Canon MF217W

Canon MF217W available at Trink

The Canon ImageClass MF217w  is among the least-expensive laser 4-in-1 devices we’ve tested. Yet it turned in some of the fastest print, copy and scan times we’ve measured while delivering very high image quality across the board.

The MF217w isn’t as full-featured as Canon’s MF229dw, which, unlike the MF217w, has a duplexer for two-sided printing. The MF217w auto document feeder handles 35 sheets than its more expensive counterpart and has a lower duty cycle (8,000 pages versus 10,000). But the MF217w uses the same generously high 2,400-page-yield toner cartridge, which keeps printing costs low. Both models have a multiuse tray that can accommodate up to 20 envelopes, and a main paper tray that can hold up to 250 sheets.


To control this 4-in-1 without a computer, you use the MF217w’s six-line monochrome touch-screen front panel. I found the touch screen to be unresponsive at times, requiring multiple presses of a virtual button to launch a selection. There are no physical buttons for the scan and copy functions (only Home and Back), so you’ll have to use the touch screen to make scans or copies.

There is a 10-key pad, but no up/down or OK buttons for making menu selections. As such, I had better luck using the software on a PC.

You may appreciate the MF217w’s Quiet Mode button if you have a cramped office and will be working close to the device. Enabling this feature lowers the noise level while printing, and slows printing slightly.

Print Speed

There’s no slowing the MF217w. This 4-in-1 was quick to print in all of our tests. It took 18.9 seconds to print a five-page text document, which comes out to 15.9 pages per minute (ppm). That beats the average speed for laser printers by 3 seconds.

Copy and Scan Speed

The MF217w also delivered the fastest copy speeds, besting the average by 2 seconds. It copied a page in 8.7 seconds. For this test, we used the default setting, which is text/photo high-speed on the MF217w. Changing the file type settings to photo or text/photo slowed the copy time to 13.2 seconds.

Print Quality

Fast speeds don’t add up to much, of course, if document quality suffers. And the MF217w makes very few trade-offs. I was impressed by the print quality of text and graphics; letter forms were very sharp, and graphics looked detailed, with smooth textures.

Copy quality was similarly high, with accurately reproduced details and textures that were on a par with those produced by the best entry-level all-in-ones we’ve tested. And, though you might expect copies made with a high-speed setting (the default) to be of lower quality than other selections, I found the impact to be minimal. Text looked just as sharp and smooth, though graphics lacked some detail in dark areas, and mid-tone transitions weren’t as smooth.

Bottom Line

The MF217w has plenty to offer a small office. It’s among the fastest models at every function and delivers very high image quality across the board. Plus, its low cost per page ensures you won’t regret your purchase in the long run. The only downside is the sometimes unresponsive touch screen, but if you intend to use your 4-in-1 through a PC, that won’t be an issue.

Purchase yours today at Trink Port Elizabeth.