Canon Pixma Printer MX310 Review
The Canon Pixma MX310 Printer
Canon Pixma MX310 Printer is a multifunction color inkjet printer. It features high quality printing whether it be for digital photos, copies, scans or regular black and white printing of documents. The Canon MX310 (latest price here) is considered an all-in-one printer as it features not only a printer, but also scanning capabilities, copying, and a fax machine.
The unit weighs in at 8 pounds, and takes up some space on your desk or printer stand. It's dimensions are 18.4 x 17.3 x 9.1 inches so make sure you've got adequate room to house this peripheral. It's got a nice stylish look all around in silver and black, and plenty of cool bells & whistles and helpful features.
The front dashboard style panel on the printer offers simplicity yet functionality. It's got Copy Fax and Scan choices, as well as Menu settings and Fax Quality buttons. Also included is the simple fax keypad, and buttons to choose between Black or Color, depending on what you're doing.
The MX310 LCD display offers you settings and menu options as well as any important warnings such as document jams, closed front print tray, or alerts about low ink. The menu is simple but offers a lot of choices so be prepared to read the manual so you'll know what you're doing when you're pressing the arrow keys and "OK"ing various options.
Now let's take a look at the specifications and our review of the Canon Pixma MX310 printer!
View of Canon MX310 printer
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Canon MX310 Technical Details
- Model Number: 2184B002
- Print speed: 4-by-6-inch borderless photo: approximately 46 seconds; black: 22 ppm (as fast as 2.7 seconds per page); color: 17 ppm (as fast as 3.5 seconds per page)
- Number of nozzles: Black: 320; color: 384 x 3 (cyan, magenta, yellow); total: 1472
- Ink droplet size: 2, 5
- Print resolution: Black: up to 600 x 600 dpi; color: 4800 x 1200 dpi
- Paper sizes: Credit card (2.13 x 3.39 inches), 4 x 6 inches, 4 x 8 inches, 5 x 7 inches, 8 x 10 inches, letter, legal, U.S. #10 envelopes, photo stickers
- Copy speed: Black: up to 22 cpm (as fast as 2.7 seconds per page); color: 17 cpm (as fast as 3.5 seconds per page)
- Scanner element: Contact Image Sensor (CIS)
- Maximum resolutions: Optical: 1200 x 2400 dpi; interpolated: 19,200 x 19,200 dpi 48-bit internal / 24-bit external
- Maximum document size: 8.5 x 11.7 inches
- Fax modem speed: 33.6 Kbps (Super G3 color fax)
- Transmission speed: Black: approx. 3 seconds / page; color: approx. 1 minute / page
- Transmission reception memory: Approx. 50 pages
- Speed dialing: 20 locations
- OS compatibility: Windows Vista/XP/2000 and Mac OS X v.10.2.8 to 10.4.x7
- Standard Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, PictBridge (cable not included)
- Software included: Printer driver, MP Navigator EX, setup software and user's guide, NewSoft Presto! PageManager (Windows only), Easy-PhotoPrintEX, ScanSoft OmniPage SE
MX310 Printing Features & Quality
The basic use for the Canon Pixma MX310 is of course printing color and black & white documents. For these purposes the printer is a very suitable everyday printer for your household or small office arrangement. Both the black and white color print quality is very good for the money spent on this printer. The Canon boasts digital image quality of up to 4800 x 1200 color dpi, and claims to take approximately 46 seconds to print a borderless 4x6 digital photo. In terms of print speed, it also claims to print about 30 pages a minute in black, and 20 pages per minute in color.
As for digital pictures, the print quality has been very nice when done on special photo paper. Some prints on regular printer paper have been grainy, so definitely spend the extra money if you plan to print out quality digital images, and get some high glossy printer paper.
Another nice feature is the ability to directly print via USB from compatible Canon digital cameras. There's an inconspicuous front input port on the Canon MX310 which you plug in a simple USB to camera cable. Hook your compatible Canon digital camera to the cable, and select the preview mode of your camera. You'll have to option to print any digital picture you want, direct from your camera. No need to fuss with taking out your media card, putting it into the computer, opening a program and clicking print. The direct printing from Canon cameras feature is definitely a nice bonus, and great for people who want to quickly print out their latest images!
