The specification sheet claims speeds of 8.4ppm for black and 4.8ppm for colour print. Our five-page black text print took 55 seconds, including 14 seconds for preparation, which equates to a speed of 5.5ppm. The longer, 20-page print produced a speed of 6.9ppm, which is not a long way off the claimed speed. The five-page text and colour graphics document took 2mins 1sec, though, which is just 2.5ppm, only just over half of Canon’s quoted figure.
A single-page, colour copy from the flatbed scanner took 41 seconds, which is reasonable, though not breathtaking, and a five-page text copy from the ADF took 1min 9secs; much the same. Finally, photo prints in standard mode took just over 50 seconds, while in best mode the time rose to 1min 24secs. Good speeds, but beaten by some rivals.
The quality of the printed output is good for an inkjet. Black text is clear and well formed, with little sign of feathering or other plain-paper artefacts. Colour graphics are also well reproduced, with good solid colours and again, few signs of black ink run into colour.
Photo prints, as we’ve come to expect from Canon, are very good, with smoothly gradated fills, such as in areas of sky, and plenty of detail in intricate sections of an image. They only fall down is in dark, shadowed areas, where some detail is lost. Not at all bad for a four-colour print, though.
The two print cartridges are each available in standard and high-yield versions and, as usual, we use the high-yield consumables to calculate running costs, since these give the best economy. At the cheapest Internet prices we could find, we calculate a black page cost of 4p and a colour cost of 8.6p.
Both these costs are quite high, when measured against other Canon all-in-ones, such as the £171 Canon PIXMA MX870. That machine came out over 0.5p per page cheaper, though printers from other suppliers at a similar price are not significantly cheaper to run.
Canon’s PIXMA MX350, which will be exclusively available from Argos from July 2010 onwards, is a capable small and home office printer. It has an intelligent combination of features – it’s good to see photo upload as well as fax and ADF, for example – and they’re well implemented.
The main snag we can see is the asking price of £150. Compare this with the Canon PIXMA MX340, which lacks the photo card slots and replaces the colour LCD with a two-line mono one. In other respects, it’s pretty much the same machine, but costs under £80. The PIXMA MX350 looks pricey.