Friday, May 25

Canon Pixma MP600R: drama of the good kind

Hey, is this thing meant to glow like that?...

Unfortunately experience teaches us to expect drama of the bad kind when installing a new multi-function printer on a home network. But the new Canon Pixma MP600R I installed tonight completely blew me away with some drama of the positive kind, and I'm still smiling from the memory.

After all, it wasn't until I brought home my HP PSC-2210 that I discovered Mac network drivers hadn't yet shipped and that I'd have to search high and low for compatible open-source drivers that would work. And it wasn't until I tried to scan for the first time that I discovered that was one of the many features the PSC-2210 only offered over a USB connection. And it wasn't until the power supply failed just out of warranty that I discovered HP's appalling policy of not offering service for out-of-warranty inkjet devices in Australia, its terrible policy of not making spare parts available for inkjet products to third-party repairers, and its shameful policy of not offering recycling for printer products for home and small business customers. (HP, I hope you get buried in a landslide of your own dead printer products.)

Talk about drama of the bad kind! Not so with the Canon Pixma MP600R... so far, it's been all drama of the good kind.

What's wrong? Sceptical that a multi-function printer could be dramatic? How's this: when I turned it on for the first time and flipped up the bright, clear colour LCD, the printer popped open its own paper tray during the power-up.

Surprised? I was. But not nearly so surprised as when I discovered the individual ink cartridges light up with a warm red glow when you've plugged them in correctly (or, according to the manual, a bright orange if you get it wrong.)

Holy self-destruct-sequence-on-the-Nostromo-batman! Plugging each of the cartridges in one-by-one was like something from Mission Impossible or Star Wars, more like re-enabling the tractor beams on the Death Star than installing a mere printer. Cool!

The MP600R doesn't fax like the HP used to, but the only thing non-recyclable in the entire box was the foam packing inserts - all the other plastics and tape were recyclable. And it scans over the network, over wifi, to a Mac, with Canon Mac OSX drivers.


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