Unless you’ve been watching the printer market awfully closely, you’ll find it difficult to trace the lineage of today’s review unit through the evolution of Canon’s photo printers. We’re looking at Canon’s current flagship model among consumer-grade, photo-ready all-in-ones (AIOs), the Pixma MG7720 Photo All-in-One Inkjet Printer. (Its list price is $199.99, but while writing this, we found it on sale at shop.usa.canon.com for $50 off, or $149.99.) Canon’s MG line emphasizes photo printing; its MX line of Pixmas is geared more toward balanced general printing and document handling.
An upgrade to the $149.99-list Pixma MG6820 we reviewed not long before it, this six-ink Pixma prints some of the brightest, most vibrant photos you’ll get from a consumer-grade photo printer. To get better output than this, you’ll have to turn to a professional-grade photo printer, such as Canon’s own $499.99-MSRP Pixma Pro-100 or Epson’s $799.99 SureColor P600—elaborate, large nine-ink printers, both.
Aside from printing better photos, the professional-grade models mentioned here and their numerous counterparts aren’t really designed for printing document pages consisting of text and graphics. Nor is it economically feasible to do much of that on them. It’s not that they’re notcapable of printing all kinds of output; they surely are. But using them to do so is wasteful. It’s too expensive to use your nine-ink photo printer to print business reports or presentations.
In any case, back to the history of this particular AIO. Prior to the MG7000-series Pixma printers, Canon, in 2010, offered a higher-end six-ink Pixma, the Pixma MG8120, which not only was an excellent photo and document printer, but could also scan slides and negatives—a well-rounded photo-centric AIO. But Canon eventually ditched the somewhat expensive MG8000 series (which topped out, in their time, at $299.99) for a less-expensive six-ink MG7000 series (now cresting at $199.99).
If you shop around, you’ll inevitably find these printers for less. (That’s always been the case with these consumer Pixmas.) Unfortunately, the same does not apply to the ink. Unless you’re feeding the Pixma MG7720 third-party ink, this model’s per-page cost using genuine Canon ink relegates it, where documents are concerned, to being a low-volume printer.
It’s expensive to operate as a photo printer, too, simply by the nature of photo printing, as we’ll get into more later on. But if top-notch “keeper” photographs are what you’re after, you may find the outlay worth the price. Granted, HP’s Instant Ink allows certain of that company’s photo-ready Envy models to print images dirt-cheap. But those are four-ink, two-cartridge machines that, while they print decent-enough photos, are not equal to what the Pixma MG7720 gives you in vibrancy and color depth.
Our bottom line on this printer, its siblings, and its predecessors? If you’re looking for the least-expensive way to print the best-looking photos, the Pixma MG7720 is arguably it. Beyond it, you’re looking at a much costlier proposition to buy and operate one of those professional-grade photo printers we mentioned earlier. But as a general-purpose printer, the Pixma MG7720 is not as strong a choice. The output is unimpeachable, but it will be dear.
Read the entire article at Computer Shopper.