The Canon Pixma mini320 is a compact photo printer featuring a special scrollwheel that makes printing photos an easy, smooth experience.

Equipped with a carrying handle and a bright LCD screen, the Canon Pixma mini320 is very similar in appearance to its predecessor, the Canon Pixma mini260.

Unfortunately, the Canon Pixma mini320 is not much of an improvement over its predecessor. Still missing is the option to print in black and white. And while the Canon Pixma mini320's print quality is very pleasing, faint scratches still appear on prints, presumably from the printer's roller - an issue we also found in the mini260.

As it is, the Canon Pixma mini320 is an impressive device, but the lack of improvement over the previous model is disappointing.

The Canon Pixma mini320 sports an attractive white and silver casing, reminiscent of the iPod. Selecting and editing photos is easy using the mini320's scrollwheel.

However, after you apply your edits, the Canon Pixma mini320 doesn't offer you the option to preview your edited image before printing it. The lack of a preview mode means you'll likely be using a lot of ink to get your photo to look just right. That's irritating.

You can connect the Canon Pixma mini320 to your PC, but that would somewhat defeat the purpose of purchasing a compact photo printer. We recommend printing photos straight from your memory card. The Canon Pixma mini320 supports a wide range of memory cards, including Secure Digital cards, MultiMediaCard, CompactFlash, Microdrive, Memory Stick, and others.

If your photo card isn't supported, you'll either have to connect your camera directly to the Canon Pixma mini320 via USB or purchase a card adaptor.

It's far from cheap to use, but the Canon Pixma mini320 is capable of printing photos as large as 5 by 7 inches. You'll probably be printing standard 4-by-6 inch photos most often with the mini320, but printing on larger sizes could come in handy when printing more scenic photos.

The Canon Pixma mini320's print quality is impressive: colours appear accurate, with excellent shadow detail. But under bright light, we could see very faint scratches on photos printed with the mini320. These scratches are negligible, but we're surprised Canon didn't rectify this issue since it was found on the mini260.

As for speed, the Canon Pixma mini320 turned in average results. The printer took 1 minute and 17 seconds to print a single 4-by-6 inch photo. By way of comparison, our Top Product in the compact photo printer category, the Epson PictureMate Zoom, took 42 seconds to complete the same task.

Canon Pixma mini320: Specs

  • Maximum resolution: 9600x2400dpi colour
  • 1-picoliter sized ink droplets
  • borderless 4x6in photo prints in approximately 40 seconds
  • 2.5in high-def TFT display delivers sharp previews of images, viewable from up to a 170-degree wide-angle view
  • print photos directly from memory card
  • built-in Auto-Image Fix feature
  • prints: 4x6in, 4x8in, 5x7in, photo stickers and credit card sized images
  • USB 2.0 and PictBridge compatible
  • includes AC adaptor, CLI-36 FINE colour cartridge and software
  • CompactFlash, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Microdrive, MultiMedia Card (MMC), SD Card, SDHC Card
  • 2.4kg
  • 81x226x259mm
  • Maximum resolution: 9600x2400dpi colour
  • 1-picoliter sized ink droplets
  • borderless 4x6in photo prints in approximately 40 seconds
  • 2.5in high-def TFT display delivers sharp previews of images, viewable from up to a 170-degree wide-angle view
  • print photos directly from memory card
  • built-in Auto-Image Fix feature
  • prints: 4x6in, 4x8in, 5x7in, photo stickers and credit card sized images
  • USB 2.0 and PictBridge compatible
  • includes AC adaptor, CLI-36 FINE colour cartridge and software
  • CompactFlash, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Microdrive, MultiMedia Card (MMC), SD Card, SDHC Card
  • 2.4kg
  • 81x226x259mm

OUR VERDICT

Although the Canon Pixma mini320's prints are attractive and the scrollwheel interface is fun to use, the printer isn't a very wise investment given its increased cost per print. Pitted against the PictureMate Zoom, which prints superior photos at faster speeds for a cheaper price per print, the mini320 almost doesn't stand a chance.

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