Tag: Canon

HP and others use Mopria to advance driver-free printing for mobile devices


HP, allies launch Mopria to keep printers relevant in mobile era | Mobile – CNET News

My Comments

HP Envy 120 designer all-in-one printer

HP Envy 120 designer all-in-one inkjet printer

A common reality with the desktop printer is that you need to implement drivers on a desktop computer in order to have the printer work properly with that computer. This has confused many people who simply wanted to “walk up and print” at another location or install a newer printer. The situation is very difficult for mobile and embedded devices where these devices require limited memory space or hard-to-adapt software.

There have been various attempts at providing driver-free printing for mobile and embedded computers. One of these was UPnP Printing which allowed one to print a JPEG image or XHTML-formatted document on a suitable network printer but this was only followed through by HP with their consumer multifunction desktop printers and Nokia with their Symbian-based feature phones. HP also took this further with their ePrint “print-by-email” setup which just about every consumer and small-business HP desktop printer is equipped with.

Apple made a bit of headway with this issue by implementing AirPrint for their iOS devices and Macintosh computers running MacOS X Lion. Here, this was totally “driver-free” and more printer manufacturers came on board offering it for newer printer ranges or as “field-update” firmware for some of their existing models.

There needed to be an effort that is centred around one or more existing standards and augmented by a logo-driven marketing platform in order to provide driver-free printing to other regular, mobile and embedded computing platforms. No doubt, as Apple and their fanbois have their faith behind the AirPrint ecosystem, the Mopria ecosystem will be offered as a complementary system for other “open-frame” computing platforms.

The Mopria platform is recognising the idea that the smartphone or tablet that runs a mobile operating system is serving users as either a sole or anciliary computing device. But I would also like to see Microsoft and the open-source community adopt Mopria as a driver-free system-wide printing solution for Windows and Linux respectively in order to provide the true “walk-up and print” ability to regular computers that run these operating systems.

The embedded device community could place value on Mopria as a way to add network printing to all sorts of dedicated devices. For example, the smart TV or set-top box could exploit Mopria for interactive TV’s printing needs such as coupon printing. Similarly, devices like energy meters or “wellness” devices could use the technology to print trend-based charts for energy used or personal-wellness stats.

This may be early days yet but by using a device standard with a distinct customer-recognisable logo, Mopria could be in a position to provide driver-free printing for most applications. They also need the help of other industry standards groups like DLNA or Blu-Ray Disc to provide leverage for Mopria in the embedded-device space.

Internationaler Funkaustellung 2011–Part 2

IFA LogoWelcome back to the second part of my report on the Internationaler Funkaustelluing 2011. In the first part, I had touched on home appliances briefly but had focused on computing technologies like smartphones, tablets, laptops and the home network.

Now I am focusing on consumer electronics which mainly is focused around digital cameras, TV and home-theatre / hi-fi technology.

Consumer Electronics


3D is still being considered a dominant technology with some of the cameras being equipped with two lenses and sensors. As well, Samsung have also fielded a camera with two screens – one on the back and one on the front.

The camera manufacturers are releasing more of the small interchangeable-lens cameras. These are typically in the “non-SLR” style with the screw-on lens mounts. It is leading towards the appearance of more compact cameras with high-factor zoom lenses. Here, these cameras are being pitched mainly as  mainly “bridge-cameras” which exist between the “point-and-shoot” camera and the SLR camera and have many adjustable photography factors including semi-automatic and manual exposure modes.

An issue that may affect the launch of digital photography equipment at this or subsequent IFA shows is the up-and-coming Photokina photo/film/video trade shows. These shows appear in Cologne at the end of September and they are often seen as a major launchpad for anything to do with photography or videography. A valid point may be raised about whether companies with digital photo / video equipment show their equipment at both shows, launching consumer equipment in Berlin and “enthusiast” equipment (DSLRs, high-end camcorders) in Cologne.

Of course, there hasn’t been much interest in using network technology for photo and video equipment when interlinking with computer equipment.

TV and Display Technologies

There are a few key trends that are occurring concerning the television receivers being promoted at the IFA.

