Canon Pixma MX432: Basic MFP, Pricey Black Ink

22.05.2012

The Pixma MX432's performance is good for a $100 multifunction printer. Monochrome pages print at 6.5 pages per minute from the PC, and 6.7 ppm from the Mac. Snapshot photos print at 2.6 ppm on plain paper, and 0.6 ppm on glossy photo stock. A full-page photo takes about three minutes. Copies are fast, even when matched against output from higher-priced inkjet MFPs, at about 6.2 ppm.

The Pixma MX432 ships with 180-page starter cartridges. The replacement 240 black ink is very expensive, while the 241 color cartridge is reasonably affordable. The PG-240XL black cartridge costs $21 and lasts for 300 pages--that's 7 cents per page. The larger, 600-page PG-240XXL (priced at $38), at 6.3 cents per page, isn't much cheaper. In contrast, the $30 unified-color (three colors in a single cartridge) CL-241XL lasts for 400 pages, which works out to 7.5 cents per page. Factoring in the XXL black, you get affordable 13.8 cent four-color pages--maybe. Since you must replace the cartridge when one color runs out, if you use colors unevenly, the price per page will rise due to unusable ink left over when you empty the compartment for the most heavily used color.

The Pixma MX432 is a decent, inexpensive MFP for light use. Costs for four-color pages are on par with its peers, and I find the lower-tech controls easier to use than the company's fancier efforts on its more expensive products. That said, the Pixma MX432 faces stiff competition from the likes of the Kodak Hero 3.1 (slow, but with cheap ink and spectacular photos), and the stylish though slightly pricier HP Photosmart 5520.