The Pixma MX925 is the latest addition to Canon's printer family, the flagship model in its 2013 range. It's an inkjet multifunction with all the features you expect from a 4-in-1. It has fax, a 250-sheet plain paper tray, a 20-sheet photo paper tray, a direct-to-CD/DVD tray, a 7.5 cm screen and optional XXL ink cartridges. The target audience: small businesses. Canon claims the MX925 produces "photo-lab quality" photos with the use of five separate ink reservoirs. Let's see what this printer can do.
DESIGN & BUILD
Print, copy, scan, fax, the MX925's got it all. It features Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, duplex (double-sided) printing and advanced paper handling with multiple trays. At 50 x 39 x 23 cm and 12 kg, it's slightly larger than the Pixma MG6350 (46 x 36 x 14 cm and roughly 8 kg), but not too big to fit on a desk. It works with both PC and Mac and has numerous interfaces: Hi-Speed USB, Ethernet (10/100 MB/s), password-protected Wi-Fi (WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK and WEP encryption) and optional Bluetooth v2.0. It's compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 7 and Windows Vista, Windows XP (32-bit only) and Mac OS X 10.6.8 and later. It does not support Linux, PostScript or PCL and it has no memory card reader, just a USB port.
Unlike the MG6350, the display is not a touchscreen. Users will have to settle with the arrow buttons to navigate, which isn't always intuitive.
On the ink carriage inside the printer are slots for five cartridges: black, pigmented black, yellow, magenta and cyan. The carriage is easy to access (you just open the lid) and the cartridges slide right in.
Five ink cartridges
At the bottom-front of the printer's exterior are two separate paper trays. The lower tray holds up to 250 sheets of plain paper, which is two and a half times as many as the Pixma MG6350 (100 pages). The top tray holds 20 sheets of photo paper.
Two paper trays
Canon's print speeds have remained the same for the past three generations. For businesses, this could be a deal-breaker. We measured 12 pages per minute (ppm) in colour and 6 ppm in black & white. B&W prints take longer on Canon printers because the ink takes more time to dry after exiting the machine. This is much slower in B&W than the competing HP Photosmart 6520 e-All-in-One (13 ppm in colour and 19 ppm in B&W) and Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4525DNF (14 ppm in colour and 21 ppm in B&W). If print speed is really an important factor for your business—and if you have a larger budget—we highly recommend looking into the HP Officejet Pro X576dw, which prints at 40 ppm in colour and 43 ppm in B&W.
Relative to the competition, the Pixma MX925 gets much better speeds on photographs than it does on text documents, taking 1 minute and 7 seconds for A4 and 26 seconds for 4 x 6".
As always, Canon delivers great quality prints. It's a versatile brand that excels in photo printing and holds its own with text documents.
Canon has decided to purposely exaggerate colours on the MX925 in order to make them look more "flashy" and impressive. As a result, the colours are less accurate, less true to the actual shades in the file you're trying to print, and the readings we got from our sensor necessarily lower our score for the MX925's print quality. However, at the end of the day it's all a matter of taste. Some people don't care as much about colour accuracy and prefer their prints that way. It's your choice.
The test graph below was printed in text mode, which is known for printing colour images such as these less well than photo mode, but it's a good way to see exactly what the text mode is capable of when put to the test. Besides, it's common to find graphs and other images in text documents. Here, we enlarged the image three times to bring out the detail.
See all those little white speckles in the green background? Those are the ink droplets, which are clearly visible. Normally it should just be straight green, like the yellow in the legend. That said, these 1 picolitre droplets are much smaller than on certain other printers, which can produce up to 3 picolitre droplets. Also, the yellow lettering lacks precision and depth, making it difficult to read.
Take a look at the Face-Off and you'll see the difference in quality between the MX925 and the HP Officejet Pro X576dw. The Officejet Pro X576dw sets a whole new record for print speed, and it prints text and graphs within text documents more clearly than the MX925. But, as you can see, the print quality on the photographs is far behind the MX925.
The Pixma MX925 is a great photo printer. In photo mode, the colours come out less saturated than on most Canon printers and the ink droplets are completely invisible. The pictures look precise, the detail in the original file is correctly reproduced and the resolution is excellent.
POWER USE & NOISE
The MX925 is super quiet in photo mode (42 dB) and loud in document mode (54 dB). But there's good news for Canon: in our rating system we take the average of the two. That puts the MX925 at 48 dB overall, making it officially "quiet" (printers are considered "quiet" when they produce under 50 dB) and eligible for five stars. Also, if you don't mind sacrificing print speed, you can always switch to quiet mode.
However, we weren't that impressed with the Eco mode. The only setting you can change is whether duplex is automatic or not. You can't adjust the screen brightness, the standby wait time or anything else that you can on most other competing printers.
SCAN & COPY
The scanner is a colour CIS scanner with 2400 x 4800 dpi resolution. It has an automatic document feeder and can scan directly to USB key or computer or send to someone via e-mail. It took us one minute to scan an A4 document in 300 dpi, which is slow.
Copies prints in colour and/or B&W. As with most multifunction printers, the copy quality is only so good. It took us 28 seconds to make a monochrome copy and 26 seconds for colour. You can, however, see a copy preview, which is always handy, and you can resize the image, adjust the intensity and quality, or change the paper size, paper type and page layout.
COST PER PAGE
The cost per page at the time of writing this and based on the prices we've been able to find online is 8.8 pence per page. To make this calculation we take the lowest ink cartridge prices we find and divide them by the number of pages the cartridges yield, and then add them all up to see how much you end up spending on ink for every page you print. While the XL/XXL cartridges have made Canon's costs per page fall dramatically (they used to be much higher than the competition), they're still struggling to beat the competition. The Lexmark OfficeEdge Pro 5500 gets 6 pence per page, HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus gets 5 pence per page and the Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4525DNF gets 3.5 pence per page. All in all, inkjet ink prices have really begun to compete with laser prices.