One is the DVB-T2 digital-TV standard which is to launch in Germany. This revision of the DVB-T terestrial digital-TV standard will provide for more HDTV with H264 video. It will also allow for advanced interactive TV (HbbTV, VoD) platforms, robust terrestrial reception as well as more services per TV channel.

3D is still a dominant technology with Toshiba and other names promoting glasses-free 3D viewing where their sets use a polarizing screen and support an ersatz 3D effect for regular content. Haier are also using a similar technology for their 3D Internet-enabled set. LG are running 3D TVs that work with cinema-style passive polarizing glasses. ,

For content, Deutsche Telekom  is providing “Entertain 3D” channels as part of their Entertain IPTV service. This requires the  Deutsche Telekom “Entertain” set-top box and access to a VDSL2 next-gen service. There will be the magazine channels as well as highlight footage from Bundesliga football (soccer) matches as well as the “usual suspects” – those popular 3D action and animation films from Hollywood.

Another key trend is Internet-driven smart TV. This is with access to the Social Web, video-on-demand / catch-up TV amongst other interactive-TV services using the home network.

Hama are releasing at this year’s IFA an Android STB with access to full Android Honeycomb service  on the TV screen. This time, the set-top is able to connect to the network via WiFi, or Ethernet.

Samsung are pushing the Social TV agenda. This allows you to view TV and chat on the Social Web at the same time with a button to press to focus on Facebook/Twitter/Google Talk chat streams or TV content. There is also the ability to use a Samsung smartphone or Galaxy Tab as the TV keyboard once you install the appropriate app. Of course, there is a Samsung TV remote that has a QWERTY keyboard and LCD display to facilitate the chat function.

Samsung have also released an app for their Android smartphones and tablets which allows the image on their Smart TVs to be shown on these devices.

Sharp have contributed to the smart-TV race with the AQUOS Net+ app subsystem for their TVs. As well Metz are showing a network-enabled 3D TV with HbbTV broadcast-broadband support and a 750Gb PVR.

There was an increased number of TVs that had the 21:9 aspect ratio being launched at this show. This aspect ration was more about a “cinema-screen” aspect ration that was often used with a lot of movies since the 1950s.

Even the projector scene is going strong at this year’s IFA.

Acer are showing the H9500BD 3D Full-HD home-theatre projector which is to be released October. This unit can work at 2000 ANSI Lumen with a 50000:1 contrast ratio. It fixes the keystone problem that often happens with projectors by using a lens-shift setup rather than digitally skewing the image; as well as a high zoom lens that permits a big image with a short throw and also has wall-colour-correction for projection to non-white-walls  It is expected to sell in Europe for €2499 recommended retail price

Sony are also launching a 3D-capable projector with a 150,000:1 contrast ratio and use of lens-shift as the keystone correction method. The big question that I have about this projector is how bright this projector is in ANSI lumens.

Canon also launched the LV8235 which is an ultra-short-throw DLP projector. Here, this projector can throw a 2-metre (80”) usable image projected with it being positioned at 32cm (1 foot) from the wall or screen.

As well, Sony had used this show to premiere a set of 3D personal video goggles. Here, these glasses show 3D video images on separate OLED screens, mainly for use with personal video players or games systems.

Home Theatre and Hi-Fi

There has been some activity concerning networked home-theatre and hi-fi equipment.

Harman-Kardon are launching a 3.1 HTIB with has an integrated 3D Blu-Ray player and uses a soundbar as its main speaker.

Loewe have used this event to launch the Solist single piece audio system. This has a CD player and access to FM and Internet radio broadcasts as far as I know. It can connect to home networks via WiFi, Ethernet or HomePlug and uses a 7.5” touch screen or Loewe Assist remote control as its control surface.

Sony have launched the SNP-M200 network media player which is the follow on from the SNP-M100, It offers 3D video support and an improved Facebook and Twitter experience. Of course, like the SNP-M100, it has the full DLNA Home Media Network credentials including being a controlled device. They also launched another Blu-Ray player in the form of the BDP-S185 which supports 3D Blu-Ray playback and access to online content.

