The Canon Pixma MP530's solid combination of features makes it ideal for a small office that works with documents and photos.
Inexpensive, the Canon Pixma MP530 handles faxing, scanning, copying and printing. Nevertheless, it lacks a few features that you might expect to find on an office-oriented multifunction printer.
For instance, the Canon Pixma MP530 comes without built-in networking, so you'll have to use Windows' printer sharing to make it available to other PCs on your network. Also missing are media slots and a colour LCD.
The only way the print directly from a digital camera is to connect it to the Canon Pixma MP530's PictBridge port and use the camera's screen and controls. Of course, this may not be a significant issue if you prefer to store and edit images on your PC before printing them.
The Canon Pixma MP530's control panel features a two-line monochrome LCD surrounded by sensibly arranged buttons. You can program up to 40 speed-dial numbers for destinations you frequently send faxes to, and the fax is rated to transmit pages at a standard 33.6 kbps (in either black-and-white or color. The Canon Pixma MP530 possesses a 150-page memory in case it runs out of paper while you've run out to buy more.
The Canon Pixma MP530's glass platen accommodates letter-size paper, and the automatic document feeder lets you scan 30 sheets of legal-size paper at a time. Dual paper trays hold a total of 300 sheets, split evenly between the cassette in the unit's base and the upright feeder at the rear. The rear feeder is convenient for switching among different types of paper, and its straight paper path makes it a good choice for thicker media. For example, you can stack ten envelopes in the rear feeder, whereas Canon recommends stacking no more than five in the cassette. The built-in duplexer lets you save paper by making double-sided prints.
Each of the Canon Pixma MP530's five ink cartridges - one per primary color, plus two black inks - incorporates a red LED that flashes when the ink runs low. On photo paper, the printer uses dye-based black, but to produce stronger and sharper darks on relatively absorbent plain paper, it adds pigment-based black.