The MX7600 can print from a computer, through a direct PictBridge compatible camera, or from a memory card. This time around, Canon lets users select one of four ways to print: single photo display (one at a time or all at once), multiselect prints, special photo prints, and photo index sheet. Within the selection process, you can choose to view via full-screen, enlarged view via digital zoom, or in a slide show with 5-second intervals. There are also a handful of other options including trimming (edit by cropping), time stamp, and bordered prints.
Special photo prints include various layout prints, index prints, DPOF prints (prints according to the order format settings on the camera), and printing with the photo's Exif information in the margins.
The MX7600 printed pages faster than the MX700 in most of our tests. The MX7600 also leapt ahead of the Kodak EasyShare 5500 in all subject tests except for the photo test, which are within fractions of a page of each other anyway, so the difference is insignificant. We tested it against one of our current favorite all-in-one printers, the HP Officejet L7780 that won our Editors' Choice award last year. Even though the Canon was beaten by three pages per minute in the text printing test, the MX7600 fought admirably in the rest of the tests and actually scanned pages faster than the L7780. Overall, Canon has made leaps and bounds over previous models in terms of speed, doubling its pages per minute count in half of our speed tests.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
The quality of prints has also improved as well, thanks to Canon's new Pigment Reaction inkjet technology. In contrast to its MX700 that has four ink tanks, the MX7600 has six tanks, five Lucia pigment inks and one cartridge of clear ink. Canon's Pigment Reaction works by laying down a coat of the clear ink first and bonding it with the color pigments to create better quality graphics on plain paper. We found the text quality to be well formed with no jagged edges or misplaced ink dots. While some other multifunction inkjets, such as the Brother MFC-685CW, produce photos with fuzzy edges and dull colors, the MX7600 graphics are bright and sharp, even on standard 20-pound sheets. The graphics we printed seemed to pop off the page with smooth gradients and an overall even amount of color saturation. The addition of the clear ink cartridge boosts the package price of the MX7600 a bit; the new clear ink cartridge costs $18, a few dollars more than the $15 pigment inks.
Service and support
Canon offers a limited one-year warranty with the Pixma MX7600. The company also offers toll-free phone support and 24-7 e-mail support, should you run into any problems. Extra features including online manuals, drivers, FAQs, and ink cartridge order forms can be found on Canon's Web site, usa.canon.com.
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