Canon uses a pigmented black ink, with dyes for the cyan, magenta and yellow primary colours. The idea is to get the best of both ink worlds. Certainly, the black pigment gives a very dense solid text, with no sign of ink bleed into the paper, and colour print is still vibrant where needed for business graphics. Black text over colour, again, showed very little sign of ink bleed, often a problem when trying to register black text over coloured fills.
The write stuff: relying on twin cartridges is a cost compromise
Colour copies, as so often the case, showed some lightening of colour shades, in comparison with a coloured original and this is true, to a lesser extent, of colour scans. In neither case, though, is it that obtrusive, and some compensation can be made in software.
Photo prints are still very good on Canon's photo paper and are very acceptable for day-to-day images. In fact, we could see very little difference in quality between the prints produced by this MX machine and those from equivalently models in the MP range.
The price of the two ink cartridges gives costs per page of 3.1p and 7.5p for black and colour ISO pages respectively. These are both reasonable, sitting pretty much in the middle of the field, when compared with other all-in-ones in the same price bracket. Canon has tied down its intellectual property quite tightly and there are fewer compatible cartridges around than for some other brands. There's still quite a variation in Canon ink costs between different suppliers, though.
Delivering good quality prints and useful extras, such as scanning to a USB drive, it's quite unusual to find an all-in-one with an ADF at this price, particularly when a full-colour LCD display is also included. Showing better integrated styling and featuring intelligent updates from the previous range, the Pixma MX330 is an excellent, mid-range all-in-one machine. ®
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Canon Pixma MX330
We had terrible results with the Pixma all-in-one
Just an FYI that our company had chronic problems with several Pixma all-in-one machines and finally had to replace them with equipment from other companies. Canon support was good but the machines were totally unreliable with constant error messages, jams, out of ink messages when not, etc. Canon could not fix these machines so we switched to another brand and have had zero problems. We went thru HELL for over a year with the Pixma series machines.
The Pixma MX860 has separate colour ink cartridges, 2 paper cassettes, wireless and ethernet connections, in the same form factor. But it is twice the price...
Not for me
It looks good, and I'm a big fan of Canon gear (I use their camera's and printers), but to have combined ink carts on a mixed-use printer is really dumb. To me separate tanks = cheap(er) to run, combined tanks (a la HP for one) = a small fortune in consumables.
The depth of field issues on the scanner might cause me a small problem, but the lack of either Ethernet, or better still wireless, is a major deal breaker.
Shame because I'm in the market for an all-in-one, and like I said, Canon have my respect.
just wondering i know somebody who would love this with wireless capability !