The Canon Pixma MX850 is Canon's all-in-one scanner, copier, fax machine, and inkjet printer built for the small office or home office.

The Canon Pixma MX850 prints impressively crisp, legible text that's comparable to laser quality. Add to that speedy performance, solid print results, and extra perks, and you have a superb multifunction printer.

The MX850 is a bit bulky, at 14kg, but it sets up in a snap. The Canon Pixma MX850's printer uses a five-colour ink system, which includes the four traditional dye-based colours (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) and a special pigment-based black to achieve exceptional clarity. After assembling the print head and inserting the ink cartridges, you connect the device to your PC via USB 2.0 or ethernet and install the software drivers.

Copying, scanning, faxing, and photo printing are accessible through the Canon Pixma MX850's button-control panel, and menus are intuitive and easy to read on the printer's 2.5in LCD. The photo-card reader, located behind a convenient door on the right side of the printer, supports the most commonly used memory cards used by digital cameras.

Since you can use most of the Canon Pixma MX850's features via the control panel, you'll most likely be using the device with your PC only when printing documents or scanning media, which the MX850 handles very well. Canon's software for both printing and scanning is very straightforward and works smoothly with both Windows (2000/XP/Vista) and Apple's Mac OS X (10.3.9+).

We like that the Canon Pixma MX850's scanner driver provides advanced image options, offering flexible control over scans.

Copying on the Canon Pixma MX850 is a pleasantly problem-free experience, especially when using the built-in automatic document feeder. Two large buttons allow you to choose between black-and-white or colour copying; you use the arrow buttons for setting the number of copies and the copy quality.

The Canon Pixma MX850 turned in exceptional text-printing results. In our tests, the printer's text appeared as crisp and legible as you could ever expect from an ink-jet printer. Photo prints were similarly impressive. Our test print of a picnic scene looked brighter and redder than our control photo, but overall it looked very clean and pleasing, earning a Very Good rating.