Canon – PIXMA MX320 review

entry-level SOHO all-in-one printer
Photo of Canon – PIXMA MX320

Canon’s PIXMA MX320 is at the low end of the company’s range of SOHO all-in-one printers. It has the same basic design as the rest of the current range, with the Automatic Document Feed (ADF) built into the top of the machine, with a surround containing the control panel.

The ADF has a fold-out feed tray which can take up to 30 sheets, and the flatbed scanner, although a Contact Image Sensor (CIS) device, gives surprisingly good results. The control panel includes a 2-line by 16-character mono LCD display, without a backlight and without the black-on-white display which Canon’s publicity material shows. There’s a fax number pad and large buttons for mode selection and black and colour copies.

There are no memory card slots, though there is a single USB socket at the bottom of the front panel, which works as both a PictBridge connection and for plugging in a USB drive. You can print from both these sources and scan out to USB.

The data connection is also USB – there’s no network socket – and drivers are available for both Windows and OS X. The support software includes MP Navigator EX and Canon Easy-PhotoPrint EX, both Canon standards.

Canon’s speed claims for the machine are a lot more realistic than some of its rivals, thanks to the introduction of ISO speed tests. The published speeds are 7.5ppm and 4.5ppm for black and colour, respectively, and under test we saw a maximum black speed of 6ppm and a maximum colour speed of 2.2ppm. Neither of these is amazing, but both are fairly standard for this section of the market.

Photo print speeds are good, with a 15 x 10cm photo taking 1:34 from PC and a pacey 57 seconds from a PictBridge camera. The copy speed is reasonable with a single sheet from the flatbed taking 45 seconds and a five-page document from the ADF finishing in 1:24.

Print quality is generally good, though with a little fuzziness around bold characters and noticeable dither patterns in areas of colour fill. Photo print quality, even though this machine is not intended primarily for the photo enthusiast, is excellent, with natural colours and good levels of detail in both bright and dark areas of an image. Copies are fair, with little noticeable fading.

There are two ink cartridges in the MX320, one black and the other tri-colour, and each of these is available in two capacities. Using the high-capacity cartridges gives page costs of 3.4p for black and 8.1p for colour. These are both in the mid-range for entry-level all-in-ones, though the printer may prove a little more expensive to run by not using separate cartridges for each colour.

Company: Canon

Contact: 0800 787787

This is a serviceable home office all-in-one, with a useful general-purpose front panel USB socket, reasonable speed and the addition of both an ADF and fax facilities. While not intended as a photo printer, it produces excellent photos and fair plain paper prints and copies. Overall it's very good value.