DESIGN & BUILD
You can see the "Canon touch" in the MG6350's rounded edges, the omnipresent glossy plastic and the hint of elegance. It's visually inconspicuous, as multifunctions go, and won't look out of place at home or in a business setting. At 46 x 36 x 14 cm and weighing about 8 kg, this machine's compact form allows it to fit easily on any desktop. It features duplex printing, high-speed USB, Ethernet (10/100 Mbps), Wi-Fi (WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK, WEP) and password protection.
With the front closed
Like all the other recent Pixma models, the MG6350 includes the apps Print Your Days for printing images straight off Facebook (Windows 7 only!), My Image Garden and Creative Park Premium, a databank of images and templates for creating things like calendars, greeting cards and posters with new content from National Geographic, plus printable 3D space shuttle models from NASA.
The 8.8 cm touchscreen is clear, responsive, comfortable and user-friendly.
As seen in the image below, on the very left-hand side of the machine are the card slots compatible with Memory Stick Micro, RS-MMC, mini-SD, mini-SDHC, micro-SDHC and more. When you insert your memory card, the photos appear automatically on the touchscreen and you can print them right there without going through a computer.
Card readers on the left
Held in a carriage under the lid are six separate ink cartridges, all easy to access and change: one black, one pigmented black, one grey and the three primary colours.
Six ink cartridges on the carriage
The MG6350 accepts Canon ink cartridges only. In fact, each cartridge has an electronic chip on it so that the printer can recognise if it was made by Canon or if it's a re-manufactured or generic brand cartridge. This has the obvious benefit of ensuring Canon its ink sales, but the drawback of being more harmful to the environment...
The cartridges up close
On the bottom of the printer are two separate paper trays. The lower tray holds 125 sheets of ordinary paper and the upper tray holds 20 sheets of photo paper. The upside to this is that you can load different types of paper simultaneously; the downside is that they only hold 125 and 20 sheets.
Under the second paper tray is the direct-to-disc tray for printing CD, DVD and Blu-ray labels.
The back is just as sober and elegant-looking as the front. Power supply, USB, Ethernet.
The print speeds are practically the same as the Pixma MG6250. We recorded 12 ppm (pages per minute) in colour and 6 ppm in B&W. The speeds for B&W prints are lower than average due to Canon's chronically slower drying times. The MG6350 is slower than the HP Photosmart 6520, which prints 13 and 19 ppm, respectively.
Print speeds for plain text documents (in pages per minute)
With photographs the Pixma MG6350 takes 1 minute and 18 seconds to print in A4 format and just 23 seconds in 4 x 6".
Print speeds for photographs (in pages per minute)
We gave the last model, the MG6250, five stars for print quality. But that's because we hadn't yet implemented our new testing criteria, which includes a study of the average discrepancy (Delta E 94) between the colours intended in the file and those printed on-page.
Canon deliberately exaggerates the colours in order to make them appear more flashy and impressive. Unfortunately, that also means they don't print out the way you mean them to. It's all a matter of taste: some people prefer the look and don't really care about accuracy; others, such as companies that have logos and letterheads with very precisely chosen colours, may not be as happy with the results.
In either case, our sensor doesn't lie. It picked up a Delta E of 12.2, which means extremely exaggerated tones (the higher the Delta E 94, the less accurate the colours, where 3 and below are ideal). That's more than the HP Officejet 6700 Premium, which already has an astronomical dE of 10, and the HP Photosmart 6520, which has an average of 9. On the Pixma MG6350 the blues, greens, reds and magentas are especially off-kilter.
Average Delta E 94 (colour difference): 12.2.
The higher the bar, the less accurate the colour.
The average dE of all the printers we've reviewed is 7.
The average dE of all the printers we've reviewed is 7.
In the test graph below you can see the ink droplets in solidly coloured areas. And yet, at one picolitre they're particularly small compared most others, which go up to three picolitres. The lettering lacks both precision and depth, which makes the writing in the yellow legend more strenuous to read.
Compare this with the same photo printed on competing printers in the Face-Off
Photo printed on an MG6350 and then scanned at 300 dpi
Photo printed on an MG6350 and then scanned at 600 dpi
As usual, the colour difference is lower on photo paper than standard document paper.
Average Delta E 94 (colour difference): 5.2
SCAN & COPY
The scanner is a flatbed scanner with a Contact Image Sensor (CIS).
The scanning/copying table
The scanner features: scan-to-PC, document scanning (PDF, Compact PDF), photo scanning (JPEG, TIFF, PNG), automatic scan, password-protected PDF files, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), scan-to-e-mail, scan-to-cloud and scan-to-memory-card. All practical things!
The copier isn't the fastest one on the market. It takes 17 seconds for B&W copies and 40 seconds for colour copies. However, the settings and options menus have a lot of options laid out in a clear and understandable interface.
You can print straight away without touching any settings by simply pressing 'BLACK' (for B&W) or 'COLOR'. To change the size, contrast intensity, paper type, layout and duplex/simplex, you have to go through the menu.
To change the number of copies, you just scroll through the numbers with your finger, as shown below.
As always, the quality in copy mode is pretty deplorable. It's meant for text only. Once copied, colours look washed out, with imprecisely drawn lines. Canon's copy mode isn't particularly any worse than with any other brand, although the colours are less accurate here than on the HP Photosmart 6520, which has an average Delta E of 3.2, compared to 7.5 on the Pixma MG6350.
Average Delta E 94 (colour difference): 7.5
POWER USE & NOISE
This is one quiet, little energy saver. It consumes 0.7 W on standby and 19 W at work, which is just about average for inkjet printers, and produces only 45 dB of noise (that's with the quiet mode turned off). This is well below the standard 50 dB cut-off line for a printer to be considered 'quiet'.
COST PER PAGE
With high capacity ink cartridges the cost per page is 7.8 pence. While Canon's adoption of the XL cartridge size has made the brand's costs per page fall compared to before, it's still higher than other models. The Lexmark OfficeEdge Pro 5500 gets 6 pence per page, the HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus gets 5 pence per page and the Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4525DNF gets just 3.5 pence per page. The cost per page on inkjet printers is finally starting to compete with laser printers.
ISO Lifespan - text
|Cartridge||Price (starting at)||ISO lifespan||Cost per page|
|PGI-550 XL (pigmented black)||£14||500||2.8 pence|
|CLI-551 XL (black)||£10||4,425||
|CLI-551 XL (cyan)||£10||665||1.5 pence|
|CLI-551 XL (magenta)||£10||660||1.5 pence|
|CLI-551 XL (yellow)||£10||685||1.5 pence|
|CLI-551 XL (grey)||£11||3,350||0.3 pence|