The Canon Pixma MP470 is an inexpensive multifunction printer that includes full photo capabilities and a 1.8in LCD, as well as good scanning, copying, and printing features.

Canon's Pixma MP470 has its quirks, but given the £74 price it's hard to complain. This compact machine offers a wide range of print, copy, and scan functions in a decently designed package.

Setup is easy, thanks to the inclusion of a poster illustrating basic steps and an automatic installation routine using the included CD. The software bundle includes a pair of useful, well-designed applications for editing photos and handling scanned images.

Canon's Solution Menu dialog box gives you one-touch access to the printer's on-screen documentation, maintenance utilities, and help files. A My Printer applet installs itself in your Windows system tray and provides the printer queue, settings, and troubleshooting info. A quick-start guide and an HTML-based manual cover all the features thoroughly.

The Canon Pixma MP470 performed satisfactorily in our tests. It processed plain-text pages at a competent 8.7 pages per minute (ppm). The deeply black, slightly fuzzy text was certainly readable, although curvy fonts looked feathery and closely spaced type seemed mushy.

Graphics took longer to print - 1.5ppm to 4ppm, about average overall - and looked decent on plain paper (short on detail, a little faded) but great on costlier Canon paper (bright, crisp). The device scans and copies quickly, and the copies in particular looked quite good. Ink cost per page (at 5 percent coverage per colour) is reasonable.

The Canon Pixma MP470's sleek, black-and-silver cabinet exhibits an attention to external design that fails to extend to all of the components contained within. The input and output trays, which unfold for use, rattle a lot and bend easily. Shallow slots leading toward the cartridge bays do nothing to help you position a new cartridge correctly for insertion.

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