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).
NEXT: Print Performance And QualityThe Canon Color ImageClass MF8580Cdw Color Laser Multifunction printer is rated at a maximum rate of 21 pages per minute when outputting letter-sized, single-sided pages in color or black. It lived up to its rating in tests, cranking out 21 of our black-only text pages and color with graphics pages in precisely the same time. The first of 21 test pages appeared after an initial delay of 21 seconds, and all 21 were in the tray after 1:19. The bad news is that Canon muffed its claim of first page in "15 seconds or less." But what's a few seconds at the printer, more or less?
We also tested Canon Easy-PhotoPrint for Android and discovered a few things about the printer in the process. We learned that the 8580 supports Ethernet or Wi-Fi, but not both at once. So to print from our Android test device required a trip to the control panel to switch from wired to wireless Ethernet. The app itself is handsome and responsive, and presents a simple, no-nonsense interface that gets the job done. Capabilities are limited to controlling the scanner and printing on-device pics and scans.
On the subject of the control panel, Canon's is nicer than most and offers more convenience. Dedicated hardware buttons along the top provide instant access to the unit's primary functions of copying, scanning, faxing and direct printing, and LEDs on each indicate which function is enabled. A bright, backlit 3.5-inch LCD shows the corresponding functions and is easily navigated with smaller buttons and keys that surround it. We never had a doubt about how to do anything or where to find a particular setting, thanks to logically worded menus and concise titles. Along the right edge is a pair of programmable "Scan to PC" buttons to which specific network destinations for scanned PDF, JPG and TIFF files can be assigned, plus copy and secure print keys. Well done, Canon.
For a deeper dive into the printer's many capabilities (a report of its settings prints out to eight pages), Canon also provides a printed manual, something we've missed seeing in recent years as such documentation has been relegated to the less handy digital realm. There's also a second, smaller networking handbook and configuration guide. Separate disks are provided for Mac OS X and Windows drivers and utilities. There's also a Linux driver available for printing only.
For standard paper capacities, the 8580 offers a 250-sheet cassette plus a 50-sheet multipurpose bin. A second 250-sheet cassette is optional. The output tray holds 125 pages; duplex printing is standard. For the small office looking for an all-in-one with very good color and black print quality that won't break the bank, the $599 list Canon Color ImageClass MF8580Cdw Color Laser Multifuction printer is worth a serious look.
PUBLISHED ON MAY 15, 2013