Canon quotes speeds of 9.7ppm for black and 5.5ppm for colour print on the PIXMA MX445, based on ISO tests. We saw a best case speed of 8.0ppm on our 20-page black text document, with a slightly slower 7.5ppm on the 5-page version. Both of these speeds are good for this class of all-in-one.
The colour speed, though, is less impressive, coming out at 1.8ppm on our 5-page text and colour graphics document. When it's printing, it does so quite quickly and for a single colour page it’ll seem a lot faster. On a multipage document, though, the printer stops for a full 15s between each page, presumably for ink drying. This never used to happen.
We’re not being ‘in my younger days’ about this. As recently as June 2011 we reviewed the Canon PIXMA MX420, a similar twin-cartridge design (and still available online) and saw none of this delay between pages. The same 5-page colour document gave a speed of 5.3ppm on that machine.
Printing 15 x 10in photos took under a minute when sent from a Samsung Galaxy Mini Android phone, though the image wasn't properly reduced to fit the page and had its top and bottom chopped off.
The printer is not that quiet and we registered peaks of 66dBA at half a metre during paper feeds - loud enough to be distracting when on the phone.
The print quality is good, though not as good as from Canon's more expensive machines. We noticed some ink spread around emboldened headline characters and some slight misalignment between head passes.
Colour print is generally clean, though with some dithering apparent in lighter shades. Photo prints, as ever from Canon, are good, though again a bit of dithering was evident and there was some loss of detail in shadowed areas.
The twin cartridges, one black and the other tri-colour, are available in two capacities and using the XL versions gives page costs of 3.4p for black print and 7.3p for colour. The black page cost is about average for this class of machine, but the colour cost is low, up to 2p per page lower than some of its competitors.
At around this price, you could consider the Epson WorkForce WF-2530WF, which has a similar spec, though no duplex print, or the HP Photosmart 5520, which has a touchscreen and memory card slot, but a small paper tray, holding just 80 sheets. For us, it would be the HP, but the Canon is a reasonable alternative.
As a low-cost, four-function all-in-one, the Canon PIXMA MX455 makes a lot of sense. It has modern features, such as duplex print and direct wireless connection, but is burdened with clumsy paper handling, slow multipage colour print and lower quality print than we’re used to from a Canon.