MX310 Scanning/Copying Flatbed
Replacement Print Cartridges
Canon MX310 Scanning and Copying
The Canon functions quite nicely in both scan and copy capacities. Simply use the auto document feeder on top for making copies. The Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) will hold up to 30 originals. You'll want to make sure they're face up before scanning or copying otherwise you'll receive a bunch of blank white pages. The document feeder makes it a breeze to quickly scan or copy though.
A nice feature with scanning comes from the easy to use scanning software which you install on your computer. After it's installed, you're ready to go. Simply place your document or photo in the flatbed area and press the Scan button on the Canon's front panel. The software automatically pops up on your computer and allows quick and easy scanning. You have the option to select document type as well as desired DPI output for your scan. A scan usually takes a minute or less, depending on document type.
Magazine scans were a bit less than desirable in terms of overall color output, but original photos seem to come out quite nicely when scanned using the flatbed area.
Canon MX310 Fax Machine
The Canon MX310 also functions nicely as a home or small office fax machine, which you can use to send and/or receive fascimiles. We've tested this feature several times and have had little to no problem sending faxes. There's a very nice feature built-in which allows you to choose an option of "Telephone 1st" or "Fax 1st", which allows the printer to act either as a phone or fax when it rings, depending on which you use it for. This is helpful if you have 2 lines, so you can program it to be fax 1st, or if you're running it on the same line as your household phone, select "Phone 1st" option and you won't have to worry about not receiving calls.
On a side note, we experienced a slight problem on one occasion with the fax function, as it appeared the printer was trying to fax during phone conversations. On another occasion, we were notified by several callers that when they tried to phone our residence, they received the screeching of a fax machine rather than an answering machine. We've since unplugged the line from our phone jack, and plan to simply plug it into the wall as we need to use it. We're hoping this may be an easily fixed glitch, but it hasn't been too much of a detriment since.
One complaint may be the printer's high consumption of ink as well as the cost of Canon's replacement cartridges. The MX310 uses 2 different ink cartridges, one black and one color. Each can cost $20-$30 for a new Canon version. Within the first 2-3 months of steady printing in our home, the Canon required new ink cartridges to be installed. We unfortunately went with some OEM non-Canon brands of ink cartridges which were cheaper, and noticed the quality suffered greatly. So after another few months we replaced these with Canon's versions for the MX30 Pixma printer, available at Wal-Mart and other retailers. Since then print quality has been very good, and I'd recommend purchasing the high-capacity versions of the ink cartridges if you can afford them.
We did have an issue after installing some replacement OEM ink
cartridges for the MX310. The display continuously told us that the
new ink cartridges were low in ink. Also, there was a continued
message about "Waiting to Send Fax Report". Upon searching around on
Google we found a way to reset the MX310, but it definitely was not
easy to do. Since then we haven't had to reset the unit and haven't
had the issue, but also we've been using Canon's ink cartridges.As far as networking goes, it would be nice if the model included wi-fi/wireless printing as well as an ethernet jack/port, but these certainly exist on pricier and high-end models. We've been able to print using a USB switch that also works with a single monitor and wireless keyboard mouse (used between a Dell and HP PC). We were also able to successfully use print sharing through the HP with a Dell laptop, and a Mac laptop. The fact that this printer works with both Mac & PC operating systems is yet another great feature. To print using wi-fi, you will need to make sure that the laptop has the appropriate drivers downloaded and installed. Also, the computer which handles the print sharing should always be switched on.
For under $100 though you can't really complain about the overall usefulness and features this small business or home printer offers. Printing is our basic use for the item, but having the ability to make copies, scans and send faxes are great additional bonuses for under $100. For an overall rating I'd give this an 8 out of 10, because it can definitely be improved, but Canon has shown a strong contender in the multifunction all-in-one printer world.