The Canon Pixma MG6350 is a multifunction printer that offers colour inkjet printing on paper and disc (CD, DVD, Blu-ray) via USB, Wi-Fi, smartphone app and cloud, as well as high-resolution scanning and copying.
The Pixma MG6350 is a sleek, low-profile, good-looking all-in-one printer/scanner/copier that boasts an intuitive 8.8cm colour touch-panel control screen. Unlike the more tactile Canon Pixma MX895 there’s not a single physical button on this printer. See other multifuction printer reviews.
It’s available in glossy black and ultra-cool white, which is a nice change from the usual black-only option.
Touch controls and automatic paper output
The hidden touch controls make this wireless inkjet photo all-in-one smooth and sleek, although I did inadvertently nudge some of the controls when my hand brushed the machine.
The paper output tray comes with a neat paper-support bar that automatically half extends when opened and retracts automatically when shut.
Pixma MG6350: inkjet printer
The printer’s six-ink system includes grey for richer colour photos and stunning mono prints. The full set of inks are: Pigment black, black, cyan, magenta, yellow and grey.
The advantage of so many ink tanks is that you change only the colour that has run out rather than multi-ink cartridges that require new supplies even though one or more colours are still available.
That’s not to say that the Pixma MG6350’s inks are cheap – they aren’t – but the number of times you have to replenish them should be lessened.
It's easy to access these inks: you simply flip up the top front panel, but not the entire top of the unit as with most multifunction printers.
It might not have a green ink cartridge but this is an energy-efficient printer. Auto Power On automatically turns the printer on when you start printing, and Auto Power Off switches the printer off if not used for a set time. And you can save paper, too, as it supports duplex (two-sided) printing.
The MG6350 has two separate paper trays. Neither holds a lot of paper – the lower tray holds 125 sheets of A4/legal/letter paper, and the upper tray can hold 20 sheets of photo paper (max: 4-x-6in) – but you can load the different types of paper simultaneously.
Black output is dark and sharp at default settings and even crisper at the best quality setting. The colour output looks orangeish on plain paper, but crisp and accurate, if a bit cool, on Canon’s own photo paper.
We liked the photo-quality (1pl, 9,600dpi) prints, although there was some regular banding on some of the output – which we were obviously less pleased about. We’ll be checking to see if this was just a problem on the review unit we tested.
In our tests, monochrome pages print faster enough at 8.4 pages per minute (ppm) on the PC and 7.7ppm on the Mac. Photo speeds are average: snapshot-size (4-x-6-inch) photos print at 2.7ppm to plain paper and just over one per minute to glossy photo stock. Full-page photos printed on the Mac exit at about 0.6ppm.
Pixma MG6350: CD/DVD disc printing multifunction printer
While the MG6350 doesn’t have a fax facility – and who uses fax these days anyway? – it does offer something that the Pixma MX895 doesn’t: direct on-disc printing. the ability to print onto disc might not be necessary for everyone, but it's a great extra for the MG6350.
While Apple is stripping optical DVD and CD drives from its range of Mac desktops and laptops there are still plenty of us who still use and create discs for archiving, sharing and music.
The ability to print direct to disc will be enormously attractive to disc devotees, and there aren't many direct disc printers available. You can also copy from one disc and print this directly to another.
One of the reasons people might choose the MG6350 is the Direct to Disc CD/DVD/Blu-ray disc printing function – which is rare for inkjets and multifunction all-in-ones.
Previously we’ve been impressed by Canon’s Direct to Disc function on inkjets such as the Pixma IP4500. With the 6350 you get the same great results on printable discs but the process is a bit more of a hassle first time round.
Where the IP4500 used Canon’s clunky but simple CD-LabelPrint software the MG6350 relies on the bundled Canon My Image Garden software (see below). I eventually worked out how this worked but found the software and the online manual unhelpful and unintuitive.
It also took me quite a while to work out where to place the special disc-printing tray. The manual instructed me to “open the inner cover” but nowhere in the online or printed Getting Started sheet was an “inner cover” mentioned. I’ve included a picture here so you don’t have to go through the initial confusion.
Once you’ve worked all this out disc printing is straightforward, except for the head-scratching Image Garden software, and the results are good. The whole process is needlessly over-complicated, though, and features an annoying five clicks and one printer-screen OK tap when you’re ready to print.
That said, if you need a quality multifunction inkjet printer that can print onto discs as well as paper the Canon Pixma MG6350 does the job very well.
Pixma MG6350: scanner/copier
Copy and scan times are both very fast compared to the average. The A4 flatbed scanner lacks an automatic document feeder (ADF) for longer documents, but the scanner lid does telescope to accommodate thicker materials.
Pixma MG6350: Latest internet, app and wi-fi technologies
All the latest printing platforms are supported, including Apple AirPrint that lets you print directly from an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.
Canon’s Pixma Cloud Link enables access to internet content directly from the printer, so users can print photos directly from available online albums and have access to a range of printable online templates, such as stationary and calendars.
Cloud Link lets you can print directly from the Internet using the printer’s touch screen, where you can browse and print your photos from online albums at either the Canon iMage Gateway or Google’s popular Picasa. Using Google’s Cloud Print you can print from anywhere that has a wi-fi or data, including emails, photo and PDF attachments, and Google Docs from your Gmail account.
You can download the Android and iOS app Easy-PhotoPrint for wireless printing from your smartphone or tablet.
Setup was, again, not ideal. To enable the wi-fi on the printer you are instructed to “press and hold the WPS button on the access point”. If Canon thinks that most inkjet users know what a WPS button or even an access point is it clearly believes we’re all IT support engineers rather than ordinary non-technical people.
As you see when I describe the other bunndled software that ships with this printer Canon seriously needs to make its manuals and on-screen instructions a lot more intuitive and simple for ordinary mortals to understand.
Canon print software: My Image Garden
The Pixma 6350 comes with My Image Garden software for organising and printing your photos, with some nifty features such as facial recognition, calendar creation, layout suggestions and a bunch of fun filters. The Print Your Days app (Windows only) lets you print photos direct from Facebook.
I’m probably spoiled being a long-time user of Apple’s iPhoto software but I found Canon’s bundled My Image Garden to be utterly unintuitive. Lord knows how you’re supposed to simply import photos into the software. It picked up an apparently random selection of photos from my hard disc, but there’s no obvious import function in the controls.
You’d be wiser sticking with quality photo software such as Adobe’s Photoshop Elements (Windows and Mac) or Apple’s iPhoto (Mac only) than trying to get your head round My Image Garden. Sadly uou do need to use it for disc printing, so you can expect some initial confusion when embarking on this aspect of the printing functions.
Canon’s Facebook application Print Your Days helps you enhance and print photos directly from the social site. You can adjust photo layouts and create collage prints with up to five photos printed on a page, with a range of style and editing options, including borders, effects, cropping and captions. Mac users don’t get this option, sadly, as it requires Windows 7 or Vista and Microsoft Silverlight 5.
Pixma 6350: price and ink costs
The Pixma MG6350 has an RRP of £169, but at the time of writing could be found for around £130 – see the retailers listed at the foot of this review. If you want the white version the list of retailers is smaller than for the more standard black model.
Of course, as with all inkjets, the real expense comes with the ink cartridges. A full set of the six standard ink cartridges will cost around £60, but the higher-yielding XL cartridges, while £80, offer better value per page – with Canon claiming between two and four times the page yield for the XL cartridges.
This is not the cheapest inkjet we’ve tested but there’s some comfort in the more efficient six-ink system.