At only £49, we were delighted to find that the Canon Pixma MP160's photo print quality was above average - a match for the more expensive MP180, if 20 seconds slower. Text printing in draft, normal and high- quality modes was uniformly fast with crisp results.
We found the grey Canon Pixma MP160's looks a little dull, but this robust device is compact and portable. Unfortunately, during our tests the Canon Pixma MP160's scanner lid tended to come crashing down as we adjusted a document's position. A stronger hinge would have fixed this. And sheets of paper were routinely sucked into the Canon Pixma MP160 at an angle, despite being loaded with care into its robust paper tray.
As the least expensive MFD we tested this month, the £49 Canon Pixma MP160 lacks both a colour-LCD and a memory card slot. But there is, at least, a PictBridge port for direct camera printing. Some printer maintenance can also be handled via an on-body switch. Among the usual array of one-click buttons are options to specify paper type and fit to page. Driver and software installation is a simple process. The bundled MP Navigator software is divided into three sections: scan, view and enhance images. Custom scans can be carried out with a single click, but are limited to 600x1,200dpi. Scans can be saved in various ways, including as PDF or an email attachment.
The excellent scanning software will correct slanted documents and automatically crop images. MP Navigator also makes successful printing easy, using drop-down menus to select such options as paper type, lightness, darkness and the quality of prints.
The Canon Pixma MP160's colour copies are produced quickly but suffer colour casts and banding. Streaking appeared when we attempted mono copying, though the copy more closely resembled the original.
The Canon Pixma MP160's everyday print jobs came out crisp, while scans are above-average but with limited resolution. The lack of a memory card slot could be an important omission.