Canon claims speeds of 12.5ppm and 9.3ppm for black and colour print, though we found there was a lot of wasted time before pages started to print. The first print of the day, after the printer had been switched on and allowed to settle, took as long as 1min 26secs for a five-page text document. This time included 59s in which no printing was done.
More typical was a time of 1min 4secs, which equates to a speed of 4.7ppm, and this increased to 7.9ppm when printing draft and 9.6ppm printing our 20-page document in normal quality. Duplex print is very slow, with the same 20-page test printed on 10 sheets giving a speed of 2.9 sides per minute.
Copies are quite quick, with a single colour page from the flatbed taking 22secs and a five-page text document finishing in 57secs. Duplex is again slow, with a 10-side document taking 4mins 19secs. Photo prints, on the other hand, are nippy, taking only 33secs for a 15 x 10 cm print in standard mode.
The PIXMA MX885 produces good quality prints, though there's a little spatter around the edges of some text characters. Colours are good and solid, though not quite as bright as some of the machine's rivals. A colour copy was very accurate, showing little colour shift in comparison with the original.
Photo prints are excellent, as we have come to expect from Canon, with colours looking very natural and well delineated, even on small features. Light and dark detail is well reproduced and you lose little in photo quality by going for the office-oriented model.
The cost of running the machine depends entirely on the price you can buy the five cartridges for - there are two blacks, for text and photos. We calculate an ISO black print page cost of 3.9p and an equivalent colour page cost of 9.9p, both including 0.7p for paper. These costs are good in comparison with other inkjet all-in-ones in the same price range.
This is a very good example of an effective multifunction printer. As well as the core functions of print, copy and scan, it can handle files from memory cards, cameras and USB memory sticks and has a good set of fax functions to send and receive documents. The facility to copy as well as print double-sided can save you paper, as long as you're not in a rush.