Those with an eye on image quality would do well to opt for the Canon Pixma MP540, a multifunctional inkjet photo printer.
Nobody with an interest in the multifunction inkjet printer market can fail to be impressed at how many models are available for considerably less than the £50 mark. But, in all honesty, many of these products flatter to deceive. After all, what's the good of spending even £40 if the product makes an unimpressive job of printing - and takes a long time in which to do that job. With that in mind, those with an eye on image quality would do well to cast their sights just that bit higher and opt for the Canon Pixma MP540.
From the first moment you set eyes on the Canon Pixma MP540, there's a feeling of all round class that you simply wouldn't expect from a multifunction inkjet printer costing around £67.
From its pristine silver curves, to the neat control panel hidden away behind a secret panel, or the way the output tray automatically drops into place when the Canon Pixma MP540 sets off on a print job, this MFD has the feeling of quality.
It's pretty well featured too. The slick colour TFT gives you easy access to a slew of functions, and the Canon Pixma MP540 uses a cunning scrollwheel for fast progress.
You don't get Wi-Fi at this price, but the Canon Pixma MP540 is otherwise well kitted out with memory card slots and PictBridge for direct printing from a camera. Perhaps the most surprising feature is that the Canon Pixma MP540 has two paper trays - one dedicated to photo paper. This allows you to split your time between photos and plain A4 without having to constantly take paper in and out of the paper tray.
The Canon Pixma MP540 isn't the fastest of printers. Indeed, at 2.4ppm for a colour photo in standard mode (as opposed to 3.1ppm for the cheaper Epson Stylus SX200), it's bordering on the sluggish given the price.
However, the quality is very good, with crisp definition on text (standard quality is available at 6.6ppm) and strong colours in images. The highest 9,600x2,400 quality modes offer considerable depth at 0.5ppm (1.6ppm for text). The Canon Pixma MP540's scan facilities are equally high in quality, and produce faithful results in good times.