Canon Pixma MG6350 £169
13th Feb 2013 | 15:12
Canon updates its high-end printer
The Canon Pixma MG6350 is more stylish than its predecessor. At 8.4kg (18.5lbs) it's a little lighter, and at 466 x 369 x 148mm (18.3 x 14.5 x 5.8 inches), it's a tad smaller too, most notably in height.
With its six-tank print system, it's aimed at home users who need to print to a very high standard, such as graphic designers or photography enthusiasts. Yet with a full price of £169 (around AU$256/US$265), it's well within the reach of most home users.
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Unlike its stablemate the Canon Pixma MX895, it's not specifically targeted at the home office user. If you're looking for a multi-function printer with a fax facility, an automatic document feeder and Duplex scanning, the MX895 better fits your needs, though the MG6350 has disc printing, which the MX895 lacks.
If you're looking for a shared inkjet all-in-one printer to use in a small office environment, an HP Officejet might be more suitable. The HP Officejet Pro 8500A Plus is very fast, has a sturdy build quality and can print from any device capable of sending it an email, but it has only one paper tray and it doesn't print onto discs.
The Canon Pixma MG6350 can print to a maximum of A4 (roughly US letter) size paper. If you need to print in A3 (16.5 x 11.7 inches) occasionally, the Brother MFC-J4510DW's innovative landscape printing system means you can print in A3 from a printer that's no larger than most A4 printers.
If you don't need the ultra high quality printing and high-end features afforded by the Canon Pixma MG6350 and are looking for something cheaper (both to buy and to run), there's the Kodak ESP 1.2.
Kodak doesn't subsidise its printer costs by charging more for replacement inks, so they're cheaper to run than other brands'. You can buy an ESP 1.2 for about £50-£60 if you shop around, and although Kodak has discontinued its printer range, it still produces its very affordable range of inks.
But if you're looking for high quality printing, twin paper trays, automatic Duplex, a great touchscreen interface, comprehensive connectivity, mobile printing options and printing onto optical discs, the Canon Pixma MG6350 might be just what you need.
The Canon Pixma MG6350 uses a six-tank ink system. As well as the expected cyan, magenta, yellow and black cartridges, there's a grey ink that does much to improve both colour and greyscale photo printing.
There's also a large tank of pigment-based black ink for text printing that's both clearer and waterproof - just the thing for flyers and envelopes.
The inks aren't cheap. A full set of standard 7ml tanks will cost you around £60, with the higher-yield 11ml XL versions costing around £80, and offering better value for money. The Canon Pixma MG6350 has a print resolution of up to 9600 x 2400 dpi.
As you'd expect from a high-end Canon home printer, the MG6350 can be connected directly to your computer with a standard USB cable (not supplied), or networked using Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n or Ethernet (again, cable not supplied).
With your printer connected to your network, you can take advantage of its AirPrint compatibility for printing directly from Apple's mobile devices. It's also Google Cloud Print compatible. This enables you to print from almost any internet-connected device from anywhere in the world.
It also features Pixma Cloud Link, which means you may browse and print photos from your online albums at Canon Image Gateway or Picasa directly on the printer screen, and print Canon's stationary templates such as calendars, graph paper and envelopes.
There's also a free Canon Easy-PhotoPrint app for iOS, Android and Windows RT devices for printing images from and scanning directly to your smartphone or tablet.
Unlike its predecessor, the new Canon Pixma MG6350 has two paper trays. The lower cassette can hold up to 125 sheets of A4 (US letter) size, while the upper tray is for photo paper of 10 x 15cm (3.9 x 5.9 inches) or 13 x 18cm (5.1 x 7.1 inches).
This is an improvement on the Canon Pixma MG6250, which had a single photo tray and used a rear sheet feeder for photo paper. Neither of the MG6350's trays are particularly big, but they're perfectly adequate for a home printer.
Another improvement over the Canon Pixma MG6250 is that the new Pixma multi-function device's disc tray, used for printing onto optical discs, is caddied on the base of the upper paper tray when not in use. It's far less likely to get lost than the 6250's, which was supplied loose.
When you want to print on CDs or DVDs, just remove the disc tray, put your disc in it and slide it into the slot on the front of the printer.
The Canon Pixma MG6350's flatbed scanner has an optical resolution of up to 2400 x 4800 dpi, and is Twain compatible. Its colour touchscreen is 8.8cm (3.5 inches) from corner to corner, which is slightly bigger than the Canon Pixma MG6250's display-only screen.
The new Pixma supports automatic Duplex at A4 (US letter), A5 (8.3 x 5.8 inches) and B5 (9.8 x 6.9 inches) sizes, is WLAN PictBridge compatible and supports all popular memory cards including SD/SDHC, Memory Stick and Compact Flash.
The Canon Pixma MG6350 is available in black or white, and you can set the touchscreen's background colour to match the unit.
