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Canon Pixma MG2220 w/PP-201 review: Canon Pixma MG2220 w/PP-201

Intended for those with a limited budget and modest printing demands, we recommend the Canon Pixma MG2220 for its useful software and excellent image quality.

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Justin Yu
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Justin Yu

Associate Editor / Reviews - Printers and peripherals

Justin Yu covered headphones and peripherals for CNET.

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5 min read

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If your expenses demand you spend no more than $70 on a printer, the Canon Pixma MG2220 is a worthwhile option, as long as you're comfortable with its limitations. At this price, don't expect to see convenient features like an auto document feeder, wireless access, or even a full one-year warranty. But Canon doesn't skimp on its core competency; this device serves up excellent copying, scanning, and photo quality output that can produce snapshots on par or even better than the prints you'd get at a pay-per-photo kiosk. The company also generously provides the same software suite it bundles with its pricier models, including My Image Garden for photo organization and scrapbooking and Full HD Movie Print for pullingl HD photos out of compatible Canon digital camcorders. Boasting an impressive list of features and performance scores to boot, the $69.99 Canon Pixma MG2220 is a great option for students and households on a fixed budget.

Canon Pixma MG2220 w/PP-201
7.1

Canon Pixma MG2220 w/PP-201

The Good

The <b>Pixma MG2220</b> is one of the least expensive products in Canon's lineup, but it hits hard with above-average output speed and a useful photo-editing software suite.

The Bad

With no Ethernet port or Wi-Fi, there's no way to share this printer on a network without installing drivers on each host computer.

The Bottom Line

Targeted at individuals with a limited budget and modest printing demands, the Canon Pixma MG2220 earns a recommendation for its expansive software offering and excellent photo image quality.

Design
Canon keeps the hardware costs down by not giving the Pixma MG2220 an elaborate LCD screen, instead opting for a simple two-line readout that displays basic information like the number of duplicates you want from the copier. The rest of the control panel is equally svelte and includes single-function buttons for selecting media sizes, fit-to-page toggle, and black and color scanning options. One thing to note about the cockpit is that you need to look directly down onto it, so you'll need to situate it lower than eye level for best visibility and access. Still, in a worst-case scenario, you can always access all of the same shortcut features through the virtual options on the driver.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The MG2220 is in 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 cartridge replacement easier, and you don't have to lift up the scanner lid to replace them. The minimal two-ink cartridge system inside means this device isn't ideal for printing batch photos because of 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.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The package includes a driver CD with all the installation files you need to customize your prints. Within those settings, you can choose among 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. 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 the queue is finished printing, but I prefer status monitors that show the page number and progress of a print.

Sarah Tew/CNET

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 to send a scanned document, such as directly to a PC as a JPEG/TIFF/BMP, or as a PDF file, or you can attach it to an e-mail with the option to scan and convert to text using optical character recognition (OCR).

Sarah Tew/CNET

All scanned files are placed in your custom My Box directory, which displays all scanned and imported images as well as recently saved images on the hard drive for future projects.

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

Sarah Tew/CNET

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 dSLR, like the Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

Performance
Don't assume that the Pixma MG2220'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 printed by the Pixma MG2220 on HP's own line of coated inkjet Premium paper reveals near laserlike 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 the MG2220's limited ability to display a wide gamut of color shades. If printed on the aforementioned Premium photo paper, 4-inch-by-6-inch color photos are certainly worthy of a family album, 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
Canon usually offers a standard one-year warranty, but printers that cost less than $100 get the 90-day treatment, which includes the company's Instant Exchange program that provides a replacement unit for defective product (within the warranty period) before the next business day. Unfortunately, the price break also means you don't get to call customer service if you run into problems after a few months, but the product page on Canon's Web site offers detailed troubleshooting tips and FAQs along with a downloadable manual for both Mac and Windows users.

Conclusion
Canon cuts the right corners to keep costs low for the Pixma MG2220. By lowering the warranty period and skipping fancy features like a large LCD screen, an autoduplexer, and an auto document feeder, this device offers only what you'll need for it to perform its basic copy, scan, print, and fax functions. It's an excellent performer at its core, and families on a budget will be impressed by its output of school projects, presentations, and the occasional snapshot photo.

Printer performance (in ppm)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Presentation speed  
Photo speed (one sheet)  
Color graphics speed  
Text speed  
Epson Stylus NX430
4.43 
0.86 
4.63 
14.11 
HP Deskjet 3050
2.42 
0.76 
1.73 
5.09 
HP Photosmart e-All-in-One D110a
2.22 
0.73 
1.88 
5.03 
Canon Pixma MG2220
2.41 
0.72 
1.79 
4.78 
Kodak ESP 3.2
2.11 
0.84 
1.44 
4.56 

Canon Pixma MG2220 w/PP-201
7.1

Canon Pixma MG2220 w/PP-201

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 7Performance 7Support 6