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Canon delivers solid value with the Color ImageClass MF8580Cdw Color Laser Multifuction printer. For $599 list, the 8580 includes a two-sided color printer, copier, scanner and fax machine with network control and Ethernet, USB and Wi-Fi interfaces all standard. With its 40,000 page-per-month duty cycle, fast time-to-first-page and fairly high paper capacity, the 8580 is suited for the small office or busy department.
With its 17-by-19-inch footprint and 26-inch vertical clearance requirement, the 8580 stands a prominent figure. Its handsome black-and-putty design and sturdy look and feel instill confidence that the unit will well outlast its one-year warranty. For the cost-conscious home or small business (and who isn't these days?), the Canon printer automatically enables two-sided printing and can tuck itself into a 2-watt sleep mode after a selectable number of minutes. It wakes itself for print jobs arriving over the network, but when making copies, a manual press of the sleeper button is in order.
Canon ships the unit with its four toner/fuser cartridges preinstalled, and sings the praises of combining the two functions to save on maintenance time and increase convenience. We found helpful the messages displayed on the color LCD control panel during setup, prompting for removal of protective tabs and toner tape materials before using the machine. Another nice touch was the panel's offer to enable color correction and to connect via Wi-Fi, (both by default). We declined the first and accepted the second. We later enabled color correction, with mixed results.
Canon includes several useful features we've seen only on higher-end MFPs, including a secure print feature that holds print jobs until a unique number is entered at the control panel, and unique user IDs, which enable management to monitor usage and help limit costs and consumption. A trade-off is a lack of a PostScript driver; the unit supports PCL. The 8580 offers the usual scan-to-USB, server or email capability, and can accept walk-up print jobs through its front-panel USB port for printing without a computer. Mobile devices can output to Canon's ImageClass MFP using Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print and Canon's own Canon Mobile Printing application for iOS (an Android version is in development).