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Canon i-Sensys MF734Cdw review

Canon's i-Sensys MF734Cdw looks like the result of a teleportation incident involving a colour laser multifunction and a phablet. A big and reasonably chunky MFP, its slick touchscreen control panel overhangs the printer slightly on the right - we'd be worried about it getting knocked off. We've no worries about the MF734Cdw's specification, however. This MFP combines a 27ppm colour printer with a 50-sheet ADF capable of scanning both sides of an original in a single pass. It supports gigabit Ethernet and wireless network connections, has a fax modem, and there's a front panel USB port for walk up printing and scanning.

On the device itself, control is via that huge 12.7cm touchscreen. That ought to be a good thing, but we found it didn't always respond unless we were quite deliberate with our prodding - the 'key' beep, usually an annoyance we turn off, was actually a necessary confirmation. That's perhaps a blessing in disguise, as it took us several minutes to work out how to disable it - the interface isn't as intuitive as it could be, and oddly the sound settings are accessed via a dedicated button.

Canon offers host-based, PCL and PostScript drivers which all look and behave near-identically. Get printing and the MF734Cdw is surprisingly quiet, given that it delivered our mono letter test at a rapid 23.8ppm, and our complex graphics test at 20.6ppm. Mono copies were quick, needing 10 seconds for a single page or 34 seconds for 10 pages, but the same jobs in colour took 15 and 58 seconds - a bit slower than we'd expect. Scans were quick over gigabit Ethernet, with previews completing in seven seconds, and an A4 150dpi scan in 15 seconds. We captured a 6 x 4in photo at the maximum 600dpi in 30 seconds.

The MF734Cdw produced excellent results. With sharp focus, accurate colours and ample dynamic range, scans were about as good as we've seen from a laser device. Photocopies were great, text was sharp and black, and colour graphics were bold, if a little less saturated than we'd like. At 10.4p per page this MFP is slightly cheaper to run than Xerox's WorkCentre 6515, which is similarly capable. However, the latter costs £80 less to buy - we'd narrowly pick it over the MF734Cdw.

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