When you open up the printer to install your ink cartridges, you'll note that the PIXMAMX882 has slots for 5 ink cartridges, 3 color and 4 black ink. Buyers on a budget will be relieved at the fact that each one of these cartridges can be individually replaced at the cost of about $14USD, which is a far cry from what some of the higher-end printers require. Even at that, the price we listed is from Canon's website; if you look around online, we've found compatible cartridges at half the cost.
In the Box
As well as the printer itself, you get:
- A driver and software CD
- One set of ink cartridges
- A power cable
Not included are basic materials, like a type A to type B USB cable necessary for connecting to your computer phsycially. You'll also have to supply your own paper.
Setup & Manuals (6.0)
The MX882 is simple enough to set up, and should take you no longer than 15 minutes to get all the software and drivers installed to your liking. Should you find yourself lost or unsure of what to do next, the "getting started" guide will take you through all the necessary steps rather efficiently. Once you've placed the software in the CD tray, and run the utility, you may elect to install the unusually thorough virtual manual, which will help you should a problem arise.
Canon typically has great drivers for its printers, and the MX882 is no different: the driver options for the PIXMAMX882 are fairly simple and straightforward, not to mention functional. It is very easy to accomplish pretty much anything you could want your printer to do except make it fly: on both Windows and Mac, the driver utilities are very easy to use. Should you run into any issues, there is an included virtual manual on the install disc to inform and train you to avoid problems that arise. Below are screens of the Mac drivers.
This is the main pdriver page. From here you can alter the layout, number, border, or printing presets associated with your prints.
Quality and Media
On this screen, you can tell your PIXMA MX882 what type of media you intend to print on, and at what quality. A rather small but annoying peculiarity of the MX882 is the fact that when you first print on your unit, the default paper source is set to print from the cassette, and not the load tray.
With the color balance screen, you can alter your printer's color options and color balance, along with brightness, contrast, and intensity.
A relatively standard feature with newer printers' software, the supply level screen lets you monitor the ink levels of your MX882 without futzing with the on-board controls before you print.
In addition to the array of drivers and virtual manual, the installation CD comes with Canon's EasyPrint software, a simple image editing interface. The EasyPrint software allows you to print specialized items with your MX882 like calendar pages, so long as they can be printed on paper that's 8.5 inches wide.
Included in the software disc is Canon's Easy PhotoPrint EX software. While it is relatively basic for photo-editing software, it gets the job done with relative ease.
Photo Print Speed (4.40)
All things considered, the MX882 actually handles photo printing fairly well. For 4 x 6 inch prints, it can crank out one every 25 or so seconds at high quality. The MX882 handles photo prints up to 8 x 10 inches, which can be printed at a rate of 1 every 62 seconds, which is great for a printer at its price point. Typically we see printers around this cost to take much longer for these sizes of print, but the MX882 seems to breeze through them, despite how long it takes for the printer to initialize. For more on how we test print speeds, see this page.
Document Print Speed (1.08)
When printing documents at its highest quality, the Canon PIXMAMX882 can manage to churn out pages at a rate of 1.12 PPM (pages per minute). While it isn't as slow as the ink ribbon printers of old, it's very slow for a modern printer. Still, that isn't to say that it's a completely slow printer: on other modes, it manages to crank out pages at a decent clip. On "fast" mode it can print pages at 8.06 PPM, and on the "standard" print quality, you can expect print speeds of up to 3.99 PPM.
Print Initialization (3.00)
Click on the "print" button ye mighty, and despair. Why? Because the MX882 takes an incredibly long time to initialize. Though you won't suffer the existential angst associated with the passage of eons, be aware that if your printer doesn't start churning out pages after 30 seconds, it's not defective: it just takes forever to prepare to print. This long pause also rears its ugly head when printing in "standard" quality, sometimes pausing for up to 20 seconds in between pages.
Color Accuracy (3.39)
Often we find that printers will come with at least a small bit of paper, but the MX882 does not. Consequently we were forced to use our supply of IlfordGalerie glossy paper. Comparing our custom-built printer profile versus the included one, we found that you are far less likely to suffer noticeable color error if you allow the printer itself to handle the color management. Still, this doesn't mean that it performs well in this test, as it still struggles a bit with color accuracy. For more details on how our color accuracy tests are done, see here.
The chart below shows the results: the number in each of the color patches is the CIDE 2000 color difference. The bigger this number, the larger the difference between the original and the printed color is to the eye.
NOTE: Because of the way computer monitors reproduce colors, the images above may not match the results used for evaluating color accuracy. The chart should be used to judge the relative color shift, not the exact printed colors.
