Page 2 of 2
The 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.