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Canon PIXMA MX885 Review

Verdict

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Pros

  • Full duplex copying
  • Memory card and Pictbridge sockets
  • Below average running costs

Cons

  • Slow duplex print and copy
  • Fingerprint-loving gloss black case

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £146.99
  • 35-sheet ADF
  • Dual-function control pad
  • Comprehensive fax functions
  • Large colour LCD display
  • Wireless connection

Canon now has a number of different inkjet all-in-ones that use the same or very similar print engines. The MX series of printers, such as the PIXMA MX885 reviewed here, is aimed at the SOHO market, rather than primarily at photo enthusiasts. It includes an Automatic Document Feeder (ADF), rather than direct CD/DVD print, and duplex print and copy.


This is a big, all-black box, with rather too much high-gloss black plastic that’ll quickly become covered in finger marks. It’s never been a particularly good look, so why provide a finish you have to keep buffing up with a soft cloth? The ADF feed tray folds out to quite a steep angle, partly due to the fact it has to cope with a duplex feed path.


The control panel is unusual in having 16 buttons with no legends on them. Canon has ingeniously used LED backlights for these buttons to provide them with two completely separate sets of functions. It’s a bit like the touch panel on the lids of some of the PIXMA MG range, except here it’s combined with less-expensive, conventional pushbuttons.


In one mode, they show arrow keys for navigating menus on the large, 75mm colour LCD screen, while in the other – which flashes up when you select fax – they show a numeric pad. Additionally, there are four large mode buttons for copy, fax, scan and photo reading, and others to start and stop scan, fax and copy jobs.


Below the control panel, the front panel folds down to become the output tray and underneath this is a 150-sheet plain paper feed tray, with another pull-up tray at the back, which can be used for plain or photo paper.


A curved cover at the right end of the front panel reveals memory card sockets for the main types and there’s a USB/PictBridge socket below. At the back are sockets for USB and Ethernet connections, but the machine also supports wireless and handles WPS setup, though only with a passcode.


The five ink cartridges clip into the semi-permanent printhead and, as usual, small red LEDs indicate correct insertion and flash when ink is low. Software is also Canon’s standard fare, with basic handling of scanning, OCR and printing on Windows and OS X machines.

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.

Verdict


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.


Trusted Score

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Score in detail

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

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