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Friday, 04 October 2013 17:25

Canon's speedy, cloudy new Pixma printers Featured


Speed and cloud services are the highlights of Canon's new Home Advanced range of Pixma all-in-one printers.

Canon claims its new Pixma inkjet all-in-ones - the MG5560, MG6460 and MG7160 (pictured) - are the fastest in their class. The new models also feature extended connectivity, including integration with a range of cloud services via Canon's Cloud Link.

According to Canon officials, the MG5560, MG6460 and MG7160 are faster than price-comparable HP Photosmart and Epson Expression Home models.

Canon product manager for consumer print James Carrick told iTWire that ISO print speeds range from 8.7 (colour) or 12.2 (black only) images per minute for the MG5560 to 10 and 15 ipm for the MG7160.

This makes them "fastest in their class," he said, without sacrificing quality. Only a few inkjet models are faster, and they are aimed at the office market.

Running costs can be reduced by around 40% by choosing the XL ink cartridges, Mr Carrick added.

He also pointed out that the 650/651 cartridges used by these models will be available this month in "value packs" and recommended shopping around for the best prices.

The MG5560 and MG6460 use Canon's five-ink system, while the MG7160 adds grey ink for even better reproduction.

Copying documents with one of the new Pixmas is cheaper than spending 20c per page at the local newsagent, and running costs are lower than those of colour laser printers, he claimed.

All three include Wi-Fi (and can connect directly to mobile devices without the need for a wireless router), and the MG7160 also has an Ethernet interface.

They also provide support for a range of cloud services - see page 2.

Adding to the Google Cloud Print support in previous models, Canon is providing integration with a range of online services including Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, Evernote and Dropbox through Canon Cloud Link.

Itself implemented as a cloud service, Cloud Link is accessible via the printer control panel or the Pixma Printing Solutions app for iOS or Android. Mr Carrick said this approach effectively "future proofs" the printers, as new services and capabilities can be added to Canon's servers and made available to existing Pixma all-in-ones.

Cloud Link also provides access to Canon's Creative Park content which includes templates for projects such as calendars and cards. Providing genuine ink cartridges are installed, users also receive access to the branded content (eg Paddington Bear and National Geographic) from Creative Park Premium.

Among its other features, the app is able to interrogate associated printers to check their ink levels and cartridge types - very handy if you reach the store and then realise you've forgotten which cartridge(s) you need to buy.

The app can be used for scanning as well as printing, but it only prints images, not other types of document.

Documents can be emailed to the all-in-ones for printing, and all three support AirPrint and HD Print from video cameras. The MG6460 and MG7160 also offer photo printing from memory cards and via Wi-Fi PictBridge, and the MG7160 includes disc printing.

Energy-saving features include automatic power-on when a job is received, and optional power-off when idle.

The accompanying software bundle is now easier to use, Mr Carrick said, and provides one place to manage your images wherever they are actually stored on the computer. Features include background blurring, redeye removal, and the ability to make dull photos more vivid.

The MG5560, MG6460 and MG7160 are expected to arrive in stores by mid October. Pricing is "at dealer discretion" - Canon did not even provide indicative pricing.

All three come in a choice of colours: black, white or (MG7160 only) red. Mr Carrick expects black to be available from all retailers, while some may also stock white.

Harvey Norman has expressed interest in the red MG7160, he said, but it may not be available for a month or two.

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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