As well, Pioneer have launched some network-enabled hi-fi equipment including a component network-audio player for use with existing hi-fi setups. Philips are using this show also to launch a Streamiun MCi8080 music system with DAB+ and Internet radio, a CD player as well as network audio. Intenso have launched their Movie Champ HD media player which is one of those media players that play off USB (or the home network). But this one can properly play 3D video in to 3D-enabled TVs.

It is also worth noting that Jarre Technologies is a newcomer to the scene of “worked” audio reproduction technologies. This firm has been set up by Jean Michel Jarre, known for setting the tone of European ambient-music with Equinoxe and Oxygene, and is now following the same path as Dr. Dre’s “Beats Audio” name. Here, they are launching their highly-powerful iPad speaker tower which can work comfortably at 10,000 watts and uses “speaker tubes” but would need a large area to perform at its best. Here, this product is all about proving Jarre Technologies metal and I wonder when there will be premium and multimedia laptop computers that have their audio subsystems tuned by Jarre Technologies on the market and who will sell these laptops.

Germany is now heading towards DAB+ digital radio broadcasting which yields an improvement over the original DAB digital-radio technology that it worked with before. Here, this technology uses AAC audio coding, allows for an increased number of broadcast services per multiplex and, from my experience with the Australian setup as I used many DAB+ enabled Internet radios on review, provides for highly-robust digital radio reception. It may be easier for set manufacturers to launch DAB+ digital radios in to this market due to them having DAB+ radios already on Australian and other DAB+ markets; and UK readers may find that their newer digital radios may be already set up for DAB+ technology even though the UK is working on “original specification” DAB radio.


The Internationaler Funkaustellung 2011 has reinforced the role of the networked home especially as Europe takes to the newer Internet technologies like 4G wireless broadband, IPTV and next-generation broadband service.

Product Review–Canon PiXMA iP100 Mobile Printer


I am reviewing the Canon PiXMA iP100 Mobile Inkjet Printer which is the current-generation successor to the popular Canon BJC-80 portable printer. This particular model has appealed to those of us who need to use a printer to obtain hard copy “on the road” from our portable computer devices.

I have been lent this unit for review by a close friend of mine who had bought it to go with their netbook computer that they were using for an overseas trip they had previously done. This was intended to be used for occasionally obtaining hard copy of emails and similar documents through that journey.

Canon PIXMA IP-100 mobile printer

Print Paper Trays Connections
Colour 1 x A4 USB 2.0
Inkjet PictBridge host port
IrDA infrared; Bluetooth with optional module



The machine’s standard price AUD$449

Optional Extras:

BU-30 Bluetooth Connectivity Module: AUD$69

LK-62 Rechargeable Battery (with reviewed unit): AUD$129

PU-200U Car power adaptor: AUD$129

Inks and Toners

Price Pages
Black AUD$17.50 191
Colour AUD$34.50 249

Canon PiXMA IP-100 mobile printer closed up

The printer - ready for travelling

The printer itself

The Canon PiXMA iP-100 is a very small lightweight printer that occupies the table space that a typical netbook computer would occupy. This makes for reduced storage space that this class of device would require as you travel.

Like its former grandparent model, the BJC-80, this printer is able to work from AC power using a supplied power adaptor which connects to the AC power through the typical “portable-radio” power cord; or from an optional rechargeable battery. You can also buy another power adaptor that plugs in to your car’s or boat’s cigar-lighter socket so you can run it from the vehicle’s battery. From my searches on the Internet about this battery pack, it is rated to allow the printer to turn out 292 pages on one charge.

Canon PIXMA IP-100 mobile printer with external battery pack

External battery pack attached to printer

This printer is a direct-connect printer which can connect to the host using a regular USB cable or wirelessly with IRDA infrared connection or Bluetooth radio connection. The latter method can be achieved if you purchase the optional Canon Bluetooth module and plug this module in to the PictBridge USB socket.

It does support driverless printing for devices in certain situations. The first one would be wireless printing from phones and PDAs that support Bluetooth and IRDA “object-push” profiles for small documents and photos. The second situation would be for digital cameras and mobile phones that have a PictBridge connection.

This latter function can come in handy if you need to print out “example images” or “pre-approval” proofs to show to customers after you have just taken a picture. Of course, some of us may find it useful for printing out the quick snaps to pass around after we take some funny pictures.

