The Canon Pixma MP970 is a printer, copier, scanner with the kind of quality that justifies a relatively high price.

The Canon Pixma MP970 is the flagship model in Canon's range of Pixma printers, coming in at almost £250. However, its speed, quality and versatility make it a good choice for home users or small businesses that need to do a lot of photo printing and scanning, as well as producing other types of document as well.

The initial installation takes a little while, as the Canon Pixma MP970 actually uses no fewer than seven different ink cartridges. As well as the four standard CMYK inks (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) it also uses additional 'photo quality' cyan and magenta inks and a special pigmented black ink to produce more solid blacks on photos.

It took us a good half hour to unpack and install the printer. Fortunately, though, the Canon Pixma MP970 proved to be worth the effort.

The Canon Pixma MP970's 9,600x2,400dpi resolution is high indeed, and its printing speeds are equally impressive. It pumps out text documents from Microsoft Word at a speed of about 10 seconds per page.

A single 4 x 6 photo print took just 32 seconds while a full A4 borderless print took only 13 seconds longer. The print quality for photos was excellent – sharp and clear, with good colour reproduction – as were the results on the Canon Pixma MP970's scanning tests.

And, to justify that price tag, the Canon Pixma MP970 offers a number of additional features too. As well as a standard USB interface, it also has an ethernet interface so that you can share the printer with other people on your home or office network.

The Canon Pixma MP970 can do double-sided printing too, and also includes an adaptor that lets you scan 35mm film-strips and slides. We even liked the display on the printer's LCD screen, which is similar to Apple's Front Row software in the way that it displays icons representing tasks such as scanning and copying, so that you can quickly select the options you want.


So while the Canon Pixma MP970 is more expensive than most of its rivals, its sheer performance, quality and range of features make it a good choice for more demanding home and small business users.