Editors' note: This review cannibalizes content from CNET's review of the Pixma MG2220, a printer with many of the same features.
The $80 Canon Pixma MG3220 is only $10 more than the Pixma MG2220, but the additional money goes far, netting you useful features like wireless connectivity, easy installation through Apple AirPrint, an autoduplexer for saving money on double-sided prints, and mobile snapshot printing from iOS devices using the Canon iEPP application.
You also get more support from the company, with a full one-year warranty compared with the month of service on the MG2220. Canon also generously provides the same software utility suite it bundles with its pricier models. If you're shopping for an output device to print mostly text, light graphics, and the occasional snapshot photo, the Canon Pixma MG3220 is a standout option with a generous balance of performance and features.
Setting up the Canon Pixma MG3220 is simple no matter how you choose to connect it to a computer, and the installation disc offers onscreen instructions that guide you through three connectivity options using either 802.11 b/g/n wireless, an Ethernet cable, or a simple USB cord.
You can choose Easy Install to grab everything, or pick Custom Install for a la carte features, including Easy-WebPrint EX for managing your online photos and My Image Garden, which organizes your photos before you print.
Canon keeps the costs low on the MG3220 by omitting an LCD screen, instead using a simple two-line LCD screen that displays basic information like the number of duplicates you want from the copier. The MG3220's minimal control panel includes single-function buttons for selecting media sizes, fit-to-page toggle, and black and color scanning options, but one thing to note is that the cockpit doesn't swivel up at an angle for variable visibility; you have to look down onto it, so you'll want to situate the printer lower than eye level for easy access. Still, in a worst-case scenario, you can always get to all the same shortcut features through the virtual options on the driver.
The MG3220 is also one of the first batch of Canon photo printers to use a new method for loading ink cartridges. The company calls it FastFront, and it lets you simply pull down a door behind the 100-sheet paper tray to expose the inks. The new method makes it easier to replace cartridges, and you don't have to lift up the scanner lid to do it.
The minimal two-ink cartridge system inside means this device isn't ideal for printing batch photos due to its limited color output. You'll see in the performance section of this review that the Pixma MG3220 still served up decent-quality snapshot pictures, but it's not their quality that should concern you -- high-frequency photo prints on the Best quality setting put you at risk of spending more money in the long term on cartridge refills than on the hardware itself.
The package includes a driver CD with all the installation files you need to customize your prints. Within those settings, you can choose between commonly used templates like standard, business, paper saving, and photo printing that adjust the type of media, paper size, and source. Additionally, the driver software lets you adjust for borderless printing, vivid photos, grayscale prints, and even manual color intensities by numeral increments.