The Canon MX320 is a multi-function printer, copier, scanner and fax with an impressively low price point. At just £75 it packs in a lot of features for the cash.
The MX320 eschews single inktanks and uses a single black and tri-colour arrangement. The tanks are about £15 each and Canon claims that they provide laser quality and speed. The MX320 has an automatic document feeder for automated scanning and copying, it can hold 30 sheets at a time.
There’s a LCD display, but it’s just a text display. The scanner has a decent 1200 x 2400 optical resolution and an automatic mode, which selects the best options for the documents without you having change the settings.
You can scan directly to a USB stick via the front USB port, which is also a PictBridge connection for connecting cameras. Though perhaps a little outdated, there is a fax included with the MX320, which has a 50 page memory and 20 number speed dial. You can use the ADF to fax multiple page documents more easily.
The construction is up to the usual Canon standards with a reassuring sturdy quality to the flaps and doors. The two-tone black and grey plastic finish might not appeal to all tastes, but overall it’s ok. The MX320 has the very useful automatic opening feature that extends the output tray as soon as you press print. It might sound like an insignificant feature, but we’ve found it incredibly useful over the years.
The buttons could be a bit fiddly if you’ve got big fingers as they are flush to the top of the device, but we found them responsive enough.
Print quality is good especially text, which lives up to the claims Canon makes about laser quality. In draft mode the text is clear and sharp, it’s not a deep shade of black, but more than acceptable for everyday use. The best quality text takes things up a notch and although a single page of best text took 1 minute 37 seconds it’s worth the wait.
A 10 page mixed text and graphics document took a hefty 6 minutes though the standard of the output was good. We didn’t expect much from the photo quality, but in the end we were impressed. There’s no way the output comes close to the similarly priced Canon photo all-in-ones available, but the pictures the MX320 produces are passable. There’s much less detail especially in darker areas of an image, but for the occasional print the performance is decent enough.
The MX320 is an decent enough machine, offering great text quality and passable photo quality. The two ink tank setup makes it much more of a small office device, but the page yields aren’t all that impressive. A cheap laser printer would give much the same text quality, however you do get the scanner and fax included with the Canon.
The results and build-quality from the MX320 are unlikely to disappoint, but as you can get a photo quality Canon printer that has a very similar specification, for around the same price, that gives better photo quality there aren’t that many arguments in favour of the MX320. It’s not a poor product, but unless you need a fax machine the MX320 doesn’t really stand out.