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Canon PIXMA MX320 Review

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £80.98

In many ways this all-in-one is the business equivalent of the PIXMA MP520 we looked at last week. Both have very similar purchase prices and where the MP machine includes memory card readers, a colour LCD display and a second paper tray, this one includes an Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) and fax facilities.


The PIXMA MX320 has the now familiar design with an angled surround at the top, into which the control panel is set. In the middle of the surround is the ADF, complete with a fold-over feed tray, which improves the machine’s already clean lines.


There’s just a single paper feed path from a fold-up support at the rear to the inside of the machine’s front cover, which folds down to become an output tray. In a clever little innovation, Canon rigs this front cover to drop down automatically, should you forget to open it before starting to print.


The control panel is well laid out, with three large mode buttons on the left and black and colour copy buttons on the right. In between there’s a fax number pad and a two-line by 16-character mono LCD display. In Canon’s publicity material this display appears to show black characters on a white background, but in fact it’s a fairly low-contrast standard blue on green, with no backlight, which doesn’t make it that easy to read.


While there’s no colour LCD display, nor memory card slots, you do get a single USB socket at the bottom right of the front panel, which doubles as a PictBridge feed for digital cameras. You can also use it to scan directly to a USB drive, which is a handy extra.


The flatbed scanner mechanism uses a Contact Image Sensor (CIS), but still gives relatively good black and colour page images. At the back are sockets for a fax line and for a phone handset, and a single USB data connection. There’s no Ethernet socket as, although the MX320 is intended for small business, it’s still designed for a single desk.


The two ink cartridges, one black and the other tri-colour, clip into the print head carrier, when you lift up the scanner section of the machine and rest it on the blue ‘bonnet support’ which springs down.

Speed claims have come down to much more realistic levels with the introduction of the ISO test standard, and Canon now quotes 7.5ppm for black print and 4.5ppm for colour. Our 5-page black text print took 58 seconds, which equates to 5.17ppm and on the longer, 20-page document it rises slightly to 6.06ppm.


The five-page text and colour graphics print only gave 2.23ppm, however, less than half the published figure. Photo prints came through pretty quickly, with a 15 x 10cm image at high-quality taking 1:34 and a similar photo, in normal quality from a PictBridge camera, took a pretty zippy 57 seconds.


Text print quality is good, though we did notice a little fuzziness around emboldened characters in printed headlines. Colour business graphics are quite bright, though some dithering is noticeable. Black text registration is good.


Photo prints, despite this machine being primarily aimed at business, are excellent, with smooth colour gradations and plenty of detail in light and dark areas of an image. Colours look natural and this machine is quite capable of printing off photos to a good home standard.


Canon claims a noise level of 47dBA, but when copying and feeding paper we measured it at peaks of 66dBA, at our standard measuring distance of half a metre. This is quite noisy for an inkjet machine but, as usual, it’s the paper feed not the print mechanism that makes the noise.


The two ink cartridges are the only consumables on this all-in-one and given its target market, it’s reasonable not to have separate colour ink cartridges. There are two available capacities for the black and tri-colour cartridges and using the high-capacity version of each gives costs per page of 4.09p for black and 8.78p the colour.


Slightly oddly, this makes black print more expensive and colour print slightly cheaper on this machine than on the photo-based MP540. Neither figure is particularly good with, for example, HP’s OfficeJet 6500 producing equivalent costs of 2.28p and 5.41p, respectively.

Verdict


The PIXMA MX320 offers convenience for most home office uses and the integration of the ADF and fax facilities is still very useful in transferring paper documents quickly. Print quality is more than adequate for general use and although colour prints are a bit lethargic, black print approaches the headline figure. Running costs are on the high side, though, which is a shame.


Trusted Score


Score in detail

  • Print Speed 7
  • Features 8
  • Value 8
  • Print Quality 9

Printing

Duplex Manual
Paper Size A4, A5, B5, Letter, Legal, DL Envelope, Com10 Envelope, 100 mm x 150 mm, 130 mm x 180 mm, 200 mm x 250 mm
Sheet Capacity 100 sheets
Rated Black Speed (Images per minute) 8 ppmipm
Rated Colour Speed (Images per minute) 5 ppmipm

Scanning

Scan Resolution (Dots per inch) 1200 x 2400dpi

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