Steve's Conclusion

One of Canon's latest AIO (All-In-One) devices, the PIXMA MP640 is a multi-purpose printer/scanner made specifically for use in small or home offices. Not only is this unit functional, but Canon added some style to it as well with a pleasing black and sliver finish that gives it a modern look and feel. This unit offers some high-end features, such as Ethernet and wireless network connectivity, Canon's ChromaLife 100+ 5-color ink system, dual paper sources with built-in duplexer for two sided printing, 3.0-inch LCD screen, creates borderless prints up to letter size (8.5x11-inches), multi-port card reader, and Infra-red (IrDA) and Bluetooth compatibilities. 

The controls on the printer itself were a pleasure to use. All of the various printer functions are toggled via the control panel on top of the printer, which is hidden by the folding 3.0-inch LCD screen. Each of the controls are well positioned, with clear, legible labels. One of many cool features on this model, the Easy-Scroll wheel allows you to quickly navigate the menus. The 3.0-inch LCD screen is nice an bright, and offers several angles thanks to it's flip-up design, so you can easily see the display from the sitting or standing position. Like past models, the MP640 can automatically pop open the receiving tray, which allows you to keep it closed when the unit is not in use; adding to the clean look of this printer. On top of being EPA Energy Star compliant, the MP640 is also labeled as one of Canon's Green Generation products.

The MP640 does just about anything one with a home office would need, with the exception of faxing; which is an easy work around if you have internet access. The MP640 is not only a high-quality photo printer, but a flatbed scanner/color copier as well. On top of printing from your PC using either a wired or Wi-Fi connection, you can print directly from a PictBrige compliant digital camera, memory cards, or wirelessly from Bluetooth and IrDA enabled devices.

Printing from a flash memory card is quick and easy. Just insert the card, view and select the pictures on the large 3.0-inch color LCD, set your printing preferences and print - it's just that simple. You can trim (crop) photos before printing if desired, just select the Trimming option and follow the on-screen prompts. There are also options for brightening faces, removing red-eye, vivid colors and noise reduction.

Canon supplies a nice software suite with the MP640 that allows you to quickly and easily scan documents and convert them to the Adobe .pdf format for storage or to send them via email. Another nice feature on this model is the lid for the flatbed scanner, which allows you to scan thicker items, like text books for school. It accomplishes this by not only tilting up, but it also has extension arms that allow it to lift up at the same time. The CIS-based (Contact Image Sensor) scanner has a maximum optical resolution of 4800x9600 dpi and can go as high as 19200x19200 via interpolation. With Canon's dual color gamut processing technology, the MP640 can automatically optimize scan quality based on the type of originals you are copying.

I was very pleased with the MP640's print quality. We created the majority of our photos using Canon's Photo Paper Plus Glossy II type media, and the results showed prints that you'd have a hard time discerning whether or not they were printed by a professional quality (8+ color) photo printer or the local photo lab. This was not just our 4x6-inch prints either, even our borderless 8.5x11-inch prints look awesome, and as you can see from the chart below the MP640 is quite the performer.

Test print times were completed using an 18-megapixel JPEG image and Canon Photo Plus Glossy II media. These are actual "click to drop" times meaning the timer starts when we clicked the Print button and stopped when the paper dropped in the tray.

Input SourcePaper SizeTypeQualityTime
computer4x6" bordered standard0:31
computer 4x6" bordered high 0:45
computer 4x6" borderless standard0:39
computer 4x6" borderless high0:53
flash card 4x6" bordered standard0:29
flash card 4x6" bordered high0:42
flash card 4x6" borderless standard0:26
flash card 4x6" borderless high0:54
pictbridge 4x6" bordered default 0:32
pictbridge 4x6" borderless default 0:39
computer 8.5x11" borderless standard1:31
computer 8.5x11" borderless high 2:19
flash card 8.5x11" borderlessdefault1:30

Note: computer times measured with an AMD64 / Windows 7 computer using Wi-Fi connection, the first 14-15 seconds of our computer speed tests consisted of the time it took for the devices to communicate with each other. The Canon EOS 7D dSLR was used for PictBridge tests, and a 16GB Extreme Pro CF card was used in the card reader timings.

The bottom line - Canon's PIXMA MP640 is one very speedy, and feature-packed AIO printer. Print quality rivals that of much more expensive photo printers, and like I mentioned before, you will be hard pressed to distinguish the MP640's prints from those of a professional photo lab. With a MSRP of $219 you are getting one heck of a unit that is sure to help simplify some of your mundane office tasks. We highly recommend the MP640 to anyone in the market for an all-in-one unit that offers robust printing performance, great photo capabilities, and a stylish and compact design.