Canon Pixma MG3650 review

Canon’s new Pixma MG3650 is an affordable and versatile multifunction inkjet printer for home users – but, as always with low-cost printers, you need to keep an eye on the cost of the replacement ink cartridges. See also: 9 best budget printers you can buy right now

Also see: Best Black Friday Printer Deals

Canon Pixma MG3650 review: Price

The £61.99 price we've quoted is - as always - the manufacturer's recommended price. However, you can easily find it online, and even in stores, for under £50. You can buy it from John Lewis for £49.99, for example, and from Currys for £44.99. It's available in black or white.

The low price means the MG3650 doesn’t have too many frills. There’s no LCD control screen, for example. There's just a small set of buttons on the top-left corner of the printer and the phrase which springs to mind when we checked build quality was "cheap and cheerful".

The cover for the scanner unit seemed particularly flimsy and we almost pulled it off when first setting up the printer. It doesn’t even have a proper internal paper tray, instead relying on a small plastic flap that folds out from the front of the unit to support a stack of up to 100 sheets of A4 paper. But at least that keeps the overall size of the printer down, and the MG3650 will easily fit onto a nearby shelf or desk without taking up too much space.

Canon Pixma MG3650 review: Features

Canon Pixma MG3650 review

There may be no colour screen but you will find all the main printing features you're likely to need. Along with its main printer, scanner and copier functions, the MG3650 provides both USB and Wi-Fi connectivity, along with duplex (two-sided) printing and support for Apple’s AirPrint for iOS devices. There are also apps for both iOS and Android that provide additional options for printing photos, as well as the ability to control the scanner and save your scanned images directly onto your mobile devices.

Canon Pixma MG3650 review: Performance

Printing performance is also good for such a low-cost device. Its print speeds are relatively modest – we got nine pages per minute when printing simple text documents, and 5ppm for colour, while a 6x4in postcard print took 50 seconds – but that should be fine for general day-to-day use at home. Text and graphics output were both good, and our photo prints were bright and colourful, so the MG3650 can certainly handle a wide range of printing tasks.

 Canon Pixma MG3650 review

However, alarm bells started ringing as soon as we saw the size of Canon’s little ink cartridges. If you shop around online you can find the standard black ink cartridge on sale for around £11, while the standard tri-colour cartridge – which includes all three cyan, magenta and yellow coloured inks – comes to about £14. Those prices don’t seem too bad until you discover that the black cartridge lasts for just 180 pages, which works out at just over 6p per page – an astronomical price for simple text printing. Fortunately, the larger XL black cartridges provide better value, costing about £17 for 600 pages. That brings the price down to 2.8p per page, but even that is still a little above average for mono printing.

Thankfully, colour printing is more reasonable. At £14, the standard tri-colour cartridges gives you a cost of around 7.8p per pence per page, which is fairly average for inkjet colour printing. Step up to the XL cartridge at £18 and the cost falls to a surprisingly reasonable 4.5p per page. Even so, the high cost of Canon’s black ink cartridges is still disappointing. Canon’s rivals have introduced new products such as Epson’s Ecotank printers and HP’s Instant Ink subscriptions, which do a lot to reduce the long-term cost of printing, while Canon seems content to stick with the traditional approach of selling its printers cheaply and making big profits on the replacement cartridges.

Canon Pixma MG3650: Specs

  • 4-colour (CMYK) inkjet printer
  • Print resolution – 4800x1200dpi
  • Scanner resolution – 2400x1200dpi
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi, USB, Apple AirPrint
  • Primary paper trays – 100 sheets A4
  • Secondary paper tray – N/A
  • Dimensions – 152x449x304mm
  • Weight – 5.4kg
  • 4-colour (CMYK) inkjet printer
  • Print resolution – 4800x1200dpi
  • Scanner resolution – 2400x1200dpi
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi, USB, Apple AirPrint
  • Primary paper trays – 100 sheets A4
  • Secondary paper tray – N/A
  • Dimensions – 152x449x304mm
  • Weight – 5.4kg

OUR VERDICT

The high cost of Canon’s black ink cartridges means that the MG3650 isn’t a good choice for people who mostly just need to print simple text documents. Fortunately colour printing is far more competitive, so it’s worth considering if you need a versatile printer that can handle colour graphics, or printing photos from your mobile devices.

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