Canon i-Sensys MF744Cdw review: A one-touch wonder

A low-cost colour laser MFP with great connectivity, good security and a whole library of useful apps

A photograph of the Canon i-Sensys MF744Cdw

IT Pro Verdict


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    Outstanding print quality

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    Speedy mono prints

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    Wide range of preinstalled apps

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    Versatile connectivity options


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    Limited cloud printing support

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    Slow colour printing

While some printers are better-suited to occasional use, the serious-looking Canon i-Sensys MF744Cdw is aimed at busy workgroups with established workflows. Make no mistake - this MFP is a real office workhorse. That doesn’t mean it’s limited in its flexibility, however: it works with Canon’s Application Library, which provides a range of customisable apps, all easily accessible from the generous 12.7cm colour touchscreen.

The apps include tools for one-touch scanning to particular destinations – such as email addresses and network shares – copying ID cards and scanning directly to a fax destination. If you have standard forms that need to be printed regularly, the Print Template app can churn them out on demand. And best of all, unlike Kyocera’s HyPAS extensions, these apps are all free and preinstalled – you just need to activate and configure them from the MFP’s web console.

The hardware, meanwhile, ticks all the boxes you would expect from a business-class MFP. It supports USB 2, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n wireless and NFC connectivity as standard, and comes with a built-in 50-page duplex ADF above the colour flatbed scanner. The standard 250-sheet paper tray is on the light side for heavy hitters, but you can add an extra 550-sheet cassette for £98.

A full set of toner cartridges is included too: rather than half-empty starter supplies, Canon provides its standard 2,300-page K and 2,100-page C, Y and M cartridges. Once these run out, we recommend replacing them with the high-yield versions, for printing costs of around 2p for mono and 11p per colour page, which is about average for this market sector.

Canon quotes a print speed of 27ppm for the MF744Cdw, and indeed our 27-page test Word document was printed in precisely 60 seconds at both the General and High Definition Text driver settings. Enabling double-sided printing only slowed us down to 21ppm and even on cheap 75gsm paper we saw pin-sharp text and detailed mono photos.

A closeup of the Canon i-Sensys MF744Cdw's display

The MF744Cdw wasn’t quite so speedy with our 24-page colour DTP document; this arrived at 23.6ppm in both quality modes. The results were impressive, though, with photos revealing plenty of detail and images looking bright and vibrant with barely any noticeable banding.

When it comes to scanning, the Scan to Preset Destination app adds touchscreen icons for quick scans to network folders pulled from the MFP’s address book; once you have configured an email server, more can be added for scans to single and multiple email addresses.

The Print Template app allows you to upload standard forms as JPEG or PDF files (up to a combined maximum size of 48MB) and give each one a custom icon on the touchscreen. And while the Standby Slide app might not be the most functional, it’s appealing for when the MFP is in a public area, displaying a slide show of images and messages on the touchscreen.

The one thing that’s lacking from the onboard app lineup is cloud support. However, you can connect to all the main services via Canon’s free Print Business mobile apps, and scan to and print from any cloud account that’s set up on your device.

As for management, Canon’s Department ID feature lets you enforce daily page limits and control colour and mono printing. This needs to be enabled for each user in their driver settings and they will also need to enter a valid ID and PIN at the MFP’s control panel when they want to access local copy, scan and fax services.

Canon’s i-Sensys MF744Cdw has everything a busy office needs: plenty of features, good output quality and access controls. Running costs are reasonable too, and Canon’s Application Library turns repetitious jobs into one-touch wonders.

Canon i-Sensys MF744Cdw specifications

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Format600dpi A4 colour laser MFP, 600dpi colour flatbed A4 scanner
Print speed27ppm mono/colour
CPU800MHz dual-core CPU
Display12.7cm colour touchscreen
NetworkingGigabit Ethernet, 802.11n wireless
Connectivity2 x USB 2, NFC, 33.6Kbps fax/modem, 3 x RJ-11
Print typeDuplex
Tray size250-page input tray, 50-page MPT, 50-page DADF
Recommended monthly duty cycle4,000 pages
Dimensions471 x 469 x 460mm
Warranty3yr hardware warranty
Options (exc VAT)550-sheet cassette, £98 exc VAT
Dave Mitchell

Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.

Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.