The Canon Pixma MX330 is a inkjet all-in-one printer that’s designed for the small home office and business. There’s no separate ink tanks on this all-in-one, simply two cartridges, one colour and one black.
The black tank contains a pigment-based ink while the colour tank is dye-based, in an attempt to give you the best of both worlds; pigment for better text quality, dye for improved photo quality. Page yields are given by Canon as 220 for the black tank and 244 for the colour.
The MX330 has a 1200 x 2400 dpi scanner a well as an automatic document feeder for batch scanning and copying, it can hold 30 sheets of A4. It’s also capable of collated copies so you can put 2 or 4 on to one page. You can put a memory stick into the front USB port and scan directly to that if you;d like too.
There’s a 1.8-inch LCD screen to help navigate the menus and use the device: it’s smaller than many you'll find on modern all-in-ones, but it does the job. To add to the business aspect of the Canon there’s a 33.6kpps fax too.
In terms of design the Canon is inoffensive enough with a grey and black finish. The build quality is up to the usual Canon standard and the MX330 feels like it will survive the rough and tumble of office life.
The lack of separate ink tanks and the auto document feeder plus the fax, single the MX330 out as a machine aimed at people who do more with business documents than photos. The test results reflected this too. Text quality is very good for an ink-based device - it’s up there with some laser quality prints we’ve seen. Sharp and solid text blocks are in evidence in normal and best modes and even draft quality was very impressive. A page of draft text was out and ready to go in 9 seconds, which isn’t too bad, however a page of best text was a touch sluggish at 1 minute 37 seconds. Hardly an age, but slower than some of Canon’s other all-in-ones.
Ten pages of graphics and text was slow too at 6 minutes, though the quality more than made up for the time taken. The quality of the mixed text and graphics output was exceptional and it’s clear where this printer's strengths lie.
Photographic performance was less impressive, but by no means terrible. An A4 image took just 1 minute and 42 seconds, which is impressive, but the quality was more middle of the road. There was a lack of detail in darker areas, however, colour was accurate and overall the tone was good. If you only print out the odd shot then the Canon will more than likely be fine, but that’s as far as we’d go.
The Canon Pixma MX330 is clearly aimed at people who are printing out more text and PDF documents than photos and it’s very good at this. At £100 it’s excellent value for money, the lack of individual tanks might scare some off though the cartridges are available for about £15 each so it’s not expensive to replace the inks.
Overall we we’re impressed by the Canon as it performs well, though photos aren’t great, it is not designed for that so we can let it go. For a small office all-in-one with a fax and auto document feeder, the Canon offers excellent features and performance for the price.
However, unless you really want an inkjet a small laser printer might be a better alternative or one of the other Canon all-in-ones that have separate inktanks and much better photo quality for around the same price.