This is the first machine we’ve seen where its manufacturer quotes the new ISO standard 24734/35 for measuring print speed. This standard has been long overdue and should help curb the excesses some manufacturers have fallen prey to, in quoting ridiculous print speeds.
Canon here quotes the PIXMA MX330 as printing 7.5ppm in black and 4.5ppm in colour and, while we still can’t reach the same speeds with our test set, they’re much closer to the manufacturer’s figures. In fact, our 20-page, black text print completed in 3:08, giving a real-world print speed of 6.34ppm, while our five-page black text and colour graphics test took 2:14, a speed of 2.23ppm.
These speeds, particularly the one for black text print, are very reasonable for a machine costing little over £100 and print quality is also good. Canon uses a pigmented black ink, which gives dark, intense text, with no sign of feathering. The dye-based colour inks in the same set produce clean, bright colours, with excellent registration of black text over them.
A full-colour copy from the flatbed scanner produces paler colours, but is still very usable. It completed in 44 seconds, a pretty typical time for this class of machine. The scan quality in general is good, with plenty of detail from the 1200 x 2400ppi scan head.
Photo quality is one area where Canon normally does very well and that’s true here. Gradated colours are extremely smooth and there’s plenty of detail in both lit and shadowed areas of images. Colours look as they should, with leaves realistically green on the trees and soil showing its natural reds and browns. Seas and skies are true blue, but not at the expense of even faint detail, such as wispy clouds.
The two cartridges which this all-in-one uses are available in two capacities and we used the high-yield versions for better economy. This gives page costs of 4.38p for black and 9.46p the colour, both including 0.7p paper costs. Both these are around a penny per sheet higher than from the PIXMA MP630 we tested not long ago and, of course, considerably more than from the Kodak ESP 7 and ESP 9 machines, which are renowned for their consumables economy.
The PIXMA MX330 is a well-styled machine, which prints at reasonable speeds and produces excellent results on both plain and photo paper. It’s not particularly cheap to run, though and you need to compare it with similar models from Kodak and HP, among others, before making a final decision.