Review: Canon PIXMA MX366
A good MFD for home and small offices.
Good overall print quality; Ease of use; Features an ADF, Fax, and OCR software.
No memory card reader; Higher cost per page.
Canon PIXMA MX366
MRP: Rs 6395
Street Price (As On 23-Sep-2011): Rs 6000 (Shopping.Indiatimes.com; Shopping.Rediff.com)
Multifunction devices or MFDs can do it all: print, scan, copy, and sometimes fax. MFDs are usually targeted at offices because they save on precious space by replacing four devices. The PIXMA MX366 is one of the latest products in the Canon stable, and its standalone fax and ADF (Auto Document Feeder) features are targeted for office use.
- Canon PIXMA MX366 (with one black and one tri-colour cartridge).
- USB 2.0 cable, Power cable.
- Application and driver CDs.
- User manual, Quick start guide
Design And Features
The MX366 is reasonably compact and weighs just 5.6 kg. With a silver and black plastic body with no sharp edges, it looks beautiful. However, the flaps are a little tacky, and so is the tray — don't be surprised if any of these break over the course of time. Also, the glossy finish means that it will catch dust and fingerprints become easily visible.
Based on thermal inkjet technology, the MX366 comes with two cartridges: black and tri-colour. They can be installed only after opening the cartridge bay, which may not be convenient for most who would not want to stick their hands inside the device. The input tray, situated at the rear, can hold 100 sheets of paper, which is fine for any small office. The output tray is situated at the front. While the input tray is retractable and can be folded to conserve space, the output tray lacks this functionality and often seems to be unable to hold the paper once it gets printed.
The user-friendly control panel is situated on the right. There is a soft power button with a backlit LED to the left of the display and a fax section to the right. The Copy, Fax, or Scan functions are chosen through buttons. The convenient Scan button lets you scan directly to the PC through the Auto Scan mode, which automatically recognizes the document type and the optimal scan and save settings. Dedicated Colour and Black copy buttons allow you to duplicate your documents.
The control panel.
A flatbed scanner with ADF, capable of scanning A4 size documents, is present in this device. An ADF scanner is useful and increases productivity because it saves you the time required to manually feed a bunch of documents. Instead, you can simply place up to 30 sheets in the ADF tray and the scanning will be automatically taken care of by the MX366. The hardware dpi of the scanner is 1200x2400, which is enough for most uses.
This MFD uses the USB 2.0 interface, which is the most common interface today. Even though it does boast of photo printing capabilities and has PictBridge, it lacks a memory card slot, which is something that Canon should not have left out. The Super G3 colour fax lets you fax documents at 33.6 Kbps, which means an A4 page in just 3 seconds. It also has a memory to receive 50 fax pages when left unattended, and can save up to 20 frequently used numbers for one-touch access. An optional RX Fax feature prompts the user to type in the recipient's fax number twice for confirmation and only sends the fax once the numbers match.
In addition to the drivers, the application CD came with many different software to take care of different needs. The Canon Solution Menu EX is a control centre of sorts, where you can access all the applications bundled with the printer. Canon My Printer lets you diagnose and repair the printer, adjust settings, view the status, and perform general troubleshooting. MP Navigator EX lets you not only scan or import documents and images, but also manage them. Easy-PhotoPrint EX allows you to easily create albums, calendars and stickers using photos taken from a digital camera, and even enhances them.
The installation of the MFD was very swift — it hardly took 10 minutes for the whole setup to complete. New users can choose Easy Setup for a one step setup, while experienced users can select a custom setup to choose individual components to install. We tested the MFD using a variety of tests to test its printer as well as scanner components. Here is how it fared. Incidentally, there were no issues regarding paper handling during any of the procedures.
Font Size - A page was printed containing the alphabet, with sizes ranging from large to very small. The MX366 was good at printing text with no visible flaws down to the smallest point size font. The text was very sharp with no smudging anywhere.
Text Print Speed - A page of black text in draft and normal quality was printed to find the speed as well as quality of the print. In the draft mode, the first page took 21.4 seconds to print, while the ppm (Pages Per Minute) in the first 60 seconds was found to be around 5.5, reaching 7 the next minute. For normal mode, the first page printed slowly in 24.8 seconds, while the respective ppms were 3.8 and 7. The quality was maintained in normal mode, while draft mode suffered from very slight skewing. However, this was barely noticeable.
The sample used as the Presentation Document.
Mixed Document Speed - This consisted of a page of multi-coloured graphs, text, charts, patterns, and photos. The document took 41.8 seconds in draft mode for the first print, with ppms of 1.63 and 3.4. In normal mode, the figures were 69 seconds, 0.87 ppm, and 1.83 ppm respectively. The print quality was decent in draft mode and good in the normal mode. Even the light text on dark background was printed fairly well down to the smallest point size.
The test photo.
Photo Print - As expected of a Canon, the MX366 was brilliant at printing photos, at least at first glance. The colours were vibrant and fine details reproduced well. A closer inspection revealed that there was some graininess all over, especially in the grey areas. The time taken this test was was 4 minutes and 21 seconds, which is on par with most other offerings.
Scanner Test - The scanner capturing all colours as well as shades of grey well. Fine details were also captured with ease. It took 26 seconds for the first scan, while consecutive attempts clocked 18.6 seconds each, exhibiting a slow performance in scanning. For an A4 size black-and-white scan at 200 dpi, it should have taken 24 seconds at most. The time to scan a colour photo at 600 dpi was comparatively faster though, taking just 60 seconds.
Copying - The copier test tries to find how well the printer and scanner components work in tandem. Black copies took 52.6 seconds for the first copy and 20 for the second, with the next consecutive try yielding 13.6 seconds. The ppm was 1.14 in the first minute, reaching 4.4 later. Colour copies took 40.2 seconds for the first copy, which is surprisingly lower than the time taken for the first mono copy. This reduced to 37 seconds immediately after. The ppm was 1.49 in the first minute and reached 1.62 later. The quality of the copies was remarkably good, with an almost faithful reproduction of the original.
Power Consumption And Verdict
I also used a power meter to find the electricity consumed by this MFD. When the soft power button is switched off, the power consumed by the device was 0 Watts. At idle, this increased to 1 W, with 4 W during scanning. Printing consumed 10 W, while the highest consumption was registered during copying at 12 W. This is still lower than almost every MFD tested thus far.
The PIXMA MX366 is equally at ease both in your living room as well as office. It's quite fast — though not the fastest around, and the print quality is good. While this gadget is suitable for home users, the inclusion of a fax and ADF makes it appealing even for small businesses. The bundled software makes this printer a very good value for money product, since Canon has even included an OCR tool.
The standard black cartridge costs Rs 1000 with a cost per print of Rs 3.27, while the high-capacity black cartridge scores Rs 1300 and Rs 2.43 in the same departments. The standard colour cartridge is priced at Rs 1350 with a page yield of 220, while the figures are Rs 1565 and 349 pages for the larger version. This makes it more expensive than its competitors in terms of cost per print. Thankfully, the printer itself is priced very well at Rs 6000, which includes a one-year warranty.
Ease of use: 4/5
Value for money: 4/5
Overall rating: 4/5