Canon PIXMA IP100 mobile printer data sockets and IRDA window

USB and PictBridge sockets and IRDA window

Computer functions

The software loaded properly on my Windows 7 computer and it didn’t take a long time for the computer to “re-discover” the printer on subsequent connections. This would suit its intended market where the printer would be brought out and connected as required.

Output Quality

The printer will turn out very sharp text that would yield a very easy-to-read document. When I print photos,there is strong contrast but sometimes there may be a bit of paleness in the picture. For colour reproduction, there is still some strong colour saturation and it can properly reproduce the skin tones.

Limitations and Points of Improvement

The Canon PiXMA iP-100  could benefit from higher-capacity cartridges, especially high-capacity black cartridges. This is especially more so if it is to be used by a tradesman like a repairman who has to turn out multi-page quotes or invoices; or if it is being used frequently to turn out “proofs”. As well, it could improve on the printer’s operational economy.

In the same context, the printer manufacturers who sell “mobile” printers could do some research in operation-economy-improving techniques like four-cartridge printing and higher-capacity cartridges.

As well, there could be some work done on making it feasible for smartphones and tablet computers to print out using the iP-100. At the moment, this may require use of the Bluetooth module as well as iOS and Android apps that link with the email, photo-viewing and document-creation functions of these devices.

Conclusion and Placement Notes

I would consider this Canon PiXMA IP-100 portable printer as being suitable for basic printing needs that occur primarily in the field like printing quotes and invoices to hand directly to the customer for example. It would also work well for business travellers who need to obtain hard copy of documents or photographs without the need to pay higher costs or face embarrassment when using other equipment.

Product Review–Canon PIXMA MG-6150 multifunction inkjet printer


I am reviewing the Canon PIXMA MG-6150 multifunction inkjet printer which is positioned as the top inkjet multifunction in Canon’s lineup that isn’t equipped with fax functionality.

Canon PIXMA MG-6150 Multifunction Inkjet Printer

Print Scan Copy Paper Trays Connections
Colour Colour Colour 2 x A4 USB 2.0
Ink-jet 600dpi resolution   Print-to-CD carrier Ethernet, 802.11n WPA2 WPS wireless
Auto-duplex       Optional Bluetooth module



Recommend Retail Price: AUD$299

Optional Extras:

Bluetooth module: BU-30 $69

Inks and Toners

  Price Pages
Black 23.95 2185
Cyan 23.95 462
Magenta 23.95 437
Yellow 23.95 450
Photo Black 23.95 328
Grey 23.95 1515


The printer itself

This machine comes in a piano-black finish and has the user-interface LCD lying flat with the top of the lid. But when you turn it on, the LCD screen lights up and various touch buttons light up in a manner that isn’t dissimilar to either the way a pinball machine or the dial panel on a mid-1970s stereo receiver lights up.

As you use the printer in its various operating modes, some of the buttons light up as required. These buttons are actually touch-panel buttons which will make you think somewhat of operating some of the mid-1980s B&O hi-fi equipment, especially the Beogram CDX CD player which had this similar kind of touch panel. As well, the main display is able to come up at an angle by pushing on a button located behind the display.

Canon PIXMA MG-6150 Multifunction Printer - Display close-up

The display can come up at an angle

Canon PIXMA MG-6150 multifunction printer - operation mode

The printer lit up in operation mode

Walk-up printing

The printer has various “walk-up” functions like copying and printing from camera cards. As well, it can print from cameras using PictBridge, which I have used to print “proof-prints” of the pictures that I took for this review. It can even print PDF documents from USB memory sticks. But its handling of this function can be very fussy at times, especially if you use a PDF prepared by a desktop-publishing program.

As well, there is the ability to create your own stationery like notepaper, graph paper and music manuscript paper. For this latter paper type, you can turn out 12-stave pages which is a lot more flexible for most music tasks like “vocal and piano”, organ or “four-part harmony” music.

Computer functions

The software that is supplied on the CD-ROM can be very tricky to load and can think that there isn’t the printer available. But I have visited Canon’s Website and downloaded the latest version of the software and this has loaded properly and discovered the printer as it should.

