Canon i-Sensys MF724Cdw review

Not the cheapest or fastest, but Canon’s new colour laser MFP delivers good quality and stiff access security

Price
£273
  • Excellent output and scan quality; Improved security;
  • Low print speeds for colour prints; No NFC or phone-fax functions;

If you're short on office space, Canon's i-Sensys MF724Cdw could be the printer you're looking for. This A4 colour laser multifunction device (MFD) has a reduced footprint, but still manages to pack in plenty of office-friendly features.

It offers print, scan and copy functions; nippy 20ppm colour and mono print speeds; an integral duplexer; and wired or wireless network support. Its 8.9cm LCD colour touchscreen makes light work of walk-up printing and copying, but it lacks NFC and phone-fax functions. If you need these, check out the Canon MF729Cx instead.

The 600ppi colour flatbed scanner on top of the device is partnered bya 50-page duplexing automatic document feeder (ADF), while the USB port at the front can be usedto print from, or scan to, removable storage devices. AirPrint support, for iOS devices, is enabled out of the box.

To keep printing costs down, we'd recommend using Canon's twin pack of K toner cartridges. At only 15 more than a single K cartridge, this cuts per-page costs for mono and colour prints by a pennyeach to a moreacceptable1.5p and 11.3prespectively.

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Installation using the LCD panel is a swift process, and allowed us to secure admin access using a PIN. It also ran a useful calibration process, which prints a colour page that it then examines using the scanner.

The printer's web console is clear and opens with a status view of the toner cartridges and paper tray, along with a list of detected errors. From the Settings page, we could alter the deep sleep timer and set the printer to shut down after between one and eight hours of inactivity.

Canon has improved its security setup on this device, which supports LDAP and Active Directory authentication, and lets you enable or disable access to anyor all of the USB ports.

The driver's Secure Printing option, meanwhile, lets users assign a PIN to a print job, which will be held in the queue until the PIN is entered on the device control panel. This ensures that sensitive data won't be overseen by anyone loitering by the printer.

A Department ID feature forces users to log in to the printer before they can access any of its functions. We could restrict access to scanning and colour printing for any ID, although it wasn't possible to limit the number of pages produced.

These settings can also be enforced on desktops from their printer driver properties. We requested that the ID and PIN were confirmed for each print job and could stop unauthorised use by blocking jobs with unknown IDs.

We used the printer's internal address book to enter details of email addresses, network shares and FTP sites that can be accessed from the local control panel. Canon's scan utility lets users scan straightto their desktop and the bundle includes the Presto PageManager document-management software.

Cloud features are scarce as the MF724Cdw only supports Google Cloud Print. Registering the printer from the web console was a two-click process and we could print documents remotely from Google Chrome.

General print quality is impressive, with text at the smallest font sizes razor-sharp and showing no signs of dusting. Colour photos were vibrant, with only a hint of banding.

Print speeds are variable, with a 20- page Word document delivered at precisely 20ppm and duplexed at 10ppm. Colour was more challenging: it couldn't muster more than 16ppm when working its way through our 24-page DTP print. However, the time to first page for all tests was never more than 17 seconds.

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The scanner performed well, reproducing glossy magazine covers with sharp focus. Its ADF did good work, with a 15-page, mono, single- sided copy produced at an average of 16ppm and a 15-page duplex-to- duplex copy at speeds of 5ppm.

Canon's MF724Cdw is expensive, but it can't be faulted for output and scan quality. The improved security features also make it a good choice for businesses that want to keep usage under strict control.

Verdict

Canon’s MF724Cdw is expensive, but it can’t be faulted for output and scan quality. The improved security features also make it a good choice for businesses that want to keep usage under strict control.

600dpi A4 colourlaser

20ppm colour/mono

600dpi colour scanner

1GB RAM

10/100 Ethernet

802.11n wireless

3 x USB 2

250-sheet input tray

50-sheet MPT

50-sheet DADF

Duplex

Recommended monthly duty cycle, 2,000 pages

Canon
 MF Scan and Selector utilities, Presto PageManager 9.39 software

430 x 484 x 479mm (WDH)

31kg

1yr on-site warranty

Options: 250-sheet cassette, £180 exc VAT

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