The Canon Pixma MX372 is Canon's entry-level multifunction printer with a 30-page autodocument feeder, a 100-sheet paper input drawer, and a newly designed ink bay. A 30-page feeder on top that can scan multipage documents is also a rare feature for $80 all-in-ones, but its two-ink printing system and lack of networking connectivity limits my recommendation to homes that have light printing needs.
Design and features
The design of the Pixema MX372 is streamlined so that every drawer, tray, and port folds up flush into the self-contained body. The result is a very sleek matte-black exterior with all of the buttons you need to adjust the settings conveniently placed on the front panel. Since the printing is the default function, the rest of the hot keys (copy, fax, scan) are the largest on the panel along with backlit power and start buttons. There's also a blinking alarm for low ink or paper jams.
The MX372 is also the first batch of Canon all-in-one devices to use a new method for loading new ink cartridges. The company calls it "FastFront," and it lets you simply pull down a door behind the paper output tray to expose the inks. The new method makes cartridge replacement easier for people who leave documents in the top-loading autodocument feeder (ADF), as you no longer have to lift up the entire scanner lid in the process.
The simple two-ink cartridge system inside means this device isn't ideal for printing photos because of low-quality color output. The display on the MX372 is also simple, with only a two-line dot-matrix graphic display in the middle of the control panel; it's not as fancy as a color LCD, but it's adequate for all the day-to-day print, scan, and fax functionality. At the same time, expanding your budget just $20 opens a lot more options in terms of features that expand versatility. For example, the $100 Epson Stylus NX430 lets multiple users connect to it through a wireless network, and it also has a memory card reader on the front that can print photos directly from a storage card. Both of these features are missing from the MX372.
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. 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.
The driver also automatically installs Canon's Easy Photo Print EX software, which showcases all the creative features of the MX372. It allows you to print simple snapshot photos on the fly, create whole albums of artwork, print calendars with custom pictures, and custom stickers using Canon's proprietary sticker paper, but keep in mind that the quick-depleting two-ink cartridge bay can easily become a money pit.
The copy functions on the MX372 are relatively standard to 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 LCD menus. The scanner gives you two options to scan either single photos and documents or a stack of documents using the ADF.
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 you can attach it to an e-mail with the option to scan and convert to text using optical character recognition (OCR). All scanned files are placed 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.