The device-initiated scan-to-PC software leave a lot to be desired. The user interface looks very pale and confusing and you can only allocate one path for device-initiated scan jobs. This would be to place the files in a particular folder on the host computer or to attach them to an email in Outlook. As well, it doesn’t support other email clients for scan-to-email. You can determine how the document should be scanned from the printer but there are two forms already set – A4 document to PDF or 4×6 snapshot to JPEG.

Paper handling

Canon PIXMA MG-6150 multifunction printer - paper loading

Paper loading paths in this printer

The paper handling is very similar to some of the other high-end A4-capable PIXMA printers like the direct-connect MP-610 and the fax-enabled network-connectable MX-870 that I previously reviewed on this site. Here, the printer has a front-loadable tray for A4 plain paper as well as the standard rear-mount paper feed tray. This means that you can keep a reserve of ordinary paper on hand in the printer yet use the back path for glossy paper and other special media.

Also, these printers have a fabulous auto-duplex function that has very little registration problems for double-sided documents and can work “to the edge” as far as margins go. This would put the double-sided printing function beyond satisfying the need to avoid wast and in to a league where you can work on both sides for your desktop-publishing needs.

As well, there is a CD printing attachment that slides in the front but you have to flip down a tray that is deeply hidden there. There isn’t any storage for the CD printing attachment so you could then easily lose that part if you occasionally print on CDs.

Printing reliability and quality

The printer is very reliably as far as the mechanism is concerned and could handle large print jobs very easily.

Its document-printing quality is what you would expect for a high-end consumer inkjet unit. When it prints photos, the pictures come out strong on saturation but do lack a bit of definition.

Canon PIXMA MG-6150 Multifunction Printer - 6 ink tanks

6 ink tanks in this printer

This is even though it uses a six-colour ink system whereas most inkjets that I have reviewed use either four colours or five colours if they are “photo-rated”. Sometimes it may be true that the number of colours in a photo-rated inkjet may not yield particular improvements.

Points of improvement

The printer could benefit from an improved scan-to-PC program which gives the user greater choice on how the image should be handled. As well, it could support the ability to define more than one path for scan-to-PC jobs initiated from the control panel.

As well, Canon could supply high-capacity cartridges for these printers as an extra-cost option so that users are covered if they have a huge run of print jobs from the printer.

Conclusion and Placement Notes

I would recommend this printer as being on my shortlist of printers worth deploying as a home-office or secondary-use (study) multifunction printer for the home if you don’t value faxing or email-to-print.

Product Review – Canon PIXMA MX-870 Inkjet Multifunction Printer


The network-enabled printer that I am now reviewing is the Canon PIXMA MX-870 which is positioned at the top-end of the home and small-office / home-office range. It is another of the multifunction printers that are starting to complete a “bridge” between the high-end of a manufacturer’s consumer-oriented range and the low-end of their small-business range when it comes to inkjet-based multifunction printers.

Canon PIXMA MX-870 multifunction printer

Print Scan Copy Fax Document Feeder Paper Trays Connections
Colour Colour Colour Colour Double-sided 2 x A4 USB
Inkjet 2400dpi         Ethernet
Automatic Double-sided           802.11g WPA2 WPS wireless




Black 22.95
Cyan 22.95
Magenta 22.95
Yellow 22.95
Photo-Black 22.95


This printer is the PIXMA MX350’s bigger and more expensive stablemate but offers a lot more for the price. Most of the operations are very similar to the MX350, where the main functions are a button away. Even the quick-forms functions are similar in capability to what the MX350, with the support for printing music sheets that have 12 staves for composing and arranging “vocal+piano”, quartet or organ music.

The network connectivity is very similar to the MX350 where it can be hooked up to either a WPS-capable 802.11g WPA2-PSK wireless-network segment or a Cat5 Ethernet network segment. This can then cater for use with “no-new-wires” network segments based on HomePlug powerline or MoCA TV-coaxial technology when used with the appropriate bridge device.

The fax caters for the full requirements for single-line setups like FaxStream Duet (distinctive-ring) or automatic detect with telephone answering machines as well as the traditional dedicated-line setup. It can work “best-case” with colour transmission and reception.

