Canon Pixma MP210

If you're looking for the best print and scan quality from a budget all-in-one, the Canon Pixma MP210 is the one for you. Other models, however, offer more substantial feature sets.


7.0
CNET Rating
6.1
User Rating

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The Canon Pixma MP210 is the lowest-priced model in Canon's latest all-in-one inkjet printer line. It lacks features that would make it either office-oriented or photo-oriented, so it's best for general use and light workloads. It's missing a lot of the features that comparably priced all-in-ones offer, such as memory card slots, advanced copy and scan options, and even e-fax capability. It's also not the fastest of the pack, but it shines at task quality. If you're looking for a feature-packed budget all-in-one, you're better off with something like the Lexmark X3550, but if you're after the best print and scan quality to be had for under AU$100, the Pixma MP210 is your best bet.

Design
Design-wise, the Pixma MP210 more closely resembles its more expensive brethren than last year's budget models (such as the Pixma MP160). The light-grey-and-black printer sits 451mm wide, 353mm deep, and 169mm tall, and weighs a light 5.9 kilograms. The scanner lid conceals an A4-size flatbed scanner, and the lid rears back a bit to accommodate thick originals (up to 25mm thick). The MP210 offers a front-mounted USB port for connecting PictBridge devices (such as cameras and camera phones) for PC-free printing.

The control panel is basic, befitting the basic nature of this all-in-one. Instead of a graphical or text LCD, a single-digit LED shows the number of copies. You can also browse the maintenance options on the LED, though you'll need the decoder ring (i.e., the user guide) to translate the single-letter codes. One button lets you designate the type of paper you're copying on (plain letter, photo letter, or 4x6 photo), while another turns on the fit-to-page option for copying. The scan button launches the MP Navigator EX program on your PC. Finally, two start buttons (colour and black), a stop button, and three lights to indicate a problem or low ink levels round out the control panel.

The paper handling is typical of Canons: The input paper support folds out from the rear and holds up to 100 sheets. A panel on the front folds down to serve as the output tray. Deep within the bowels of the output tray is a lever that changes the distance between the print head and the paper. For the majority of paper types, keep the lever to the left; for envelopes and T-shirt transfers, switch it to the right.

Features
The Pixma MP210 prints, scans, and copies over a USB 2.0 connection. Canon offers drivers for both Windows and Mac PCs, so both camps should be satisfied.

When copying, you can make 1 to 9 copies, or 20 copies -- that's right, it jumps from 9 to 20. With one touch, you can do a fit-to-page copy, too. You can initiate a scan via the scan button on the printer or by launching the MP Navigator EX software from your PC (the scan button will launch the same software). In MP Navigator EX, you can specify the type of original, change resolution, choose a format in which to save the scan (TIFF, JPEG, PDF, BMP), and edit the resulting scans. Within the custom scan tab, you can do advanced actions such as scanning originals larger than the platen using stitch assist and scan into a software program (such as Excel or Word). You can also attach scans to e-mails or save them to your PC. Though the printer lacks an auto duplexer, the driver will assist you with manual duplex tasks.

The USB port can be used to connect PictBridge-compliant cameras, camcorders, and camera phones, but not USB storage devices. We'd like to see Canon support the latter feature, as we find it useful.

It's easy to write off the lack of features by pointing out the Pixma MP210's tiny price tag, but looking at comparably priced offerings from the competition, the MP210 seems lackluster. The AU$129 Lexmark X3550 offers memory card slots as well as a PictBridge port, the ability to make up to 99 copies at once, and advanced copy features such as resizing, image repeat, and N-up copies. You can even get an optional wireless adapter for networked printing. Similarly, the AU$109 Dell Photo 926 offers memory card slots, the ability to print a scannable photo index, and e-fax, as well. Further investigation shows that Canon spent its money on print performance rather than features, though (see Performance section).

Performance
When it comes to task speeds, the Canon Pixma MP210 wasn't the fastest at any task (save photo printing), but it wasn't terribly slow, either. It printed text at a rate of 6.13 pages per minute, behind only the Dell Photo 926. It printed colour graphics at a rate of 1.45 pages per minute, the slowest of the pack. It really shined, though, when printing 4x6 photos, scoring a fast 1.05 pages per minute; none of the others came close. Finally, the Canon was middle of the pack in scanning: 4.53 pages per minute for greyscale and 4.39 pages per minute with colour.

