Canon i-Sensys MF744Cdw review: A one-touch wonder

A low-cost colour laser MFP with great connectivity, good security and a whole library of useful apps

IT Pro RecommendedA photograph of the Canon i-Sensys MF744Cdw
Price
£335 exc VAT
  • Outstanding print quality
  • Speedy mono prints
  • Wide range of preinstalled apps
  • Versatile connectivity options
  • Limited cloud printing support
  • Slow colour printing

While some printers are better-suited to occasional use, the serious-looking Canon i-Sensys MF744Cdw is aimed at busy workgroups with established workflows. Make no mistake - this MFP is a real office workhorse. That doesn’t mean it’s limited in its flexibility, however: it works with Canon’s Application Library, which provides a range of customisable apps, all easily accessible from the generous 12.7cm colour touchscreen.

The apps include tools for one-touch scanning to particular destinations – such as email addresses and network shares – copying ID cards and scanning directly to a fax destination. If you have standard forms that need to be printed regularly, the Print Template app can churn them out on demand. And best of all, unlike Kyocera’s HyPAS extensions, these apps are all free and preinstalled – you just need to activate and configure them from the MFP’s web console.

The hardware, meanwhile, ticks all the boxes you would expect from a business-class MFP. It supports USB 2, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n wireless and NFC connectivity as standard, and comes with a built-in 50-page duplex ADF above the colour flatbed scanner. The standard 250-sheet paper tray is on the light side for heavy hitters, but you can add an extra 550-sheet cassette for £98.

A full set of toner cartridges is included too: rather than half-empty starter supplies, Canon provides its standard 2,300-page K and 2,100-page C, Y and M cartridges. Once these run out, we recommend replacing them with the high-yield versions, for printing costs of around 2p for mono and 11p per colour page, which is about average for this market sector.

Canon quotes a print speed of 27ppm for the MF744Cdw, and indeed our 27-page test Word document was printed in precisely 60 seconds at both the General and High Definition Text driver settings. Enabling double-sided printing only slowed us down to 21ppm and even on cheap 75gsm paper we saw pin-sharp text and detailed mono photos.

A closeup of the Canon i-Sensys MF744Cdw's display

The MF744Cdw wasn’t quite so speedy with our 24-page colour DTP document; this arrived at 23.6ppm in both quality modes. The results were impressive, though, with photos revealing plenty of detail and images looking bright and vibrant with barely any noticeable banding. 

When it comes to scanning, the Scan to Preset Destination app adds touchscreen icons for quick scans to network folders pulled from the MFP’s address book; once you have configured an email server, more can be added for scans to single and multiple email addresses. 

The Print Template app allows you to upload standard forms as JPEG or PDF files (up to a combined maximum size of 48MB) and give each one a custom icon on the touchscreen. And while the Standby Slide app might not be the most functional, it’s appealing for when the MFP is in a public area, displaying a slide show of images and messages on the touchscreen.

The one thing that’s lacking from the onboard app lineup is cloud support. However, you can connect to all the main services via Canon’s free Print Business mobile apps, and scan to and print from any cloud account that’s set up on your device.

As for management, Canon’s Department ID feature lets you enforce daily page limits and control colour and mono printing. This needs to be enabled for each user in their driver settings and they will also need to enter a valid ID and PIN at the MFP’s control panel when they want to access local copy, scan and fax services.

Canon’s i-Sensys MF744Cdw has everything a busy office needs: plenty of features, good output quality and access controls. Running costs are reasonable too, and Canon’s Application Library turns repetitious jobs into one-touch wonders.

Canon i-Sensys MF744Cdw specifications

Format

600dpi A4 colour laser MFP, 600dpi colour flatbed A4 scanner 

Print speed

27ppm mono/colour

CPU

800MHz dual-core CPU

RAM

1GB

Display

12.7cm colour touchscreen

Networking

Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n wireless

Connectivity

2 x USB 2, NFC, 33.6Kbps fax/modem, 3 x RJ-11

Print type

Duplex 

Tray size

250-page input tray, 50-page MPT, 50-page DADF

Recommended monthly duty cycle

4,000 pages

Dimensions

471 x 469 x 460mm

Weight

26.7kg

Warranty

3yr hardware warranty

Options (exc VAT)

550-sheet cassette, £98 exc VAT

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