There is even further improvement with receiving faxes where the unit can be set to print on both sides of the paper when it receives a multi-page fax. This feature can be very confusing when the fax is a separate pre-written document accompanied with a cover page or cover letter because the start of the document may be on the back of the cover page / letter.

It is also worth knowing that there is an optional Bluetooth interface kit which allows you to print pictures on your mobile phone using this printer or the MX350. This can also work with the 

Improvements over the MX350

5 Separate ink cartridges

Five separate ink cartridges

One major improvement that I like is that it uses separately-replaceable cartridges for each of the colours rather than a single colour cartridge. Here, you have 5 inks in separate cartridges which makes this printer more economical to operate

Paper handling

Front paper tray

Paper tray at front of the printer

There is a drawer on the front of the machine which is used for A4 or Letter plain paper. This drawer, which is referred to as the “cassette”, is where you would keep regular paper for use in ordinary print or copy jobs and receiving faxes while you use the rear feeder for printing on to special media like coated or glossy paper. When documents are printed from the paper held in this drawer, the paper path is a “horseshoe” path similar to many HP and Brother printers rather than the linear path used by Epson printers and Canon printers, including this one when it uses the rear tray.

There is also an automatic duplexer which I am very pleased with especially if you want to do your own short-run desktop publishing rather than just use it to conserve paper. Here, you don’t have forced margins or scaling involved and you have a very slight registration shift of 1 or 2 mm between the front and back sides of the page. The only limitation is that you have a 20-second per page time penalty when you print on both sides.

The automatic document feeder is also capable of scanning both sides of a page but it does this in a sequential manner. This can still benefit those of us who scan documents like accounts to PDF for electronic archiving.

User Experience issues

You may find that paper won’t load from the front tray and the printer will show “out of paper” errors for that paper source. This can be rectified by running the printer through a cleaning cycle for the paper-feed roller, which you do by pressing the “Setup” button and selecting “Maintenance”, then “Roller Clean” on the “Maintenance” menu.

Windows 7 users will notice that the printer isn’t replicated twice for the “print-to-fax” queue and the regular printer queue. What will happen is that when they click on the printer in “Devices And Printers”, they will see the printer’s Device Stage which is a “branded” user interface for the printer. If they click on the device status line in the Device Stage header to see what is yet to be printed, they will see a drop-down box which gives the user an option between the printer queue and the print-to-fax queue.


There is still one problem with the software where the print monitor program can be out of step with printer, especially if the computer and the printer are working across the network.

Another limitation that I have found with this printer is that there aren’t any high-yield ink cartridges available for it, which can be of a limitation if you do a lot of printing or have to provide for a period where a lot of documents have to be printed like end-of-school-year.

Similarly, I would like to see the front paper tray be able to hold more paper, especially if you expect to receive more faxes or do a lot of short-run desktop publishing. As well, I have always said this that the printer manufacturers need to take advantage of flash memory being available at cheaper prices in order to provide for efficient print-job handling.

Conclusion and Placement Notes

I would recommend this printer as another option for a home-office or small-business printer, especially where double-sided printing or scanning are required and the business places importance on fax capability. It would also work well for people who will want to use the automatic double-sided printing function as part of their short-run desktop-publishing requirements.

Product Review – Canon PIXMA MX-350 Network Multifunction Printer

I am now reviewing the Canon PIXMA MX-350, which is Canon’s mid-tier network multifunction printer. This is the first printer or multifunction device that I have reviewed on this site that is from another “stable” and it would be interesting to see how it compares with any of the equipment that I have reviewed previously. It can work with Bluetooth mobile phones if you purchase an optional Canon Bluetooth connectivity kit.

Print Scan Copy Fax Automat Document Feeder Paper Handling Connectivity
Colour Colour Colour Colour Single-Side 1 x A4 USB
Inkjet 600 dpi         Ethernet
Black + Colour           Wi-Fi G 
            Bluetooth (with optional kit)

Accessibility and Usage Notes

The printer has a styling that can look very confusing especially when you see the press photos or see the unit at the shop that you buy it at. It has a large body with a door on the front which is the document output tray. This can be opened manually or the printer drops this open when it starts printing. The top of the unit has a bay which you may think documents for scanning, copying or faxing but this area is where the documents are ejected from after they pass through the automatic document feeder. When you load the automatic document feeder, you have to open the flap in the middle of the top of the unit.