Inkjet multifunction printer performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Colour scan
Greyscale scan
4x6 Photo
Graphics
Text
Dell Photo 926
4.5
4.52
0.74
1.82
7.6
Canon Pixma MP210
4.39
4.53
1.05
1.45
6.13
HP Photosmart C4280
1.76
4.46
0.67
1.5
5.94
Lexmark X3550
4.45
5.36
0.77
1.9
4.34

Happily, what it lacked in speed, it made up for in quality. The black text print wasn't perfect, but it was close. Text was a dark, rich black, and the characters were cleanly and consistently formed. We saw a tiny bit of wicking, but we'll overlook that given the all-in-one's low price. The colour graphics print was great, as well, with smooth colour gradients, pleasing saturation, true colour reproduction, and sharp details. The 4x6 photo print was sharp and detailed; the only issue we had was that the colour could've been a bit warmer and we noticed some distracting graininess in colour blocks.

The greyscale scan was sharp, clean, and detailed. It looked a tiny bit washed out, but nothing egregious. The colour scan provided us with little to complain about: the colours were true and the details were sharp. The only problem it ran into was handling barcode patterns. Overall, we were very impressed with the quality of the Pixma MP210. It would've impressed us coming from an AU$90 printer, so it was even more impressive coming from an AU$90 all-in-one.

Inkjet multifunction printer quality
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Colour scan
Greyscale scan
Photo
Graphics
Text
Canon Pixma MP210
Excellent
Excellent
Good
Good
Excellent
Lexmark X3550
Good
Good
Fair
Fair
Good
HP Photosmart C4280
Good
Good
Fair
Good
Fair
Dell Photo 926
Fair
Good
Fair
Fair
Fair

Canon offers a standard one-year warranty for the Pixma MP210. E-mail support is available 24-7 via a Web-based form. Canon's standard online support options include downloadable drivers and software, manuals, and FAQs.

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Jasna
4
Rating
 

Jasna posted a review   

The Good:Went well at first, decent speed printing.

The Bad:Eventually stopped working, prints side ways, clogs easy, ink expensive.

The printer was fine to begin with and after a short time the printer crashed and now clogs the pages, ink runs on page, just awful and unusable at the moment. Looking to buy a new printer now this one is dead.

Link50
9
Rating
 

Link50 posted a review   

The Good:Great print quality, great price, lots of functions, simple to use

The Bad:runs out of ink quickly

Needed a simple yet advanced printer, this is perfect. Had this for over 2 years now, still going strong.

Hole
3
Rating
 

Hole posted a review   

**** poor effort canon. Average product ink prices a joke

 

Slab posted a comment   

Crap, the ink price is way too expensive. Slow printing slow scanning average quality printer.. Dodnt go near this one the ink price will rob you.

nick
10
Rating
 

nick posted a review   

The Good:good scanner and printing

The Bad:ink is cost to much

don't get, costs to much to run.
uses up so much ink. and ink cost lots aswell

Tomcat
3
Rating
 

Tomcat posted a review   

The Good:Nothing

The Bad:Won't connect to my computer. Ink is too expensive.

I have mine plugged into the router/modem, and tried to connect it to my computer in a seperate room without the cable through wireless internet. It has failed to connect, brand new laptop, so it's fair to say it's the printrer's fault. It is bloody bullshit.

CathyRyan
7
Rating
 

CathyRyan posted a review   

how do i check ink levels in this printer

fish210253
8
Rating
 

fish210253 posted a review   

how on earth do I check current ink levels on this product ??

rossjmac
8
Rating
 

rossjmac posted a review   

I can use mp210 in mac book pro, but not in parallels using windows xp as a virtual host

Kevin Lomas
1
Rating
 

Kevin Lomas posted a review   

I recently purchased a MP210 printer for use with a Mac OS 10.4.11 but have had difficulty in downloading the driver off the accompanying CD. It seems to load okay but when I look for the driver it is not there.


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User Reviews / Comments  Canon Pixma MP210

  • Jasna

    Jasna

    Rating4

    "The printer was fine to begin with and after a short time the printer crashed and now clogs the pages, ink runs on page, just awful and unusable at the moment. Looking to buy a new printer now this..."

  • Link50

    Link50

    Rating9

    "Needed a simple yet advanced printer, this is perfect. Had this for over 2 years now, still going strong."

  • Hole

    Hole

    Rating3

    "**** poor effort canon. Average product ink prices a joke"

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