP970 was slower than the MP610 but it's still fast enough for the home user. Compared to the 2-year old multipurpose printer I have at home the MP970 is light years ahead in speed and technology.