In reviewing 2013’s Canon Pixma MX522 Wireless Office All-in-One Printer, the top-of-the-line model in a series of entry-level, office-centric multifunction printers, we groused that the MX522 was essentially 2012’s Pixma MX512 with minimal changes and a new name. Now, incremental improvements aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but Canon’s problem with this approach is that, especially after a few years of relying on the same print engine, you start to fall behind. Most of the other major printer makers—HP, Epson, and Brother—have released newer, faster, and slicker business all-in-ones (AIOs) in the same period.
Upon hearing that the Pixma MX522 was to be replaced by the MX532, we couldn’t help but wonder if the series would finally get overhauled—with, perhaps, a faster print engine and a few other less significant upgrades. After putting it through our review wringer, though, we can report that the $149.99-list Canon Pixma MX532 is, except for a few minor changes and feature updates, essentially the MX522 in new wrapping. In terms of speed and print quality, it performed close enough to last year’s model for the speed differences to be negligible.
Also updated at the same time as the Pixma MX532 was its less-expensive sibling, the $99.99-list Pixma MX472, a somewhat stripped-down office model. What you get for the additional $50 in the Pixma MX532 is the ability to print from and scan to USB thumb drives, as well as automatic two-sided printing, Bluetooth support, and several mobile-printing features (which we’ll look at more closely in the Design & Features section on the next page). Unless you decisively don’t need any of these features, they do seem well worth the additional $50.
That said, that extra $50 on the price lands the Pixma MX532 in a more competitive league than Canon’s $100 model would be in, and thus it gets graded on a tougher curve. These new Pixmas both use the semi-inefficient two-tank ink system that their predecessors did, which means that they also deliver the same high ongoing per-page cost of operation—for both colorand black-and-white pages. (We’ll discuss cost per page, or CPP, in more detail in the Setup & Paper Handling section later in this review.) In fact, in addition to the sluggish printing, those high CPPs make these entry-level models unsuitable for small and home offices that have anything other than light to moderate print loads.
On the other hand, the Pixma MX532 churns out decent-looking documents, and its photos look pretty good, too, given that this is an entry-level, business-centric model. It comes with most of the productivity and convenience features that you can reasonably expect in an all-in-one printer of this price, including the Big Four main functions (print/scan/copy/fax). And it’s very easy to use.
The problem is that so many other faster, cheaper-to-use competitors are available that print just as well. This Pixma seems a bit long in the tooth by comparison. Still, the Pixma MX532 is a well-built, reliable, and reasonably attractive AIO, even though it’s a little costly to use and slow to print. If you don’t need to print a lot overall, the Pixma MX532 is a sensible choice, especially if you can find it discounted.
Read entire review at Computer Shopper.