Canon has announced the launch of its SmartBase flatbed all-in-one product range in the UK. Products should start appearing on shelves here from 1 April.

Four of the five MFD (multifunction devices) in the SmartBase range will be available to buy from April, with the high-end product hitting the market in June.

With prices between £279 and £779 including VAT, Canon aims to provide affordable and versatile products to what it sees as a 'crucial' market.

The SmartBase range is aimed at the home and small business user. It comprises two Bubble Jet models — the MPC400 and the MFC600F — and three laser models — the PC1210D, PC1230D and the PC1270D. All five machines incorporate flatbed scanning facilities.

Incorporating the print engine that powers the Bubble Jet S630, currently top of our Personal printers chart, Canon claims the cheapest unit, the MPC400, can print up to 17ppm (pages per minute) in mono and 12ppm in colour. Copying speeds are pegged at 17cpm (copies per minute) in mono and 10cpm in colour. Canon also claims the unit can scan at 600x1200dpi (dots per inch) in 36bit colour.

The two Bubble Jet MFCs use Canon's Single Ink technology, a system that allows the individual replacement of colour cartridges to save both ink and money.

At the higher end of the range, the PC1270D, which will be in stores from June, combines a laser printer, digital copier, automatic document feeder and a fax modem that has a claimed transmission speed of six seconds per page.

One of the unique selling points of the mono laser range is its all-in-one cartridge system. The toner, drum and cleaner unit are all incorporated into a removable cartridge which Canon hopes will make the PC1270D virtually maintenance free and more economical.

Almost as an aside, Canon's finally worked out that its slogan, 'Imaging across networks', means nothing to almost everyone apart from a few execs, and is binning the nonsense in favour of the easy to understand 'You can'. Canon said that the 'networks' phrase was 'difficult to translate' — into English, it turns out.