Pixmas…we got Pixmas. When it comes to offering a wide selection of all-in-one (AIO) photo printers, few manufacturers, if any, are more prolific than the Japanese imaging electronics giant Canon. Every year or so, practically like clockwork, we receive a wave of new or updated models in the company’s MG line of Pixma printers, ranging in price (and feature sets) from about $70 for the very basic Pixma MG2220, to $300 for the feature-rich and highly capable Pixma MG8220.
“MG,” as you might have guessed, is the company’s designation prefix for its photo-centric line of consumer multifunction print/copy/scan models. And as you’d expect from most printer product lines, the more you pay for a given printer in the line, the more features and the higher print speeds you get. With Canon’s Pixmas, though—perhaps more so than with any other printer maker—what you pay for the machine also greatly influences print quality, especially when it comes to printing photographs. Entry-level Pixmas in the $70 to $130 range, for instance, come with print engines that use only two ink cartridges and print only passable photos, while models that fall into the $150 to $300 price range come with five- or six-cartridge ink systems that print some of the best-quality images available from a consumer-grade photo printer.
The Pixma we’re reviewing here, the $199.99-list MG6320 Wireless Inkjet Photo All-In-One, replaces the Pixma MG6220 we reviewed back in October 2011, and it falls into that second group. When you combine this model’s six-ink imaging system with Canon’s high-quality glossy photo paper (and assuming you start with good-quality high-resolution photos), you’d be hard-pressed to find a consumer-oriented AIO printer that delivers better-looking images—period.
Like other Canon Pixmas, the MG6320 also doubles as a light-duty all-around document printer. From that standpoint, it’s capable enough, but its performance, in both document-print quality and speeds, is, well, mediocre. While it prints document pages that look as good as those we’ve seen from most other AIOs, it’s slower at it than most competing models, and the per-page price of the ink, or cost per page (CPP), is higher. In short, the MG6320 costs more to use than other AIOs in this price range, be they photo-optimized or business-centric machines.
Furthermore, the Pixma MG6320, like other Pixmas in the MG product line, lacks an automatic document feeder (ADF) for scanning and copying multipage documents. Nowadays, an ADF is standard fare on most AIOs around $200. If you need to scan or copy multipage originals routinely, doing so with this Pixma is much more tedious and time-consuming than on most competing models.
Considering the MG6320’s lack of an ADF, its document-printing sluggishness, and its high CPP, normally we’d say that home and small-office users would be better off choosing another model. Epson’s $199.99-list Expression Premium XP-800 Small-in-One Printer, for example, is not only faster, but it’s also a little cheaper to use on a CPP basis, and it comes with a 30-page ADF. Overall, the XP-800 is better suited for offices that need a full range of document-printing and -processing options, but to our eyes, the Pixma MG6320 churns out slightly superior photos.
And that’s where we draw the line. If your primary concern is getting the best-looking, most vibrant, and most colorful photos you can, and your business-document needs are secondary or minimal, you can’t beat the Pixma MG6320. If you need your AIO to print many documents, or to reproduce multipage originals, though, several competing models are better values. Like its predecessor the MG6220, the Pixma MG6320 is a terrific photograph printer—one of the best—but you need to know its limitations as an everyday document printer, copier, and scanner before diving in.
Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.