The Canon PIXMA MP560 is a simple inkjet multifunction that offers sufficient print quality for both documents and family photos. USB and Wi-Fi connectivity make it easy to connect, but it won't print to CDs and DVDs like the HP Photosmart C5380.
The Canon PIXMA MP560 inkjet multifunction can print directly from supported memory cards (SD, MemoryStick, MemoryStick Duo and CompactFlash) as well as USB flash drives and PictBridge-capable digital cameras. Unfortunately, the recessed USB port won't accommodate awkwardly shaped flash drives, and you can't print documents from USB drives.
Paper capacity maxes out at 250 A4 sheets through a front paper cassette and rear paper tray. The cassette's adjustable guides won't fit any media smaller than A5, so 4x6in photo paper will have to sit in the rear paper tray.
The Canon PIXMA MP560 inkjet multifunction uses Canon's great Easy Scroll Wheel, which sits at the side of the scanner cover rather than on top. While it offers the same easy-to-use interface found on the PIXMA MP640, the printer has a small 2in LCD that makes icons and text difficult to see. You won't be editing the photos on the display either; the printer only allows you to trim selected photos prior to printing.
The Canon PIXMA MP560 can connect to existing wireless networks through WEP/WPA/WPA2 authentication or WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) and WCN (Windows Connect Now). MacOS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) wouldn't recognise the printer wirelessly through Bonjour, but Canon does provide up-to-date drivers for the new operating system.
If you're not in a hurry, the Canon PIXMA MP560 inkjet multifunction's print speed is reasonable and will print draft documents at usable quality. For those needing documents quickly, cheaper alternatives like the Photosmart C5380 can print much faster without too much loss of quality.
When printing documents with fine text, the Canon PIXMA MP560 produces even better results than the more expensive PIXMA MP640. For the most part, however, quality is about the same; colours are well-balanced in both documents and photos. Black levels are excellent, as is detail, though gradients could be a little smoother.
Scans can be initiated directly from the control panel, and images can be saved to specified presets for documents, photos and PDFs. The control panel will only list USB-connected computers by default, but it is easy to initiate scans through Canon's MP Navigator EX software over a network.
The Canon PIXMA MP560 uses six inks in total and has reasonable running costs.
NEXT: our expert verdict >>