Big office features in a small office package.
While this monochrome laser multifunction device can be connected to a single printer via USB, it’s more likely to be used as a network device via Ethernet or Wi-Fi (with WPS for easy set-up).
The accompanying software is packaged as four installers, and as three require user intervention you can’t just click the main Install button and then walk away. Four different drivers -- Canon’s UFR II (Ultra Fast Rendering), PCL5e, PCL6 (as tested) and PS 3 -- are provided, along with Presto! Page Manager to handle scanned images.
The MF5980dw has the now-usual web interface for configuration and monitoring, which is more convenient than using the small LCD and printed reports.
The ability to control printing via department codes and PINs is more relevant to larger organisations, though smaller businesses may find it useful for project accounting purposes, providing staff can be motivated to use the appropriate code each time.
Double-sided printing is the default, and our usual test document emerged in 17 seconds. Switching to single sided, we timed it at nine seconds for the first page and two seconds for the second page, which was in line with the nominal 33ppm. We had no quibbles with the print quality.
The ADF is a two-pass duplex arrangement, and single or double-sided copies can be made from single or double-sided originals. Network scanning is most easily done using Canon’s software that allows a destination PC to be selected from the MF5980dw’s front panel, but scanning to SMB shares or to email is also supported.
Copying gave satisfactory results, but a scan of our regular image was slightly washed out in some areas and sky blues were darker than either the original or scans we previously made using other devices.
Direct print from USB devices is a convenient feature, but only appeared to work for JPEG files. The MF5980dw saw TIFF files but would not allow their selection, and types we’ve seen handled by other MFDs (e.g. PDF) were ignored.Available from Canon, retailing for $850
.APC rating: 7/10