Canon Pixma G3260 Wireless MegaTank All-in-One Printer Review
The $ 199.99 Pixma G3260 Wireless MegaTank All-in-One printer is an upgrade from the Pixma G3200 that was tested here in early 2017. Aside from being a bit faster and $ 100 cheaper, this Pixma isn’t very different from its predecessor. It prints amazing looking documents and, as a bulk ink machine that refills with bottles instead of cartridges, produces snapshot photos for pennies, with some of the lowest cost of ownership in the industry. And its low list price makes it, in contrast to many ink tank printers, an excellent price-performance ratio on site or at the checkout. In terms of features, print speed, and capacity, the G3260 is mediocre, but its ability to print documents for fractions of a cent – albeit slowly – makes it a great deal for families and home offices.
Small and humble
At 6.5 x 17.6 x 13 inches (HWD) with closed shells and weighing 14.1 pounds, the Pixma G3260 is compact and lightweight. It’s identical in size to its G3200 ancestor, but about a pound heavier. It is also comparable in size and scope to several Epson EcoTank competitors, including the EcoTank ET-2720 All-In-One Supertank and the EcoTank ET-2760 All-In-One Supertank. HP’s closest competitor to this Canon is the Smart Tank Plus 651 All-in-One, while Brother has some entry-level AIOs in its INKvestment Tank line, such as the MFC-J805DW.
Of course, what makes a printer an all-in-one is the installation of a scanner, and the performance of the scanner depends on whether it is equipped with an automatic document feeder (ADF) for processing multi-page documents. Like its predecessor, the Pixma G3260 does not have an ADF, which means you have to place long documents side by side (or side-by-side) on the scanning glass. Of the above devices, only the Brother MFC-J805DW and HP Smart Tank Plus 651 offer ADFs.
A printer without an ADF can copy or scan pages one at a time, but it is not really suitable for multi-page jobs.
Another common feature of cartridge-based AIOs in this price range is that many of them have color LCD touchscreens. Of the bulk ink models mentioned here, however, only the HP has a touchscreen, and that is monochrome.
The old school control panel consists of a handful of navigation buttons, as well as buttons for setting up scan and copy jobs.
The Pixma’s archaic, low-tech control panel isn’t particularly worth mentioning, but the good news is that you can easily check the ink levels by looking at each color’s inspection window on the front of the printer as shown below. The cyan, magenta, and yellow ink tanks are on the right, with a larger black tank on the left.
You can check the fill levels of the ink tanks at a glance through the viewing windows on the front of the Pixma.
For paper handling, the G3260 can hold up to 100 sheets of plain paper or 20 sheets of premium, snapshot-sized photo paper in a tray that can be pulled up and back out of the case. The Epson ET-2720 and ET-2760 have similar compartments, although neither Canon nor Epson disclose maximum and recommended monthly print volumes or duty cycles for their inkjet printers for consumers.
The HP 651 also holds up to 100 sheets, and although it has no maximum duty cycle, HP gives a recommended monthly page volume of 500 pages. In contrast, the MFC-J805DW holds up to 150 sheets, and Brother estimates its monthly usage at 5,000 pages with a recommended monthly volume of up to 1,500 prints.
Standard interfaces and bundled software
The standard interfaces of the G3260 are USB 2.0 for connection to a single PC and 802.11b / g / n Wi-Fi for wireless networking and the connection of mobile devices. Mobile support includes a collection of Android and iOS apps, including Apple AirPrint, Mopria Print Service, the Canon Print App, Canon Print Service for Android and Pixma Cloud Link.
With the Easy-PhotoPrint Editor you can edit and enhance photos, select layouts and save photo albums.
You can also get Canon’s Easy-PhotoPrint Editor software for editing and enhancing photos, creating photo albums, applying filters, etc., and PosterArtist Lite for creating posters, collages, and other documents with your pictures.
Easy-PhotoPrint from Canon runs on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS devices.
