Business/E-Business
Commentary
1/11/2011
04:20 PM
Lamont Wood
Lamont Wood
Commentary
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Canon Brings Out Five New SMB Printers

Low list price and high DPI make for in interesting combination, but as usual the refill ink is priced as if there was a national shortage.

Low list price and high DPI make for in interesting combination, but as usual the refill ink is priced as if there was a national shortage.Canon USA has brought out four new multifunction inkjet printers from its PIXMA line for the SMB office, plus a large-format inkjet.

Leading off is the $199.99 MX882 with both a wireless and an Ethernet interface, 3-inch LCD screen, and a throughput of 12.5 ppm for black-and-white and 9.3 ppm for color. The printer resolution is 9600x1200 dpi, which should exceed anything you need in the office.

The next three have fewer software features and a 2.5-inch LCD, but sport an Ethernet interface. The MX420 lists for $149.99 and includes a wireless interface, but the resolution falls to 4800x1200 dpi. (You may not be able to tell the difference in most cases.)

The MX410 lists for $99.99, also with the Ethernet and wireless combination but does not have any media card reader slots. Otherwise it appears to be the same as the MX420.

Finally, the MX360 appears to be the same as the MX 420 except it has a white enclosure (all the others are black) and has the Ethernet but not the wireless interface. It lists for only $79.99. Keep in mind that if you have a router with a wireless interface, and your printer is connected to that router's LAN, then you have a wireless printer and you don't need to pay extra for Wi-Fi in the printer itself. In other words, it's too bad all their models don't have a non-wireless option.

The fifth is the PIXMA iX6520 which can print up to 13x19 inches, for spreadsheets and ledger-sized documents, for $199.99. It too has a maximum resolution of 9600 x 2400 dpi. The print speed is 11.3 ppm in black and white and 8.8 in color.

A four-color ink cartridge replacement pack costs about $52, indicating Canon is following the industry tradition of selling low-end printers cheap and then making their money off the ink refills.

But the list prices are good, and the DPI is good. The footprints (about 18x18 inches) are small, and that's good. But we need more non-wireless options like the MX360. For most offices a Wi-Fi printer is an unnecessary expense and an additional point of potential system failure.

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