As you may have noticed, our custom profile made each color darker for some inexplicable reason, so we'd suggest letting the printer handle the color management for the greatest accuracy. You can see from the chips above that the greatest consistently bad source of error came from the greyscale in our custom profile, and in the included profile, the MX882 struggled a bit with blues.
Depth of Blacks (10.38)
The MX882 has an impressive dMax mean density of 2.62, which is head and shoulders above many printers on the market today. It's not as good as say, the Epson R3000, but it's still impressive from an all-in-one printer. Because the Canon MX882's dMax score is so high, prints will have more impact because of a much wider contrast ratio. For more details on how we test the depth of blacks in prints, see here.
Overall, the MX882 handles fine detail as well as can be expected for a mid-range printer, managing to maintain some fine detail, but struggling on high-contrast detail. With the exception of minor problems in the color gradients, the MX882 actually managed to minimize detail errors in each of the prints we test. For reference, we always use the highest level of detail available to users via the proprietary drivers for our test prints, sacrificing speed for quality.
The MX882 seems to handle color gradients well, lacking the hallmark color banding of lower-quality printers in most of its strips. It did show up in the blue strip, which may mean that you could notice a bit of color banding in pictures of blue skies if they're somewhat darker blue, but it shouldn't ruin any photos.
Next up is a battery of other pictures, showing the MX882's performance showing fine detail and sharp edges.
Sample Scan Comparisons
The MX882 did a fair job here, outside of a disappointing score with the sharp edges. Most of the detail was well-preserved, but there are a few obvious blemishes. Notably, the definition on the many small lines that make up the Alice.
If you were to open up the printer and peek inside at the ink cartridges, you'd see three color cartridges, one grey cartridge and one black cartridge. Canon didn't exactly load the MX882 for bear, but they do provide an ample amount of ink to print a somewhat decent quantity of pages. At the lab, we print out a couple hundred pages for our tests, and it didn't seem like the ink cartridges were too drained by the end of our testing gamut.
Ink/Toner Management (4.0)
Canon's drivers do a fair job of making sure you are aware of how much ink you have left, if you know where to look. You can also make a quick check of your ink levels with the onboard screen, though it's far less precise than the driver utility. Through all of our tests, we didn't manage to reach a low ink alarm, though in the past Canon has decided to let you know that you should replace your cartridges when they run down to about 20% capacity, which will still give you many prints before you get into trouble.
You can also look at your ink levels on the screen of the MX882 unit itself. It's not accurate up to the picoliter, but it'll give you a general idea about how many fifths of a total ink cartridge you have left in your machine.
Because of the range of capabilities of the MX882, the range of media you can print on is rather limited compared to some of the higher-end models of printer out on the market today. For example, you can't make banner prints or paper prints more than 8.5 inches wide. Neither can you print on compatible DVDs or CDs. It's not an ideal printer for artists, but hey, it's great for a home office.
Paper Storage (4.04)
The Canon PIXMAMX882 gives you a couple options for paper storage, but chances are good that you'll primarily be using the rear paper tray for most of your printing jobs at home. While it can't hold an entire ream of paper, it should keep you placated with a capacity of 150 pages. The option also exists to use the cassette (not included) to make your prints, and it also has the same paper capacity as the rear load tray.
On-Printer Controls (7.5)
Though it's a problem on most printers, one of the more disappointing things about the Canon PIXMA MX882 is the fact that its on-printer controls, while standard, are a little annoying if you have to enter in your wireless password using only the D-pad and the "OK" button. Still, there's really little use for an entire QWERTY keyboard on a printer, so we have no better options.
The range of physical contorls on the MX882 is actually fairly impressive, as the adaptive keys on the unit allow you to navigate more menus with less extranneous options, and the several menus allow you good control of the printer's capabilities. Aside from the adaptive keys, there are buttons for each major setup you could want.
On-Printer Display (4.0)
On the front of the PIXMA MX882 is a small, 2" LCD screen that allows users to change settings on their printer manually, see ink levels, and set up your wireless account information among other things. Though the screen itself is relatively bright, it does have a smallish resolution which can make its picture blocky. Still, this probably isn't a huge deal to most users, as things like the ink level are measured in bars that approximate their levels, instead of the real levels.
On-Printer Menus (5.5)
The on-printer menus are a little clunky, but otherwise functional. Once opened, you can see ink levels, wireless settings, and even alter some of your included print settings right from the printer itself.