As with most Pixmas and other modern consumer printers, you can send basic commands like “Print To-Do List” or “Scan To” [cloud site name]”via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
Testing the Pixma G3260: slow print speeds, excellent output quality
Canon rates the Pixma G3260 at 10.8 black and white pages per minute (ppm), 2 pages per minute faster than the 2017 G3200 model. I got the printer via USB from our standard Intel Core i5 test bed PC running Windows 10 Pro tested. The first test was to measure the Pixma while it was outputting our 12-page Microsoft Word text document. I’ve averaged the results of several runs and calculated its speed to be 11.4ppm, slightly faster than its rating and 3.7ppm faster than its predecessor. The Canon also outperformed the other models mentioned here, but in most cases by less than one page per minute (whereby the Epson ET-2760 only managed 8.9 ppm).
The next part of the test was to print out our collection of colorful, complex, full-page business documents and presentation materials. These consist of Adobe Acrobat documents, which consist of embedded graphics and colored fonts in different thicknesses and sizes, Microsoft Excel tables with diagrams and graphics, and PowerPoint handouts, which consist of colorful diagrams and graphics with dark and gradient fills and backgrounds.
I combined these results with those from printing the 12-page text document to get a total score of 3.1ppm. This was actually the slowest in the group, with the HP 651 leading the field at 5.1 ppm.
To finish off, I clocked the G3260 as it printed two of our colorful and detailed 4-by-6-inch snapshots, which took an average of 47 seconds. This is roughly normal for a printer of this class. Only the Brother MFC-J805DW needed more than a minute per photo (1 minute and 4 seconds to be exact).
The print quality was exactly what I expected from a four-ink (cyan, magenta, yellow and black, or CMYK) Pixma, as opposed to a five- or six-ink photocentric model like the Pixma G620. The text came out nicely spaced, with well-formed, legible characters and business graphics printed with solid fills and backgrounds and evenly flowing gradients. Fine details such as hairlines (rules under 1 point) were unbroken and easy to recognize.
But it’s photos that Pixmas is known for, and the G3260 delivers. Documents and graphics can be slow to print, but if you start with high quality images you can expect good-looking output with no surprises. The colors are bright and accurate with precise details and little to no pixelation. As with most consumer-grade Pixmas (as opposed to dedicated eight to twelve-ink photo printers), the G3260 may be slow, but its photo quality should take some of that.
Keeping the Pixma G3260 print
Without question, perhaps the most attractive feature of this and any other Canon MegaTank printer (ditto for Epson EcoTank and HP Smart Tank Plus models) is its lowest cost of ownership. For example, each black and white page costs about 0.3 cents – that’s less than a third of a penny – and color pages cost about 0.9 cents each.
The operating costs for MegaTank, Smart Tank Plus and EcoTank (except EcoTank Pro) printers are close enough to one another to make further discussions irrelevant. Brother’s INKvestment Tank AIOs, on the other hand, are hybrids or crosses between cartridge and ink tank machines – their ink comes in cartridges that are unloaded into internal reservoirs – which cost a little more to use, at just under a cent per black page and a little less than a nickel for the color.
In any case, the running costs of the Pixma G3260 are among the lowest there is. And Canon is sweetening the deal by adding two extra bottles of black ink, bringing the number of potential black pages in the box to 18,000. That should keep you busy for a while while.
Lots of prints for little money
Granted, this little Pixma comes with a scanner, which qualifies it as an all-in-one, but it doesn’t have an ADF and brings little on the table in terms of speed, volume, productivity or convenience features. However, if you only want to print a few hundred documents and photos per month without copying or scanning multi-page documents or stacks of originals, the G3260 is an excellent choice. Not only is it one of the most affordable consumer printers when used on an ink-based basis, but its $ 100 discount makes it one of the lower-priced high-volume ink models from its predecessor. However, if you’re after some great photos, we’d recommend paying the extra $ 100 for the Pixma G620 with six inks.
Canon Pixma G3260 Wireless MegaTank All-in-One Printer
The bottom line
Canon’s Pixma G3260 Wireless MegaTank All-in-One isn’t fast and the scanner lacks a document feeder, but this bottle-fed inkjet printer delivers high quality output at an extremely low cost of ownership.
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