The Canon Pixma MP610 is practically identical to last year's highly praised MP600 multifunction printer copier scanner, except in one crucial respect. Canon has responded to criticism of the MP600's scanning capabilities by adding a Dual Gamut Processing Technology scanning engine and increasing the scanning resolution to 4,800dpi, up from last year's 2,400dpi.
Other key features of the Canon Pixma MP610 include CD/DVD printing and five individual ink tanks - one pigment black for mono prints, plus four dye-based colour tanks - to help cut down on waste.
While the Canon Pixma MP610 is clad in the Pixma range's regulation black and silver plastic, there's no disguising this printer's bulk. It's huge.
The Canon Pixma MP610 sports separate rear input and front output trays, capable of holding up to 150 sheets of paper each. Controls for copying and scanning are on the front, along with a 2.4in (62mm) colour LCD for menu navigation at the top. We particularly like the Easy Scroll Wheel navigation system, which makes accessing the various functions a breeze.
When it comes to printing, the Canon Pixma MP610 is blisteringly quick. With mono documents, our single-sided test page plopped into the out tray just 10 seconds after hitting print.
Printing multiple pages forces the Canon Pixma MP610 to slow down as the printer waits for the ink to dry on each page before it works on the next. We waited 2 minutes 30 seconds for a five-page, double-sided document, but it's well worth the wait. Even at the default setting, the Canon Pixma MP610 is capable of producing great-looking mono prints, with superb black levels and minimal feathering.
Colour photo print speeds are impressive too, taking just 1 minute 20 seconds at the highest quality setting to produce a result. The Canon Pixma MP610 produces some of the best-looking images here with natural blues, yellows and reds and lashings of detail, even in dark areas of the picture. The only criticism we could make is that very pale colours tend to bleach out to white, while reds seem a little over-saturated. Canon says ChromaLife100 prints should last 100 years - they certainly had no trouble passing our water or scratch tests straight from the printer.
Canon cites combined page yields for the individual ink tanks of 6,477 pages, with individual ink tanks costing £9.99-£11.99. That gives us an ink-only photo print cost of 12.7p per sheet.