Printers may not be the sexiest or most interesting pieces of technology, but if you’re running any kind of business operation, or even a simple home office, odds are you’ll need to print something sooner or later.
Canon’s top office inkjet printer is a great all-in-one, competently handling multi-page document printing, the occasional photo print-out with excellent quality, as well as less common office tasks like faxing and multi-page scanning. Canon’s PIXMA MX926 is an inkjet multifunction printer with all the bells and whistles. It’s designed for the home office user that has a lot of requirements, or a family with diverse printing needs.
The PIXMA MX926, as office printers goes, is quite compact. We like that Canon’s inkjet printers are relatively monolithic — they don’t have paper trays protruding from the front or top or back, so you can push them right up against the back of a bookshelf.
The MX926 is laid out in a way that makes it easy to use — there are no big surprises up here. There’s a massive 250-sheet plain paper input tray at the printer’s front base, with a 20-sheet dedicated variable-size paper tray slightly further up. The printer’s output tray pops open automatically when there’s a print job pending, although it doesn’t close afterwards.
Up top, the printer has a flatbed scanner capable of 2400x4800dpi, with a maximum sheet size slightly larger than A4. There’s a 30-sheet automatic document feeder for the scanner head, too, and it’s duplex-capable which makes digitising a multi-page, dual-sided document far easier than on a non-duplex-capable model. The PIXMA MX926 also has a 33.6kbps fax; if your business still needs to fax stuff, this drastically reduces the number of printers you can choose from, so it’s good to see the MX926 include it for peace of mind.
The printer’s controls are set out facing slightly upwards on the top, so they can be easily seen when the printer’s sitting on a desk at waist level or above. There’s a 3-inch colour screen, and a four-by-three grid of glossy black squares that light up with symbols depending on which part of the printer’s menu system you’re in. It’s a simple idea that’s more responsive than a touch screen and easier to see from a distance or without reading glasses.
The Canon PIXMA MX926 uses five ink cartridges. There’s a pigment black, used for monochrome document printing, and photo black, cyan, magenta, and yellow ink cartridges used for colour document and photo printing.
You can buy standard-size cartridges. The standard PGI-650BK should produce around 300 pages and the CLI-651-BK, cyan, magenta and yellow which are good for around 300 colour document pages. Far better value is paying a few extra dollars per cartridge for CLI-651XL cartridges, which more than double the number of printable pages per refill in most cases. The PGI-650XL pigment black is fine for around 500 pages. There’s even a PGI-655XXL pigment black which boosts output to 1000 pages.
Using this printer for anything but the highest volume of printing produces prices per page that are competitive with low- and medium-priced laser or LED printers, as well as any inkjet competitor.
The PIXMA MX926 has a 9600x2400dpi print-head, so it should be able to print just about as finely as the top photo printers on the market. It does a really good job of fine detail in borderless A4 prints, as long as you’re printing from an appropriately high quality source.
The MX926 has a quiet mode that can be enabled, slowing down print speeds slightly but saving your ears the drone of the print-head whizzing back and forth. We would leave this on as we’d choose a quiet printer over a quick one any day. You can also set the quiet mode to turn on and off at specific times of day — when you’re working in your home office in the evening with kids around, having the printer as quiet and unobtrusive as possible is a smart move.
The PIXMA MX926’s driver interface may not look as modern or polished as HP’s, or Epson’s, but it’s straight-forward, easy to understand, and customisable. We opted to make the print status box pop up every time printing started, on top of all other dialog boxes, with an up-to-date ink level report — call us paranoid, but we like to know exactly what’s going on when we click Print.
Canon PIXMA MX926: Conclusion
Canon’s PIXMA MX926 produces monochrome and colour documents quickly, quietly, and clearly — they look great considering inkjets are usually inferior to laser printers in this area. High quality photo prints, built-in Wi-Fi, automatic duplex scanning and printing are icing on the cake.
If you’re looking for a versatile small office or home office printer, we’d give serious consideration to the MX926.