Ink Control Tests
In our tests, we exhaust (printing until the color runs out) a new set of cartridges. In this case, “exhaustion” means the printer will not print another “quality” document without a replacement. We print at a ratio of three pages of black and white text to one full page of color. We decided on the 3:1 ratio because we felt that the average user is printing more text than color.
The Canon Pixma MG4220 comes with two standard capacity Canon cartridges: a Canon PG-240 pigment-based black ink cartridge and Canon CL-241 dye-based color cartridge. Canon does offer high capacity ink cartridges for the Pixma MG4120: the Canon PG-240XL pigment-based black ink cartridge and the Canon CL-241XL dye-based color cartridge. But since they were not included in the original packaging, we didn’t test them.
At the ratio of 3:1 in Canon’s standard printing mode, the Pixma MG4120 printed about 262 pages when I noticed the quality of the prints was diminished. The Pixma MG4220 simply tells the user that cartridges are low and the customer makes the judgment call on how much longer they will continue to use them.
I experienced zero paper jams during testing but the color processing times can be frustrating.
The Pixma MG4220 is Energy Star qualified so I wasn’t surprised that the Energy use was low. Being a budget machine with a small display, the highest energy spike for the MG4220 was 20W during our tests.
In sleep mode, the Pixma MG4220 pulls in 2W of energy while in ready mode, it pulls in about 5W of energy (with the LCD on).
When printing black and white text documents the printer uses between 12-18W of energy at any given point, but when printing color photos, the energy use drops to about 11-15W of energy at any given time.
Pixma MG4220 Specifications:
- 3-in-1 inkjet: Print, Scan and Copy
- Print speeds: up to 9.9 ipm in black, 5.7 ipm in color
- Print resolution: up to 4800 x 1200 dpi
- 2.5-inch adjustable LCD
- Automatic duplexing
- Apple AirPrint
- Pixma Cloud Link, Easy-Photo Print App
- Memory card reader
- Fast Front ink system
- Paper capacity: 100 sheets
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, USB 2.0
- Energy Star qualified
- Operating systems: Windows XP or later, Mac OS X v10.5.8 or later
- 1-year limited warranty with Instant Exchange program
I’m sure consumers get tired of manufacturers constantly updating their hardware; it’s impossible to keep up without buying a new device every six months to a year. And for the most part I wouldn’t recommend it as upgradable models are often just repacked copies of the previous generation with a lower price tag and possibly one or two new features.
But in the Pixma MG4220’s case, you are actually getting noticeable upgrades from the Pixma MG4120 including a larger LCD and reworked control panel as well as a new software package with intuitive features, a big plus in my book as manufacturers like Epson and HP move away from providing easy to use photo software. Canon has also improved the usability of their mobile print and web connected applications for a year or two ago.
Most importantly, the quality for a budget friendly photo printer still remains top notch and the compact footprint fits in nearly any home or dorm room.
The drawbacks are few but ongoing. My biggest pet peeve with the Canon PIXMA Photo lineup is the considerable pause between each color print. I can’t wrap my brain around why this is necessary when no other manufacturer has this issue with their devices. Ink costs are a considerable concern but in the case of the Pixma MG4220, you can get a set of high capacity cartridges for around $50. Pricey, yes, but not the worst in the business.
In any case, the Pixma MG4220 Wireless Photo All-in-One is a worthy replacement printer for your old beat up bubblejet. If you are lover of new tech and can’t stand holding on to last year’s model, you won’t be disappointed with the noticeable upgrades but you might be bummed to find some of the old flaws.
Pricing and Availability
The Canon Pixma MG4220 Wireless Photo All-in-One is expected to be available by the end of July 2012 through Canon and authorized vendors for the suggested retail price of $129.99.
Supplies and accessories are available through Canon and authorized vendors. A set of standard capacity ink cartridges (PG-240 and CL-241) are $43.98 while a set of high capacity ink cartridges (PG-240XL and CL-241XL) are $50.98. The extra high capacity PG-240XXL retails for $37.99. All pricing taken from Canon’s website.
The Pixma MG4220 comes with a 1-year limited warranty, but customers can purchase a Canon CarePack Extended Service Plan (2-years) for $25 on Canon’s website.