Canon PIXMA MX-350 ready to operate

Don’t think that if you lift up under the control panel, you will get to the inside of the printer as if to replace the ink cartridges. Here, you expose the scanner’s glass surface where you would put bound documents to be scanned. When you change the ink cartridges, you have to open the document tray manually then reach in further to lift the lid for the print mechanism. Here, this printer requires you to pull out a stay to keep the lid open when you change the cartridges.

Network Setup and Usability

I have set this unit up with the Wi-Fi network and had found that when you enter the WPA-PSK key, you have to use a mixture of “SMS-style” and “pick-n-select” text entry methods. It can also support “push-to-connect” WPS routers which should make the connection experience much easier. It can also be connected to an Ethernet network if you value the reliability of a wired (Ethernet or HomePlug) network setup or it is located near the router.

As far as the Wi-Fi network is concerned, it is responsive to print or scan jobs sent over the Wi-Fi network even if the machine had gone to a low-power mode after a period of inactivity. This is unlike some HP Wi-Fi printers that I have reviewed which require you to fully power them up at their control panel so they announce their presence on a Wi-Fi network if they have been in low-power for a while.

You still have network access to printing, scanning and faxing functions, with the last one being in the form of a “print-to-fax” function from other network computers. 

Canon PIXMA MX-350 control panel

Control panel

Functionality Notes

Walk-up Functions

Like most printers of this class, the “walk-up” scanning, faxing, copying and “print photos” are a button away. As well, the controls are laid out in a logical manner and the unit uses a bright display to help with job-specific configuration.

The menus on the control panel can be very trying to use especially if you use the wrong paper for a particular job. If the unit highlights an error with the paper type that you select for a particular job, it should then “move” you to the option concerning the paper that you select so you have the opportunity to change that option rather than throwing up the error message.


The unit supports network-based as well as walk-up faxing for both colour and monochrome jobs but it doesn’t have functions that may be valuable for fax users. It supports user-defined “receive-to-memory” for noise-free operation at night or confidential document reception, but doesn’t support scheduled document transmission in any way.


This printer supports a walk-up “template-print” function that works in a similar manner to the “Quick Forms” function on the HP Photosmart Premium Fax and other high-end HP consumer printers, where the printer can turn out pre-ruled stationery like graph paper, notebook paper or music manuscript paper. But this one has an improvement that will please the music composers and arrangers amongst us. Here, there is an option to print portrait-style manuscript sheets that have 12 staves rather than 10 which is important for work like “vocal + piano”, quartets or organ music.

The function could be improved on this machine with support for “landscape-oriented” options for some of the stationery like music paper. This function is available only through the unit’s Setup menu as “Template Print” rather than a dedicated button.


I have run some large copy and print jobs through this printer and it is reliable enough to handle them. The ADF could handle a 20-sheet scan / copy / fax job properly and the printer can run the large jobs properly although you may have to remove the sheets from the output tray after every 50 or so sheets are printed.

Limitations and Points of Improvement

One main limitation that I have found with this printer is that it uses a single colour ink cartridge rather than separate cartridges for each of the colours. This is a glaring omission because most of the equivalent models that are provided by the competing manufacturers have separate cartridges for each of the colours and would place this model at a disadvantage. The PIXMA MX-870, which has duplex printing, has support for the separate colours and this issue affects how expensive it is to run the printer. If the separate ink cartridge was to be kept as a product differentiator, Canon could provide an aftermarket option kit where the printer could be upgraded by the consumer to work with separate inks at a later date.

Another limitation that I would like to see rectified would be that the printer lid is held open with a stay that the user doesn’t need to handle, whether to open or close.

Conclusion and Placement Notes

If this printer used separate ink cartridges for each of the colours, it could stand a chance of being a serious competitor to the HP Photosmart mid-range network-enabled printers and earn itself a rightful place as a multifunction printer option for home-office or small-business use.