Top positive review
204 people found this helpful
on May 15, 2013
I am replacing a Cannon S820 inkjet. I decided to buy another Cannon because its paper handling was superb. My local Staples had no simple Cannon printers, so I bought the MX452. This is my first printer/scanner and first wireless printer.
First impression: For an inkjet this thing is a beast, massive and heavy, a lot of printer for $80. There are two paper paths. Pages to be copied or scanned feed left via the document feeder to the glass scanning bed below and return beneath the originals. Plain paper is fed in at the bottom front and copies output to the paper tray above.
Setup: After assembly, following the step by step instructions, I skipped over the wireless setting (on the small low contrast display) and plugged the printer into my computer via USB.
Wireless or USB: While billed as wireless, the printer has two USB ports, square in rear and standard in front. The rear port is for communication with PC, and Canon says the front port is for a USB flash memory stick. I am going to use a USB cable with my desktop, since my WiFi has a way of randomly going down and needing to be rebooted, and wireless for a portable I occasionally use.
Drivers: Windows 7 says no drivers need be installed for a USB printer (it's done automatically). Really? Didn't work for my Cannon S820 and didn't work here. The needed drivers (print, scan and fax) are on the enclosed Canon CD, but it took several tries to get them to install.
Wireless: Here I am stuck. All the instructions start by saying pull up "wireless" on the printer display. How? I skipped over it at the beginning, and now I can't pull it up, neither the menu button nor the back button does it. (I solve this problem on day 2.)
Copy: My first tests show this works like a 'real' copier. Has a document feeder, and it takes only one button press to do a color or BW copy. A first test with a utility bill with some color gave a copy almost identical to the original. No adjustments, no hassles.
Printer: As a printer, this thing is fast and clean, very impressive. With it's default settings it is much, much faster (and noisier) than my old S820. What I like, following up on tips from other reviewers, it that you can run this printer two ways: as a fast, and somewhat noise office type printer (default setting), or via printer preferences you can tame it, so it becomes a much quieter, slightly slower, ink stretching home type printer.
In printer preferences you have a choice of five ink (density) settings with default in center. The printer has a 'quiet' mode, which slows it. I did the printer test page with the default settings and with print quality set to 'fast' (other reviewer call it 'draft' mode) and quiet mode on. The only difference I see in a side by side comparison is that in fast/quiet mode the blacks are not quite as dark, but perfectly acceptable. I am going to adopt fast/quiet mode for my routine printing. There is also an option to reduce color intensity and contrast, so I am going to do this too to stretch the color ink.
Canon sells cheaper ink cartridges for this machine that are only partially filled, but for lowest cost/page buy the full cartridges: 240 XXL (black) and 241 XL(color), about $57 for the pair. This printer will print even if one of its two cartridges runs out of ink, leave it in and select the good cartridge in preferences.
WiFi: I finally got WiFi working using a file in the Win directory of the Canon CD called MSetup4.exe. This file allows you to connect the printer to WiFi using a (temp) USB cable. It downloads a driver, then guides step by step for keypresses on the printer and in the software. No password had to be entered even though my WiFi network has security, which was a surprise. The Canon CD was needed too in my laptop for it to install the needed printer drivers. In my final setup printer is connected to my desktop computer via a USB cable and to my laptop via WiFi.
Scanner: The scanner is functional, but the (default) scanner software is horrible: no zoom, no rotate, no way to preview changes in lightness/darkness. The default scanner software I am referring to here is what opens when right clicking the printer/scanner icon in the Windows control panel and selecting 'Start Scan'.
Finally found the advanced Cannon scanning program: 'Scangear'. It had been installed from the CD, but without a shortcut so it was hidden. To start Scangear from the desktop I added a shortcut to the file 'ScanUtility.exe' (found in the folder 'IJ Scan Utility'). (Tip: Scangear defaults to 'zoom' grayed out, to ungray 'zoom' click the upper left icon.)
The Canon installation from the CD has a nasty feature. On the desktop it inserts about 10 icons (!) all grouped into a backward L shaped thing that hugs the lower right corner of the desktop. I have never seen anything like it before. It's huge, using up a ton of desktop real estate and overwriting other shortcuts. It's the Canon Easy menu, and you can get rid of it by uninstalling the Easy Menu.