Canon PIXMA MX350 inkjet multifunction printer
This business-focused Canon multifunction printer incorporates a simple user interface and network connectivity
- Simple interface, printer is full of office-friendly features like faxing and network connectivity for a good price
- Not the fastest printer, overall print cost is slightly higher than other models
While Canon's PIXMA MX350 home office inkjet multifunction isn't the fastest printer we've seen pass through our Test Centre, it is full of features that would make it useful in a SOHO environment. It is easy to use and the moderate initial outlay and ongoing costs make it attractive to small businesses that lack large budgets.
Price$ 159.00 (AUD)
The Canon PIXMA MX350 is a mid-range inkjet multifunction printer aimed at small or home offices. It has an easy-to-comprehend interface and offers some useful business printing features, such as an automatic document feeder. It's not designed to be a high-volume office printer and its speeds reflect this.
The Canon PIXMA MX350 has a 2.5in LCD screen and a front-mounted control panel that lets you print jobs without a PC (although Canon's software suite for PCs offers more comprehensive control). A top-mounted automatic feeder makes it easy to copy multi-page documents.
The control interface of the Canon PIXMA MX350 is leaps and bounds ahead of the MX270 and MP550. Arranged along the top of the front fascia, a click-wheel and well-labelled controls surround the bright and clear 2.5in LCD screen. The graphical display may be a little slow to bring up new menus, but the control scheme is intuitive and we had no problems using it.
The rear of the Canon PIXMA MX350 has two RJ11 phone jacks (for input and pass-through of a telephone line), USB and Ethernet connectors and an AC power socket. These connectors show the PIXMA MX350's focus on home office use — an in-built fax machine let you fax documents via a PC or through the printer itself, while the wired networking port means sharing between multiple computers is easy. The printer also offers integrated wireless networking. We opted for a direct connection to our test Windows Vista PC using a standard USB cable.
While versions of Windows from XP onwards are able to download and install printer drivers via the Internet for barebones printing, faxing and scanning, installing Canon's printer monitoring software suite off the bundled CD opens up a range of adjustments, maintenance and expanded usability options.
We found the print performance of the Canon PIXMA MX350 inkjet multifunction to be roughly in between the MX270 and MP550. Text is handled well down to sizes as small as 6pt. In Standard quality mode the PIXMA MX350 pumps out 8.4 monochrome pages per minute, and introducing graphics or colour to the mix drops this figure to 4.8 pages per minute. This is slightly slower than the similarly priced PIXMA MP550 — if you're going to be printing large amounts of documents we'd choose it instead.
Despite being an office model the Canon PIXMA MX350 can produce reasonable printouts when supplied with high resolution digital photos. Fine image detail is not especially obvious and some blurring is evident in delicate areas, but we did not notice any vertical banding or pixelation. The flatbed scanner is equally competent, with 1200x2400dpi images that clearly reproduce text and most photo detail.
The Canon PIXMA MX350 uses a PG-510 black and a CL-511 tri-colour cartridge. High-yield versions of these cartridges can be purchased, giving an overall print cost of 23.6c per A4 page. This is slightly more expensive than printing with the Canon MP550, but not outrageously high.
The Canon PIXMA MX350 is a competent printer that has features that will benefit a small office. It's easy to use thanks to a well thought out button layout and both text and photo prints exhibit no major flaws.
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PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
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