Yesterday my new printer arrived. As I previously blogged, my old Epson Stylus D68 died a while back from an erratic cyan print head, and in absence of a viable fix I ended up buying a replacement. I have to admit, I did give in to the marketing ploys of eBuyer and chose one of their special offers, but it seemed such a great deal and it had such wonderful reviews that I couldn’t resist.
The Canon PIXMA MP210 is an all-in-one jobbie, which means it’ll print, scan and copy all from one box. There are several advantages to this approach:
- It’s cheaper than buying all the components separately
- It saves space, because although it’s significantly bigger than a normal printer it is smaller than a printer and scanner side by side
- It will copy (in black and white or colour) without needing to be connected to a computer
- Fewer cables are necessary (1 power cable, 1 USB to computer)
Of course, there are also significant disadvantages too, which are worth at least bearing in mind:
- If the scanner part fails it can’t be replaced – one would need to either buy another scanner or replace the whole thing with a new all-in-one, at the expense of a working printer
- As above for the printer part
- The MP210 actually uses the scanner to adjust its print head alignment (it prints a test sheet, you mark something on the printout, put the sheet into the scanner, it scans it and finds where you marked it, and adjusts itself accordingly), which is very clever, but I’m not sure there’s a manual option in case the scanner fails
Overall, though, I’m pleased with it so far. The print quality is very good, arguably better than my previous Epson was (which is to be expected, it is new after all), and is pretty quick too. I haven’t tested the scanning much yet, but the copying function works well, in B&W and colour. It looks nice too. Mmmm, shiny. It’s also got PictBridge, which should allow me to plug my camera straight in and print directly without the computer; I don’t think I’d use that function, but it’s nice to know it’s there.
The only disappointing feature really is the LED display it has for feedback. The model up from this (the MP220) has a funky two-line LCD display which gives meaningful messages, this one just has a 9-segment LED that displays a letter or number. That means the messages it gives are somewhat incomprehensible, and you need to refer back to the documentation (which is only available on the computer, and not supplied in hard copy) to figure out what it’s telling you. Not exactly ideal, but I guess it’s a cost-cutting ‘feature’ that Canon deemed was acceptable.
So now I’ve just got to figure out what I’m going to do with my old printer. Probably just stick it in the garage with the previous Epson printer and let it gather dust until such a time as old broken printers become valuable antiques… I can dream, can’t I?