Canon Pixma MX340 review
8ppm print speed, USB, 802.11b/g wireless, 198x458x410mm
Canon has consistently impressed us with the quality of its recent MFPs, but they haven't had much appeal for the budget conscious, with most of current models priced at over £100.
At just over £80, the Pixma MX340 is a fully-featured four-in-one MFP with print, scan, copy and fax capabilities, as well as easy-to-configure 802.11b/g wireless networking. It has a modest 100 page paper tray and a 30-page Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) to make multi-page faxes and copies easy.
To include all these features at this price, Canon has made a few compromises – there's no memory card reader for starters. Unlike most of the Pixma range, the MX340 doesn't use individual ink cartridges. Instead, there's a pigment-based black cartridge, which is used to produce sharp, quick-drying mono text; plus a tri-colour cartridge, which contains dye-based cyan, magenta and yellow ink. Both these have integrated print heads.
There's no dye-based black, so black areas in photo prints are made by combining the three coloured inks. The use of a combined colour cartridge also means that you'll have to replace the entire cartridge if one ink runs out before the others.
The MX340's print costs, although expensive, aren't prohibitively high if you use Canon's high yield PC-512 and CL-513 cartridges – 8.7p per page of mixed colour and mono printing. A mono page is an alarming 3.6p, though. These costs are too high to make the MX340 a good choice if you print every day, but they're acceptable for occasional use.
Mono text was as sharp as we've come to expect from Canon, but we found that colour documents on plain 80gsm photocopier paper were printed with slightly too much ink, producing damp waves in areas that were filled with solid colour. Fortunately, they didn't smudge and dried smoothly when laid flat. Photo quality was surprisingly good for a printer that uses composite blacks – dark areas were a little pale in comparison to those from printers that use dye-based black for photo printing.
Thanks to Canon's use of the ISO/IEC 24734 standard, print speeds are almost exactly as advertised. Standard quality text emerged at reasonable 6.9ppm, but colour documents printed slowly at 1.7ppm.
The 1,200x2,400dpi Contact Image Sensor (CIS) scanner makes an unpleasant whining noise when operating, but produces accurately coloured scans and clear photocopies. Canon's ScanGear interface provides plenty of advanced options for tweaking your scans and can be configured to either close or remain open after each scan, which is particularly welcome if you want to scan a batch of documents or photos. You can also control whether your preview image is retained between scans.
If you're going to print regularly, you'll ultimately save money and get better print speeds and quality by investing in a more expensive device, like Canon's non-fax MP640. However, the MX340's combination of quality and features are great if you need a printer than can do everything, but not very often.
|Maximum native print resolution||4,800x1,200dpi|
|Max optical resolution||1,200x2,400dpi|
|Output bit depth||48-bit|
|Quoted speed, mono A4||8ppm|
|Quoted speed, colour A4||5ppm|
Tested Print Speeds
|Time for two 10x8in photos 1.0||6m 19s|
|Time for six 6x4in photos 1.0||4m 37s|
Physical and Environmental
|Standard printer interfaces||USB, 802.11b/g wireless|
|Optional printer interfaces||Bluetooth adaptor (BU-30), £66|
|Noise (in normal use)||47dB(A)|
|Maximum paper size||A4|
|Maximum paper weight||300gsm|
|Standard paper inputs||1|
|Standard paper input capacity||100|
|Maximum paper inputs||1|
|Maximum paper input capacity||100|
|Duplex (code, cost if option)||No|
|Printer technology||thermal inkjet|
|Supported operating systems||Windows 2000/XP/7, Mac OS X 10.4.11+|
|Other inkjet features||mono LCD screen, automatic print head alignment|
|Other inkjet options||none|
|Consumable parts and prices||220 page black cartridge PG-510, £12, 401 page black catridge PG-512, £14, 244 page colour catridge CL-511, £14, 349 page colour cartridge CL-513, £18|
|Price per colour A4 page||5.1p|
|Quoted life of supplied black cartridge||220|
|Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s)||244|
|Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s)||N/A|
|Warranty||one year RTB|
|Number of ink colours||4|
|Number of ink cartridges||2|
|Maximum number of ink colours||4|
|Maximum number of cartridges||2|
|Quoted photo durability||30 years|
|Quoted photo durability source||Canon|
Tested Scan Speeds
|Full scan area preview||11s|
|A4 document at 150dpi||19s|
|A4 document at 300dpi||25s|
|6x4in photo at 600dpi||33s|
|6x4in photo at 1200dpi||1m 30s|
Tested Copy Speeds
|Time for single A4 mono copy 1.0||28s|
|Time for single A4 colour copy 1.0||45s|
|Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.0||3m 18s|
|Borderless printing||up to A4|
|Direct (PC-less) printing||No|
|Supported memory cards||none|
|Maximum number of copies||99|
|Max mono copy resolution||1,200x1,200dpi|
|Max colour copy resolution||1,200x1,200dpi|
|Max mono fax resolution||300x300dpi|
|Fax memory (maximum mono pages)||50|