Canon Pixma MX715, $179.
A multifunction device designed to print, scan, copy and even send faxes could make the perfect addition to your study or home office.
Even if you don't work from home, you'd be surprised at how often you'd use a copier/scanner if you had one in the house - especially if you've got students working on school assignments. Both of these MFDs can act as a monochrome or colour photocopier, even when the attached computer is switched off. Only the Canon is blessed with an Automatic Document Feeder, holding up to 35 pages when you're copying or scanning long documents so you don't need to stand there manually feeding in page after page.
If you're setting up a home office, it's worth noting that the Canon can also send and receive faxes if you hook it up to your phone line, whereas you'll need to opt for the more expensive $269 Photosmart 7520 if you're after fax capabilities from HP. But even business users are becoming less reliant on fax machines, so the HP's lack of fax capabilities might not be a deal-breaker.
HP Photosmart 6520, $169.
Along with printing school assignments and copying documents, both MFDs are also photo printers, but once again the Canon comes out ahead - thanks to its use of five ink tanks as opposed to four. Those looking for decent photo prints from HP should once again look to the five-colour Photosmart 7520.
When it comes to connectivity, both feature USB and built-in wi-fi, but the Canon also offers ethernet. You'll find apps for printing from smartphones and tablets, but the HP also features ePrint for printing via the internet, while this model Canon misses out on Canon's PIXMA Cloud Link feature.
Even if you don't need a fax machine, at this price range the Canon's document feeder and improved print quality make it a better choice over the HP.
Canon Pixma MX715
HP Photosmart 6520