Everyone needs to print, scan, and copy sometimes, but often, basic all-in-ones leave you longing for that nice, high-end printer at your office. That’s when Canon’s Pixma MG8120 becomes an attractive option. Using six individual ink cartridges, the MG8120 pumps out a crisp, vibrant 4x6 print in approximately 20 seconds from Mac and Windows computers or from an iOS device using the free Canon Easy-PhotoPrint for iPhone app from the App Store (an Android app is also available).
The sleek black top of the MG8120 features a large, bright 3.5-inch LCD that swivels up for optimal viewing and supplies easy access to all of the printing and scanning functions from a handful of buttons in front of the display. In a very cool--dare we say space age?--touch, controls light up to let you use a certain function, then fade away when they’re not active. That’s just slick.
When printing, various sizes of photo paper can be fed into the back of the machine, while up to 150 sheets of plain paper rest in a removable tray below the output area. Three memory card slots collectively support 20 types of media. The 4800x9600dpi scanner also tackles 35mm slides or negatives, and the quality is exceptional for a flatbed scanner. Under the scanner lid, you’ll find a removable plastic adapter capable of handling up to four slides at once, or a single strip of film negatives. The full-featured, TWAIN-compliant scanner software works from inside Adobe Photoshop CS4 without a hitch, scanning multiple slides in one pass and allowing you to tweak image settings individually prior to batch-scanning them with a single click.
Of course, the MG8120 is a printer at heart and a very capable one at that, featuring auto duplex and borderless printing. Printing from an iPhone 4 was also fast, allowing us to queue up several photos and print them all at once. We initially had problems using the Easy-PhotoPrint app; the printer wasn’t recognized at all until we turned off Bluetooth on the handset. We’ve seen other nonprinting apps conflict with Wi-Fi when Bluetooth was on, so it’s likely this is not a Canon issue.
The all-in-one printer market offers a wide range of choices for every price point, but the Canon Pixma MG8120 hits all the right notes for under $300--including superior film scanning and rapid-fire 4x6 printing that doesn’t compromise quality.
REQUIREMENTS: USB 2.0, Ethernet, or Wi-Fi b/g/n connection (Bluetooth 2.0 printing optional); Mac OS 10.4.11 (Intel or PowerPC G3 or higher, 256MB RAM), Mac OS 10.5 (Intel or PowerPC G4 867MHz or faster, 512MB RAM), Mac OS 10.6 (Intel, 1GB RAM), iOS 2.2.1 or higher (for Canon Easy-PhotoPrint on iPhone), 1.5GB available disk space
Super-fast 4x6 photo prints. Easy setup, especially for wireless printing/scanning. TWAIN driver allows scanning inside Photoshop. Quality prints direct from your iOS or Android device.
iPhone 4 Bluetooth conflicts with Wi-Fi printing from device. Confusing array of software options to install.