Canon PIXMA MX885 inkjet multifunction printer

Canon PIXMA MX885 review: Canon's best small office printer is heavy on features and is surprisingly cheap

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Canon PIXMA MX885
  • Canon PIXMA MX885
  • Canon PIXMA MX885
  • Canon PIXMA MX885
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Excellent print quality for both documents and photos, every feature you'll need in a small office printer is built in

Cons

  • Touch-based controls are pointless - a larger touchscreen LCD would have been a better inclusion

Bottom Line

Canon's PIXMA MX885 is the company's best inkjet printer, and arguably the most appropriate for a small business or busy home office. Even if it's not a feature you'll use often, the inclusion of a double-sided automatic document feeder makes scanning multi-page double-sided documents easy -- taking care of probably the most annoying task you'll face in an office.

Would you buy this?

Canon's PIXMA MX885 is the best inkjet printer available from the company, and, as you'd expect, it has all the features you find on cheaper models like the MX870 and MX350. Double-sided automatic document feeding makes digitising documents easy, and the printer can be connected via Wi-Fi, Ethernet or USB. If you need a compact printer that can handle a versatile range of document types, as well as taking care of almost any other office printing task you can think of, the MX885 is well suited. It's not even particularly expensive. We do take issue with the silly controls, though.

Canon PIXMA MX885: Design and controls

The PIXMA MA885 has a pretty standard layout for an inkjet multifunction, looking similar to all the other Canon PIXMA printers: The flatbed scanner and document feeder can be found on the top, controls are on the printer's front and are tilted back slightly, and a bottom-mounted paper cartridge feeds print output out the Canon PIXMA MX885's front. There's also a rear paper tray for temporarily loading in labels, photo prints or other uncommon paper types.

Although the control panel is chock-full of options, we don't like the 4x4 grid of buttons — it can be confusing having buttons that change purpose dynamically depending on what function of the printer you're using. We would have preferred a larger, wide-screen touchscreen for better display of information and more versatility.

Canon PIXMA MX885: Features

The PIXMA MX885's stand-out feature for us is its double-sided automatic document feeder for scanning, faxing and copying. If you've got a double-sided, multi-page document it's easy to digitise it with the MX885 — on cheaper printers, the lack of double-sided automatic scanning makes this process arduous. You also get an integrated fax.

Connecting the Canon PIXMA MX885 is an easy procedure — Wi-Fi and Ethernet allow multiple computers to connect directly through an office network, or an individual computer can directly hook in via USB. We opted to hook up our test PC via Wi-Fi and found the process completed quickly with only minimal printer software installation needed on the computer. You can also print directly from a USB stick or a range of memory cards — the Canon PIXMA MX885 has five card slots on the front.

Canon PIXMA MX885: Ink costs, print speed, and print quality

We achieved close to 10 pages per minute over a 50 page print run with our colour test document, which combines text with a range of graphs and charts — this is just as fast as Canon rates the PIXMA MX885, and an impressive result from an inkjet printer. Print quality wasn't compromised at this high speed, with no visible bleeding on text and consistent, well-saturated blocks of colour.

Monochrome printing is only marginally faster at 11 pages per minute, but text and greyscale graphs are still clear. We did notice the smallest amount of posterisation and graininess in smooth black-to-grey-to-white colour gradients, but unless you're printing out high quality A4 greyscale photographs this won't be noticeable.

The PIXMA MX885 does an impressive job with 6x4in and A4 colour photos. It's a slow printer in its highest quality setting, but the output is full of detail — not too far off the impressive pigment-based results of the Canon PIXMA iX7000.

The Canon PIXMA MX885 uses five ink tanks — two separate blacks, and cyan, magenta and yellow colour cartridges. Fully restocking the printer costs a hair under $120. Printing out a black text page should cost 7 cents, and a full-colour page will be around 14 cents. These costs aren't as low as a laser printer for high volume use, but the quality is noticeably higher on inkjet.

Canon PIXMA MX885: Conclusion

The PIXMA MX885 has every feature we'd hope to find in an office printer and its reasonable price should be attractive to small businesses. The ink costs aren't anything special, but this isn't a surprise. Canon's top small business inkjet printer produces good quality text and image print-outs and is versatile enough to suit a range of business types and sizes.

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