Canon PIXMA MX870 Printer Review

This is your basic All In One Printer, Copier, Scanner, and Fax. Sort of.

This printer replaced an All In One that my mother bought be when I was pregnant with Alexander. Alexander will be NINE this month. The printer I’m replacing was approximately the size of a Ford Fiesta, and not quite as cute. Also, it had finally broken.

The MX870 has been a good family printer. The quality of printing is very good. Jane likes using photo paper and printing directly from her SD card (there is a slot), and Alexander prefers the wireless so that we can print baseball stats right from his computer. We have several PCs, and as many Macs in the house, both work seamlessly with the wireless network (which took about two minutes to set up). Since one of the computers is very old I was surprised to have no issues. The print quality is good enough for school projects (yes they have summer homework), and I imagine for most small businesses this would be more than adequate, but this is not a photo printer.

So basically it prints nicely, in the two months I’ve had it we have not been able to run it out of ink (but school is not in session so that’s not entirely fair), and there’s a Fax component.

Let me tell you why a fax machine matters. If you have health care forms the only way to submit them to many of the insurers is via fax. Yes. I know. They are a plodding industry that deserves to go the way of the dinosaurs and simply fall into a swamp. But we have them, so we have fax machines, and I’ve used this one quite a bit. It’s good, but there are two places you can put the telephone cord in, and I chose the wrong one, and my home phone was off the hook for three days. I thought the phone was broken, and I have to tell you, I really enjoyed the silence.

What makes the PIXMA MX870 different (in the most wonderful way) is the duplex scan feature. This is the easiest scan that I’ve ever done. Let me just show you a video I made:

And we ended up with this (converting from PDF to jpeg was impossible FYI). You can click on the images to enlarge them and see the quality for yourself. The greyish sheet is a photocopy of a photocopy of a ditto. If you remember what a ditto machine is, congratulations, you are also 40.


To be very clear (Mom and Dad this is mostly for you), I have already bought Alexander the Seat Belt Belt and the Calculator watch. If either if you buy my child a puppy I will check myself into a mental hospital and you will have to take care of my family for 72 hours, and quite possibly 90 days. I have good insurance, and I swear to all that is holy I will call it a vacation. NO PUPPIES.

Or you can see it in PDF format

As the school year approaches I imagine the MX870 could get quite a workout. You know how the kids call each other when they’ve forgotten schoolwork? Quick easy scanning on both sides of the paper at once.

The quality is high enough that this should be a very attractive device for eBay sellers. If you’ve ever tried to sell a comic book or a baseball card you know that a good scanner is key. Warning: The two sided scanning feature will NOT work on anything but paper, you do NOT want to be feeding your collectibles through the tray.

MSRP is $199, but it’s available at Amazon for $129.

*Disclosure: Canon lent me this device for review purposes.

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Comments 1

  1. I’ve had the MX850 for just over a year. Before that, I had its earlier incarnation, the MP830, which was a bit bulkier. I loved it, though, and I love my MX850. It prints super sexy pictures, which leads me to believe that this MX870 might be built cheaper, or simply part of a different line entirely (though it seems improbable). My MX850 cost me $300 when I bought it.

    Bottom line: I love Canon printers, and I’m glad you’re getting to enjoy yours. I invested $250 for the MP830 back when I started college because my old printers would run out of ink really quickly and cost me a bundle. I’ve noticed that Canon printers have very cheap ink cartridges (~$15) that have almost impossibly amazing page yields. I once made it through a whole semester (At Berkeley, no less, where I printed ALL of my reading and papers) on a $30 black ink twin pack. Oh, glorious, glorious printer.

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