The Canon MX492 is affordable, but it delivers well on basic for functions – printing, scanning, faxing and copying. It has a nice aesthetic and a small footprint that makes it easy to move and have on your desk, if you won’t have the output tray unopened when not in use.
PROS: Prints, scans, copies, faxes. Features Wireless printing and scanning.
CONS: Lacks duplexing. Ink yields are modest.
The simplest description of the Canon MX492 $49.99 at Amazon is a small package with great things. A particularly good fit as a personal inkjet multifunction printer (MFP), ideal for use at home or in a micro-small, or home office. You’ll love it for its low running cost, better output quality, fast speeds (for the category), and one eye-catching feature: air print support for your mobile, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch without the need for drivers. Its fully integrated Auto Document Feeder (ADF) works well and, the fact that it can be had for a pittance makes it a smart by. The combination makes it a shoo-in for anyone looking for something that doesn’t cost much for use in a home-micro office.
The all-black MX492 measures 7.5 by 17.2 by 11.7 inches (HWD) and weighs 13 pounds, compact enough for one person to move into space. If you have a mid-big desk, it will fit into place, otherwise you might want to put it on a table of its own. Its paper tray can hold 100 sheets of letter-size, which is fine for a micro-office, alongside an auto document feeder (ADF) that holds 20 sheets. As expected, it doesn’t support auto duplex scan, neither does it have an auto-duplexer for printing on both sides. The top has a hinge that when lifted, exposes a glass scan platen.
Basic MFP features include printing, faxing from, and scanning to, a PC or mobile devices over a network Similarly, it works as a standalone copier and fax machine. It is now easy to print and scan photos or documents from mobile devices wirelessly using the Canon Print app, while other functions can be done via physical button and screen on the top panel. It uses 802.11bgn to connect to your Wi-Fi network.
Setting up a printer nowadays is a matter of unpacking, installing cartridges and software, and doing a few routines install, voila! This printer uses two ink cartridges (black and tri-color), which helps keep the manufacturing costs down since the tri-color cartridge ahs cyan, magenta and yellow inks. However, the approach increases running costs since when one color in the tri-color cartridge runs out, you’ll need to replace the cartridge before the other colors are depleted.
Perhaps the main highlights on the MX492 must be its low running cost, high-yield cartridges, for a modestly priced inkjet. The standard PG-245 cartridge and CL-246 tri-color cartridges each produce just about 180 pages, while the PG-245XL and CL-246XL cartridges produce about 300 pages. The black ink is essentially pigment, and not dye, which is good as it yields deeper blacks. Still, there are printers out here, in the same category, that offer better paper yields but most lack wireless printing feature.
Epson and HP are known to have high-capacity ink cartridges that result in lower running costs, especially the laser-class inkjets. This holds true for the higher-end inkjets, for low-priced models, the running costs are almost the same with other manufacturers.
Printing Speed and Quality
For a small office, print speed is sometimes a concern and the Canon MX492 will print approximately 7.3 pages per minute (black) and 3.8 pages per minute (color), though Canon puts it at 8.8ppm and 4.4 ppm, respectively. The Brother MFC-J985DW $169.99 at Amazon delivers 4.6 ppm, while the HP Officejet Pro 6978 yields 3.5ppm, but both cost slightly more.
The MX492 offers good output quality for an inkjet, slightly better text and graphics, and above-par photos for a budget inkjet. Still, the text is good enough for a small office, except for those requiring small fonts for business purposes. Graphics are clear enough for internal business use and PowerPoint handouts, but may not be the best for formal handouts. Plus, it does a nice job with colors though they come out slightly darker than on original reference prints. Overall, image quality and text output is good, but not perfect.
A Perfect Inkjet for home-small-office use
The Canon MX492 is affordable, but it delivers well on basic for functions – printing, scanning, faxing and copying. It has a nice aesthetic and a small footprint that makes it easy to move and have on your desk, if you won’t have the output tray unopened when not in use. It is a great bargain compared to pricey inkjet MFPs, some of which cost more and have insane running costs, and wireless printing makes it an even appealing MFP. If your budget is flexible, the Epson Expression ET-2750 $229.99 at Amazon offers better features and functions. Otherwise, if all you need is a budget, office-oriented, personal MFP, the Canon MX492 belongs on your short list.