Canon PIXMA MX410 review

A low-priced all-in-one for the home and casual user
Photo of Canon PIXMA MX410
£99

Canon’s PIXMA MX410 is a stylish all-in-one multifunction printer for the home that offers a wide range of features at a very good price. It’s a rather bulky unit that takes up a decent amount of space on a desk – but for an ‘entry-level’ product in this market, that’s only to be expected.

What’s included?
What you’ll find on-board is a printer, scanner, copier and fax, along with wireless printing, a 30-sheet automatic document feeder and a USB port that enables direct printing from a camera or phone – as well as alolowing you to store scanned files on a USb storage device. Sadly, though, there’s no memory card reader for added convenience.
Many of the MX410′s features can be controlled via a rather confusing-looking panel of buttons on the exterior, and a monochrome, two-line LCD display that’s a little too small and difficult to read for our liking, so we can see most users opting for software-based control via their PC instead.
It takes a while to install the software and drivers required, and wireless setup requires temporary connection via a USB cable – which we’ve always found a little annoying. Canon quotes speeds of up to 8.7ppm for black-and- white documents, and up to 5ppm for colour. We ran through a typical series of tests to see how this fared and judge the quality on offer.

Speed and performance
We found Canon’s quoted speeds fairly accurate. Our own 10-page test document was output at just under 7ppm. We’ve seen better quality output though, even at the low-end of the market. While the PIXMA MX410′s output might be considered suitable for most, edges weren’t quite as sharp as we’d have liked, and small font sizes were a little difficult to read. But while it’s not quite suitable for professional presentation, this should still be adequate for the average home user.

Photo prints don’t fare as well. It took almost three minutes to output a full A4 image, with 7x5in snaps arriving in just under half that time. Though colours appeared fairly accurate, there was a noticeable grain over images and darker shades often showed noticeable signs of banding. We didn’t see the ‘photo lab’-quality prints we’ve come to expect from more sophisticated devices.

The Auto Document Feeder (ADF) works well, though – and can help you run through a series of scans or copies in a fairly fast time. In our test, scanned pages averaging around 20 seconds to complete. Quality is again a little shaky however, and suffered from similar issues to standard photo prints – although we also noticed that colours looked a little washed out compared to the original.

Additional features and software
The MX410 is well supported by the supplied software, which includes the PhotoPrint EX package. This allows you to create albums, calendars and manage photo printing with ease, as well as making corrections to photographs to optimise your results.
A helpful PC-based dashboard is also available to help manage the ADF and scanning functionality, which is overall far easier to use than manipulating the device’s own control panel. Other handy extras include the ability to print photos from movies using the Full HD Movie Print feature; the WebPrint EX application, which allows you to manage prints of online content cleanly, and a tool to automatically clean up scans to improve legibility, in the form of Auto Document Fix. We can’t see many users taking advantage of all of these extras very often – but it’s handy to have them available if the need arises.

Company: Canon

Contact: 020 8588 8000

Positives
  • Good value for money, with a range of useful features.
Negative
  • Both print speed and quality could be better.

Verdict

Overall, the MX410 is a versatile device that offers a range of key functions for a low price. But there's nothing particularly unique about the way in which it goes about its job.
With reasonable text print quality making up somewhat for its slow speeds, the PIXMA MX410 is best summarised as a cheap alternative that's fine for casual or occasional use at home - though if high-yield output or high quality results are a requirement, you'll find it limited.