Canon Pixma MX885

Canon's small office multifunction is something of a bargain in the features stakes, although there are a few trade-offs in utility that make that possible.


8.9
CNET Rating
9.5
User Rating

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Design

The Pixma MX885 is a home office printer with aesthetics to match. It's not the shiniest all-in-one printer, and even compared to slightly more slick-looking Canon models, such as the MG6150, it's a bit on the plain side. Gone is the touchscreen display of those recent models, replaced by a 4x4 grid of buttons that light up to show specific functions. It's not as elegantly presented as the touchscreen option, but that presumably plays a part in the MX885's asking price.

Features

The impressive thing about the AU$269 MX885 is how many small office features Canon's offering up within it. It's a full multifunction, meaning those businesses that simply can't rid themselves of their fax addiction can be happy. The scan head is rated at 2400x4800dpi, it supports full automatic duplexing for scans, faxes and copies, and supports USB, Ethernet and 802.11n Wi-Fi for connectivity to PC and Mac platforms.

Canon doesn't use the page per minute (ppm) rating that other manufacturers tend towards, instead expressing print speeds in image per minute (ipm) figures. We've generally found that your speeds in real-world usage will tend to be a little lower than the manufacturer's "best case" scenarios, but Canon's ipm figures tend to be a lot closer than the over-inflated ppm figures used elsewhere. In any case, the MX885 isn't rated as a speed demon at a stated 12.5ipm for black pages and 9.3ipm for colour. Photo printing speed is suggested at 20 seconds for a standard 10x15cm photo.

In consumable terms, the MX885 uses five ink tanks. There are two black tanks (dye and pigment) and cyan, magenta and yellow colour cartridges. Checking online, we found each of the cartridges online for around AU$23 each, meaning a full refill run will set you back around AU$115. Canon states expected yields in a rather unusual way, partly due to the multiple black tanks. The stated specifications for plain paper A4 printing (which mostly uses the 525BK for blacks) are as follows: PGI-525BK (approx 341), CLI-526C (approx 520), CLI-526M (approx 500), CLI-526Y (approx 515); CLI-526BK (approx 3005). For photo printing (where the 526BK takes most of the dark strain), page yields are stated as such: PGI-525BK (approx 3800), CLI-526C (approx 207), CLI-526M (approx 204), CLI-526Y (approx 202); CLI-526BK (approx 660). Predicting actual per page costing is thus very difficult, especially if you're using any type of colour, or if one of the black tanks is acting as a supplemental tank to the other.

Performance

Installation of the MB885 was relatively smooth and simple. Like most of Canon's recent Wi-Fi-enabled models, entering security details for encrypted networks is a bit of a chore, but it's a chore you'll only have to do once.

If you're predominantly printing with control from a PC you most likely won't notice it, but the MX885's button array does feel rather cheap and clicky in repeated use. The layout is fine, but the use of lights underneath buttons doesn't allow for quite the same smooth workflow that we loved in the MG6150.

Canon does not rate the MX885 as a particularly speedy document printer, and this was played out in our testing. Sending a single page document to the MX885 over Wi-Fi saw it emerge a lethargic 21.6 seconds later. It did speed up after that initial page, however, and multi-page print runs saw it hit an average of 10ppm, just slightly below Canon's own 12.5ipm figure. Again, we're struck by how Canon's figures seem to be more reliable than those of other vendors, even if they're not particularly brisk. A 10x15cm photo print took on average 35 seconds, which again isn't world-beating.

Print quality was on the whole acceptable without being fantastic. We noticed plain paper documents tended to come out a little wet, and photo prints were just a touch dark in most cases, but then this isn't a dedicated photo printer.

Conclusion

The MX885 represents great value for the SOHO multifunction buyer. We could wish it was faster, and that the exact per-page pricing was easier to discern exactly, but those quirks aside, it's an excellent all-round printer offering.

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mitchn posted a comment   
Australia

Have been caught by buying the MX860 and sure Canon haven't changed these features....

Watch out for the catch of not being able to scan documents if you have an empty ink cartridge in say the colour blue or print in black and white for that matter.

Also be aware that the ink cartridges empty themselves with a combination of drying out and the auto cleaning function.

Overall remember that the reason the initial cost is low is because the money is made by the aftermarket sale of ink cartridges. Consider laser to avoid this.

SeanD Facebook
10
Rating
 

"Very easy to use"

SeanD posted a review   

The Good:Easy to set up.

The Bad:finding the serial number.

Easy to install, easy to use. Scan functions in duplex very easily.
If you get in quick Canon give you a $30 eftpos card.
Wireless set up was a breeze.
Only problem I've had so far is finding the serial number.

LloydGeorge
9
Rating
 

"Top class B"

LloydGeorge posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Laser quality B

The Bad:A little complex to install - but well documented.

I have upgraded to this MX85 from a Canon MP830. I initially bought an Epson Artisan 837 which seemed to do what I wanted: top class B




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User Reviews / Comments  Canon Pixma MX885

  • mitchn

    mitchn

    "Have been caught by buying the MX860 and sure Canon haven't changed these features....

    Watch out for the catch of not being able to scan documents if you have an empty ink cartridge in..."

  • SeanD

    SeanD

    Rating10

    "Easy to install, easy to use. Scan functions in duplex very easily.
    If you get in quick Canon give you a $30 eftpos card.
    Wireless set up was a breeze.
    Only problem I've had so fa..."

  • LloydGeorge

    LloydGeorge

    Rating9

    "I have upgraded to this MX85 from a Canon MP830. I initially bought an Epson Artisan 837 which seemed to do what I wanted: top class B"

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