Canon Pixma MG3220 review:

Canon Pixma MG3220

It also features a pop-up print status monitor that shows the current job, document name, device owner, status, and a graphical representation of the ink cartridge levels. Conveniently, this pop-up automatically disappears once the job in queue is finished printing, but I prefer status monitors that show the page number and progress of a print.

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The copy functions on the printer are relatively standard for a multifunction: you can make up to 99 copies at once and easily adjust the contrast and magnification of a document from 25 to 400 percent, all directly through the settings on the driver menus. You also have several choices in terms of where you want to send a scanned document, such as directly to a PC as a JPEG/TIFF/BMP, to a PDF file, or attached to an e-mail with the option to scan and convert to text using optical character recognition (OCR). The printer places all scanned files into your custom My Box directory, which displays all scanned and imported images as well as recently saved images onto the hard drive for future projects.

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Finally, Canon's HD Movie Print feature rewards adopters of the Canon hardware ecosystem with the capability to pull still snapshots out of videos shot with compatible HD video cameras. I tested the software with a Canon PowerShot S95 top-flight handheld camera and was impressed with the Canon Solution Menu EX software's step-by-step instructions.

The software lets you edit video images to prepare a clip for capture; grabbing still shots from the video is as simple as selecting a video snippet and either capturing a group of 10 frames or hitting the "capture" button to select single images. Once that's finished, you can also edit the image to reduce noise and sharpen images. Of course, the SD95 is only capable of 720p video resolution, so you'll see better performance out of a true 1080p digital SLR like the Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

Don't assume that the Pixma MG3220's low price means you'll be tapping your feet waiting for it to print your documents, presentations, and photos. It churned out average scores in both black and color jobs, though the Epson Stylus NX430 remains the best of the bunch by a large margin, printing 14.11 pages per minute (ppm) of text and 4.43 presentation pages a minute, more than double the speed of the rest.

Black text outputted on the Pixma MG3220 and printed on HP's own line of coated inkjet Premium paper reveals near-laser quality, an impressive feat for a two-cartridge printer. Canon raises the bar for both black and color performance with sharp, clean, and consistent quality -- gradients look smooth with decent color reproduction in the photo elements, especially taking into consideration its limited ability to display a wide gamut of color shades.

4x6-inch color photos are certainly worthy of a family album if printed on the aforementioned Premium photo paper, though some details appear grainy. Still, I'm satisfied with the amount of "pop" to the pictures I printed; just keep careful track of your ink consumption.

Service and support
The $10 jump from the Pixma MG2220 to the MG3220 is worthwhile for the full year of warranty service alone. Canon supports the Pixma MG3220 with a standard one-year limited warranty program that includes InstantExchange and a year of toll-free phone support. In addition, the product page for the printer features frequently asked questions, registration, recycling information, driver downloads, and other information.

The Pixma MG3220 gets in under the $100 price point with an impressive list of features that includes Apple AirPrint compatibility, autoduplexing, and Canon's new FastFront ink loader to take the headaches out of cartridge installation. If you're restricted to an $80 budget but don't want to sacrifice performance to save cash, the Canon Pixma MG3220 is a worthwhile investment.

Printer performance (in ppm)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Presentation speed (ppm)  
Photo speed (1 Sheet)  
Color graphics speed (ppm)  
Text speed (ppm)  
Epson Stylus NX430
HP Deskjet 3050
HP Photosmart e-All-in-One D110a
Canon Pixma MG3220
Kodak ESP 3.2

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