An excellent premium printer for those prepared to pay a little extra
- Excellent touchscreen
- Good all-round performance
- Elegant design
- High-quality black text and colour photos
- Dark colours in graphics
- Six-ink system means high running costs
The Canon Pixma TS8350 is the premium model in this year’s line of Canon home all-in-ones and – boy – doesn’t it look it? Our white review sample, dubbed the TS8351, is quite possibly the most attractive all-in-one I’ve ever reviewed. True, the bar isn’t exactly set high, but there’s something about the Pixma’s clean boxy lines, matt textures and big 4.3in colour touchscreen that just clicks. It also helps that it’s so nice and compact, with a footprint of just 37 x 32cm and height of only 14cm. It’s the all-in-one printer that you actually like having on your desk, and a whole lot more acceptable than the usual multifunction behemoths.
Canon Pixma TS8350 review: Design and setup
This design isn’t simply stylish, but also practical. The 100-sheet input tray – a shallow, cartridge-style effort – slots in at the front and protrudes by approximately 5cm, so you shouldn’t find it getting in the way. On top of this sits the output tray which, thanks to an ingenious two-way feed, also works as an input tray for nail stickers and CDs. It also spends most of its time recessed inside the printer, popping out automatically when the TS8350 whirs into active production. Meanwhile, a flap at the back of the lid opens to reveal a rear feed designed for thicker photo media.
The front panel also sits on its own hinge, which allows you to pivot it upwards for easier reading and tapping of the screen. It doesn’t feel incredibly solid, but some kind of ratchet mechanism holds it firmly in position while you work.
Physical connectivity is pretty basic, with just a USB Type B port at the rear of the printer along with an SD card slot in the front-right corner. However, on the wireless front you get dual-band 802.11n connectivity, giving you the choice of 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands for something closer to the peak connection speed; not a big deal, but a help if you’re sending huge, multi-page documents to print or scanning at high dpi resolutions.
You have to raise the scanner module away from the body of the printer to insert the ink cartridges, which click firmly into position in the print head. Like the previous generation Pixma TS8250 the TS8350 uses a six cartridge system, with the usual dye-based cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks joined by a photo blue and a pigment-based black, giving you both premium photo printing capabilities and the best ink for clean black text.
The actual setup itself is fairly easy, with guidance both from the touchscreen during initialisation and from the website, you’re directed to at launch. Oddly, though, it seems to neglect any detail on the wireless setup, which involves hunting through the Device Settings menu and configuring the LAN Settings page. That’s a shame, as this is one of the few touchscreen-driven printers where I’ve been impressed with the overall usability. I’ve used smartphones with smaller screens that haven’t been as sensitive, and for once I could select items from the menu quickly or even tap in a Wi-Fi password without painstaking prodding of each character.
Download Canon’s Print app and you can scan to and print directly from the phone, not to mention Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive. You can also print photos from Instagram and Facebook. The TS8350 also works with the family-friendly Easy-PhotPrint Editor app, while Canon supplies a dedicated Nail Creator app for those who want to print their own stick-on nail designs, though this involves splashing out on the nail stickers media required.
Canon Pixma TS8350 review: Performance
Canon claims print speeds for the TS8350 as 15ppm black-and-white and 10ppm colour, but on the first front the figures are actually conservative. We saw speeds of 17.8ppm in our black-and-white text test with the first page emerging in just over eight seconds. Colour print speeds are less impressive, averaging 5.19ppm, but while that’s behind the fastest home and office inkjets we’ve tested, including the old HP Envy Photo 7830, that’s still pretty good. If you’re printing out homework or downloaded PDFs, you won’t be waiting long. In fact, the TS8350 was actually faster than the Envy Photo 7830 when it came to printing complex four-page colour PDFs.
It’s not a great choice for duplex printing, though. It’ll do it, but a lengthy pause between printing one side of the page and the other means you’re looking at mono speeds of roughly 3.75ppm.
READ NEXT: HP Envy Photo 7830 review
It’s just as speedy when it comes to colour art or photo prints. A 10 x 8in photo that we’ve seen take minutes to print on rival all-in-ones popped out in under 30 seconds on the Pixma. A 6 x 4in photo print was even faster. We did, however, have some issues getting our standard glossy photo paper to run smoothly through the rear media tray, leading us to settle for putting it in the main tray instead.
The TS8350 is even a bit of a champ for fast copies. Mono copies took just under 15 seconds while a single colour copy arrived in 26 seconds. On both counts, the TS8350 is ahead of the Envy Photo 7830, though the old TS6250 was actually faster at 12 and 26 seconds. Scans are another matter, though. Firstly, I encountered a weird connection issue where I could print to the Pixma from my laptop but the scanner software wouldn’t find it – yet initiating the scan at the scanner end would save a JPEG photo or PDF document to the laptop. A full-page A4 scan at 300dpi took 22 seconds to complete – not bad, but off the 18-second pace set by the Envy Photo 7830.
Now for the really good news. Print quality is, with a few minor caveats, excellent. Black text is almost perfectly crisp and beautifully defined, though it goes ever-so-slightly grey in draft mode or when you’re printing duplex. Photos also look great, though you lose a little colour depth in the highlights and we spotted some very fine white lines in the blue sky of one test print. Colours can be slightly muted, but the look is natural rather than dull, without the oversaturation some printers use to create ‘punchy’ looking output, and for something that isn’t a specialist photo printer the TS8350 does pretty well.
The caveats come in more when it comes to printing graphics on plain paper. Here it has a tendency to print too dark, and sometimes the graduations between darker colours and lighter colours look messy. What’s more, the ink saturates our standard 80gsm office paper more than we’d like, leaving a slightly rippled effect.
None of these problems affected printed illustrations, either on plain paper or on photo paper, and you could argue that this isn’t an office printer, anyway. All the same, if you’re looking for a printer to print charts or disfigure billboards around town with ugly Word Art posters, then the TS8350 isn’t your best bet.
It’s something of a challenge working out ink costs for the TS8350, not least because Canon doesn’t seem to sell a pack containing all six inks in standard-sized cartridges, and because it quotes different yields for the cyan, yellow and magenta inks, not to mention the photo blue, which lasts much longer than the rest. Buy the largest XXL cartridges and you’re looking at roughly 9-11p per colour page and 4p per black-and-white page; not cheap, but not exorbitant either.
Canon Pixma TS8350 review: Verdict
Bar a few niggles here and there the TS8350 is a lovely home printer. It’s fast, it puts out great-looking text-heavy pages and colour photos, and it’s not a big and ugly brute messing up your tidy desk. It does, however, cost £150 and its running costs aren’t cheap. Given that this isn’t an all-in-one for high-volume printing, the premium worth it – and it’s hard to think of a better home all-in-one right now. All the same, you might find some less expensive mid-range printers give you most of the speed and print quality, but with a smaller price tag and lower running costs.