Sometimes, attempting to save money can wind up costing you more in the end. This is especially true of entry-level inkjet all-in-one (AIO) printers for printing, copying, and scanning documents and photographs. Buying the wrong machine can cost you plenty, in terms of wasted time and the cost of consumables (in this case, ink cartridges). An attractive purchase price is not, by far, the only thing to consider when looking for a printer for your home or home-based office.
And that’s our main concern about Canon’s Pixma MG3220. While the MG3220’s suggested list price, $79.99, is low for a printer that can also copy and scan, this Pixma is considerably slower than some other recent similarly priced models, and it costs a lot to use—its ink cost per page (CPP) is just too high. If you use this printer a lot, it will cost you much more over time then some other entry-level competitors.
The MG3220 is the middle model (between the $69.99-list Pixma MG2220 and the $129.99-list Pixma MG4220, in a trio of low-end photo-centric Pixmas Canon rolled out in midsummer 2012. As we pointed out in our review of the MG4220 earlier this month, these are actually tweaked-and-rereleased versions of 2011’s Pixma MG2120, MG3120, and MG4120. As far as we can tell—and as our tests bear out—aside from a few additional features, these 2012 models are essentially the same Pixmas as last year’s.
Of the three, the MG3220 makes the most sense—assuming, that is, that you can do without the 2.4-inch color display, as well as the ability to print from and scan to memory cards, provided on the more-expensive MG4220. On the cheaper MG2220, you also give up wireless connectivity and automatic two-sided printing, which is a lot of sacrifice for the mere $10 price difference. As for the higher-end MG4220, our concern with it is that you can get a faster and more feature-rich Pixma, such as the Pixma MG5320, for about the same price (or cheaper, if you shop around).
As we said about the last-generation MG3120, the MG3220 prints documents and photos well enough, especially for an entry-level model, but it’s slower than some other recently released competitors, such as Kodak’s $99.99 ESP 3.2 All-in-One. It also has a much higher CPP than that Kodak and some other models. (We discuss the CPP in the last section of this review.) With that in mind, after spending a few days with this Pixma, we’re just not that enthusiastic about it. You can save a lot of money over the long haul by choosing a competing model, even one that costs just a little more.
Read the review at Computer Shopper.