As you'd expect from a high-end Canon printer, print quality on the Canon Pixma MG6350 is excellent. Text is clear and sharp, and perfectly readable even at very low point sizes. It's very vivid too. Compared to Canon text print-outs, some other manufacturers' efforts look tired and jaded.
Default-quality photo printing on ordinary photocopier paper is reasonably impressive. Some inkjet printers use too much ink when printing on plain paper, making the image overly dark and lacking in vibrancy.
Perhaps the Canon Pixma MG6350 goes a little too far the other way, with skin tones looking slightly bleached, but detail is fine. There was too much banding for our liking, though. In this respect, the Canon Pixma MG6350 puts in a weaker performance than the Canon Pixma MG6250.
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Switching to high-quality prints on premium photo paper, the high-end, six-tank printer proved its worth. It really puts in a stellar performance, with strong, vibrant colours, great detail and a very smooth colour ramp.
It was pretty fast too, taking a little over 2 mins 10 secs to print an A4 (US letter) sized test image, a very good result for high-quality photo printing.
The Canon Pixma MG6350 was suitably speedy when it came to large text files too. Our 20-page test document also printed in 2 mins 10 secs, an excellent speed for an inkjet printer built for the home market. An office-orientated printer such as an HP Officejet might print a little quicker, but there's very little in it.
As a scanner, the Canon Pixma MG6350 is every bit as capable as you'd expect from a Canon image capture device. Colours are well reproduced, and it's very fast, scanning an A4 page in under 10 seconds when warmed up.
It photocopied a magazine cover in just over 30 seconds too, which isn't a bad time for a home all-in-one. Photocopied documents were sharp and colours were accurately reproduced, though again there was too much banding.
The software has improved, but you might still prefer third-party and OS applications to those bundled with the printer. Mac users, for example, have Image Capture and iPhoto pre-installed, both of which are more capable and convenient than Canon's own programs.
The smaller form factor makes installing the ink cartridges a little more fiddly than it was with the Canon Pixma MG6250, but it's not a big problem.
A more significant drawback is that it's irritatingly noisy, even for an inkjet printer. You certainly wouldn't want it chugging away in the background while you're watching TV.
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Canon's Pixma MG6350 premium multi-function inkjet printer is packed with features. You can connect it to your computer using USB, or to your local network over Ethernet or Wi-Fi.
A networked Canon Pixma MG6350 is AirPrint compatible and Google Cloud Print ready. A free mobile app enables you to print from and scan to your smartphone or tablet, too.
It has twin paper trays for regular and photo paper, and can print directly onto optical discs. It's far more elegant than its predecessor, the Canon Pixma MG6250. It's better looking, and adds a touchscreen interface. It supports all popular memory card formats, and WLAN PictBridge.
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The Canon Pixma MG6350 is great at printing high-quality photos, and it does so pretty quickly too. Indeed, its overall speeds are excellent for a home printer, and even rival some office-orientated inkjets. Text printing is clear and well defined, and it has automatic Duplex for two-sided printing.
We certainly welcome the six-tank ink system, with the usual cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks augmented by a grey cartridge for better defined colours when photo printing, and pigment-based black for superior text printing.
The new touchscreen interface is very welcome, bringing Canon printers into line with some of its rivals. We love the way the tray used for optical disc on-body printing is caddied by one of the paper trays when not in use, too. You're far less likely to lose it this way.
Although overall printing standards are very good, the Canon Pixma MG6350's plain-paper photo and graphics prints suffered from banding. This didn't happen on the Canon Pixma MG6250, and it shouldn't happen here.
It's also too noisy, making an irritating knocking sound over and above the usual noises you'd expect from an inkjet printer. Fitting the ink cartridges is a little awkward too, and definitely more fiddly than the Canon Pixma MG6250, but this is the price you pay for the new printer's more elegant form factor. It's a little more expensive than average, both to buy and to run.
When designing the Canon Pixma MG6350, Canon wisely refrained from 'fixing' things that weren't broken in its predecessor, the Pixma MG6250. The celebrated six-tank print engine is retained, giving the same stellar photo and text printing.
The feature set is the same too, with comprehensive mobile and internet printing available out of the box. Instead, a few areas of inelegance about the Canon Pixma MG6250 have been addressed.
The new printer is better looking, the untidy rear sheet feeder for photo papers has been replaced by a second paper tray. The loose caddy for optical disc printing now fits on the underside of one of the paper trays when not in use, where previously you had to find a convenient drawer or shelf.
The touchscreen interface is much better than the Canon Pixma MG6250's push-button controls, too.
Unfortunately, a few negatives have crept in. The Canon Pixma MG6350 bands much more than its predecessor when printing images on plain paper, and it's irritatingly noisy, too. Even so, its speed, quality text printing and stellar photo reproduction win through.
As long as you don't need office-orientated features such as a fax and ADF, the Canon Pixma MG6350 is an excellent choice of multi-function inkjet printer.