Media Slots (10.0)
The MX882 has a few media slots on the front of the unit, protected by a small door on the right side. once you open this, you'll find that you can plug in your Memory Sticks, Compact Flash cards, or any iteration of SD cards you may have laying about, provided you have the adapter for the fully-sized slots.
Wireless & Network (17.0)
Inside the internal circiutry of the Canon PIXMAMX882 is an 802.11/n wireless card, allowing you to share your printer over a home wireless network. Though it's a very nice feature to have, printers nowadays have this more or less standard on even some of the more basic models.
Though the iP2702 has far less color error than the MX882, it is still a bit slower than it. If you need something printed off in a hurry, don't expect either of these printers to get you what you want in a timely fashion. If detail is something you value highly, you may want to stick with the iP2702, as it does slightly better with detail recreation, even if its color gradients are somewhat poorer than that of the MX882.
Inks & Media
Becuase the iP2702 has fewer ink cartridges and lower total volume of ink, you can expect that you'll be out running for more ink cartridges faster. Because the smaller iP2702 uses one color cortridge, that means you'll have to run out every time you exhaust one color in your cartridge, rather than being able to conserve ink and only replace one color. Neither printer can handle any specialized media.
Where the iP2702 is more of a bare-bones printer, the MX882 is an all-in-one, allowing the user to copy, fax, scan, and print with relative ease. You definitely pay more for these functions, but depending on your requirements, you may not need the extra functionality and elect to save yourself some money.
The Artisan 50 is not a fast printer, as the MX882 leaves it in the dust speed-wise. Though both of them print relatively slowly (with the MX882 having the slightest of esges), the Artisan 50 has a much more accurate color representation. Though it's not a huge deal to those who aren't artists, this could be enough to tip the scales in the Artisan 50's favor, if you place high value in color accuracy.
Inks & Media
The Epson Artisan 50 has 6 cartridges instead of the MX882's 5, but neither seemed to have any trouble clearing our test printing without need for cartridge replacement. Both sets of cartridges will run you several hundred prints, even if Canon and Epson don't give out an official estimate for either.
One of the area that the Artisan 50 holds a clear advantage over the MX882 is the range of media you can print with. Not only can it handle much larger sheets of paper (up to 44 inches wide), but it can also print on compatible discs with included software, and not just a sticker to place on top. The MX882 can not do any of these things, instead it can handle your choice of photo paper, copy paper, envelopes, and other assorted office-like jobs.
Though the HP 1000 is a budget option, it offers a similar level of detail as the MX882.
Though the Deskjet 1000 is a relatively cheap printer, it does manage to go toe-to-toe with the MX882 in print speed and color accuracy. It didn't do as well as the MX882 in terms of detail, but it didn't do a horrible job either. Though the HP printer costs only a quarter of what the MX882 does, you definitely lose out on some cool features like the scanner, copier, and fax, not to mention the MX882 has a better ink management system and more easily replaceable ink cartridges. Who wants to toss away ink unnecessarily because your computer has only one color cartridge?
Inks & Media
As previously mentioned, the HP Deskjet 1000 has only 2 ink cartridges: black and color. This can get frustrating if you use up one color in the cartridge faster than the others, and it forces you to toss your cartridge long before you use up all the ink. Neither printer can handle a wide variety of media to print on, but for an office both should be sufficient.
Like we mentioned before, these printers are two different animals, one that prints adequately well, and another that scans, copies, and faxes well, but prints slightly less proficiently.
The Canon PIXMA MX882 is a decent all-in-one that is most at home in an office that doesn't require a high volume of prints. Though its color performance and speed is a bit lacking, it makes up for it with a better-than-expected detail performance and cost. It won't appeal to many artists, but all-in-ones are tailor-made for a separate crowd.
The MX882 has more or less high-average performance, having large color error and a somewhat anemic color gamut, not to mention very slow photo printing speeds. Still, you could do a lot worse, but you will get the feeling like you'd rather watch paint dry if you have a large print volume.
Inks & Media
A new set of ink cartridges for your MX882 will run you about $70 or more, but they will last you quite a while, as we didn't manage to empty a single set during our tests. As far as media goes, the MX882 really can't handle anything larger than your standard 8.5 x 11-inch paper, but for an office setting, you probably won't need anything bigger.
Meet the tester
Staff Writer, Imaging@cthomas8888
A seasoned writer and professional photographer, Chris reviews cameras, headphones, smartphones, laptops, and lenses. Educated in Political Science and Linguistics, Chris can often be found building a robot army, snowboarding, or getting ink.
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