The Canon MX340 is a multi-function device for the budget conscious buyer. It's available for about £90 online, but that doesn't mean they've skimped on the specification.
Of course, the Canon can print, copy and scan, but it also has a fax built-in and an automatic document feeder. In addition the MX340 has Wi-Fi connectivity too. There's no large colour LCD screen, but there is a two line display, which is okay, but in practice a bit restrictive. The automatic document scanner can handle 30 pages at a time at a resolution of 600 x 600, this is increased to 1200 x 2400 when using the flatbed.
There's no built-in paper tray underneath the MX340 as you find on other Canon models, but that's an acceptable trade off. The Canon is well built and though this is at the cheaper end of Canon's range the printer doesn't feel flimsy or cheap.
However, there's no card slots for printing from memory cards though there is a PictBridge Port if your camera supports it. You can also print directly using Bluetooth. As with many recent printers the Canon supports printing from iPhones and iPod touch devices. You have to download an app through iTunes, but when you do the process is flawless.
The Canon has two ink tanks, one for colour and one for black inks. The estimated yields for standard documents, according to Canon are 220 pages for the black tank and 244 pages for colour. You'll get 83 standards sized 6 x 4-inch images from the colour tank. Obviously, this will vary by use.
Print quality is close to the usual Canon standards, but there are some failings. Draft text is good but it's not as crisp as some others we've seen. Best quality text is better with a deeper black and sharper finish.
Photos were good considering there are no dedicated photo inks in the Canon. Some areas lacked detail, but overall the colours were accurate and results very pleasing. They're no match for proper photo print output, but overall they're good enough.
Copies were a bit of a let down in terms of both speed and quality. It took the Canon 36 seconds to chug through a mono copy and 49 to produce a colour one. The final product wasn't all that great either with visible banding and poor detail.
For a cheaper device the Canon has a decent specification and retains Canon's standard build quality. Performance is a bit of a mixed bag with some decent output, but nothing spectacular. We were impressed by the quality of the photos produced from the MX340 considering the lack of extra photo ink tanks.
Running costs are a touch high on this model too, but overall it's a fair if not spectacular performance from the Canon. You do get quite a lot of printer for your money and the fax and wireless capabilities are a useful addition too. The MX340 isn't an all-round performer, but it's a decent device with good specification.
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