All-in-one printers now vastly outsell their single-function equivalents and when you can get a multifunction device including an Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) for only just over £100, you can easily see why. Canon's PIXMA MX330 is aimed at the home and small-business markets, but not necessarily at keen amateur photographers.
In its new round of all-in-ones, Canon has redesigned the ADF so that the new, low profile version is integral with the raised top surface of the machine. This is a very neat solution and when the machine is folded up, not in use, it looks clean and modern.
The control panel, set into the sloping front face of the ADF surround, contains a small, colour LCD display, which presents most of the status information on the machine. Given that it has a graphic LCD display it's odd there are no corresponding memory card slots, so you can preview photos before printing, though it does have a PictBridge socket, which doubles as a walk-up print facility for USB drives. Canon's reasoning is that the MX series is for small business and, if you want photo facilities, you buy one of the PIXMA MP series machines.
To the left of the main LCD display are three large buttons for copy, fax and scan, while to the right, a cluster of buttons includes a ring for menu navigation, a fax number pad and others to select black or colour, and to cancel a job. The controls work well together and the machine is simple and logical to use.
There's only one paper path through the Canon MX330 and that's from a fold-out paper tray at the rear through to the inside of the front cover, which folds down to form the output tray. Cleverly, it folds down automatically when you start to print, so you don't need to open the machine first.
Lift the lid and you have a standard, A4 flatbed scanner, while lifting that section up gives access to the two ink cartridges, one black and the other tri-colour, that the machine uses. At the back are sockets for USB, phone line and phone handset, if you have one.
Supplied software comprises Canon's usual selection of all-in-one support, which includes basic photo management and OCR among its functions. It installs simply and provides a minimum set of features to make good use of the machine.