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I needed a printer at home and this is the second one I have bought in my life. To give you an idea of how long it has been between one and the other, the first was an HP multifunction printer with a telephone (yes, one of those with a braided cable and everything) and FAX, which in those days was still in everyday use.
It was an HP Officejet 4255 All-in-One. I’ve been looking around and I think it appeared in 2004 and was discontinued in June 2006. So I reckon that almost two decades have passed between that one and the new one.
The new one is a Canon PIXMA TS3350 that prints, copies and scans. I won’t go into details of its technical specifications because that, apart from being a pain in the ass, can be read in the manufacturer’s manual(PDF).
The device arrives in one of those boxes that I don’t like because it has pictures of everything except what is of interest, which is the device itself.
On the front it looks like one of those Jehovah’s Witnesses pamphlets, with some pretty, smiling people pretending to reach ecstasy while working in the office, and on the back more filler photos that I don’t need.
Inside is all compressed, wrapped in plastic wrap and well protected between corks.
The first thing to do after taking it out of the box, is to remove some red stickers that secure the different moving parts and remove a plastic protection piece that is tucked into the housing of one of the cartridges.
Insert the two ink cartridges, black and white and colour, which are included, turn it on and it is ready to print.
For a printer that was under 40 euros when it was ordered, I wasn’t expecting much. The first thing that gives away its low price is the quality of the materials, which make it clear that this is a low-end printer. However, it performs well for home use.
As I am in the habit of reading every review I can find before I buy something, there was one thing that kept coming up in almost every review of this printer. The finish on the covers and frame is flimsy, the whole thing feels very thin and light plastic.
While it is certain that it would not withstand even two seconds a Flemish painting acting on it and that if it falls, even from a low height, it would immediately turn into a 50,000 piece puzzle, it is not as exaggerated as some people say. At least in its framework. However, it is advisable to place it in a piece of furniture with a door or out of reach of pets and children.
The handling is very simple as well as its three modes of use. By wifi, from the Canon App or manually through the function keys on the panel.
By wifi it was a piece of cake. Once connected to the network, the PC finds it straight away and you don’t have to do anything else.
Where I found the most difficulties was from the mobile app, when printing something in B/W only, the option is a bit hidden and the way to get to it is confusing.
The PC software is decent, consisting of two programs that don’t have much mystery. One is exclusively for the scanner function(IJ Scan Utility) and the other for the printing stuff(IJ Printed Asssistant Tool).
The scanning function, the only use I’ll be making of this device, is fine, although it’s no better than my old, well-worn and indestructible dedicated scanner, an Epson Perfection V30 that has been with me since 2009 and cost 90 euros at the time.
The printer is not exactly quiet, although it has a “quiet setting” option (to be tested for comparison). The biggest noise it makes is when it catches the paper and moves other springs before printing, making a significant rattling noise. After that, printing is a little less noisy than the prelims and is quite fast.
Here it is printing three short paragraphs.
Don’t be scared of the finish on the photo, it doesn’t print smudged or smeared, it’s a macro photo that shows more detail than the grain of the paper. The final appearance to the average human eye is as usual.
The two cartridges included are the smallest capacity cartridges and they last a breath. At least you don’t need to pull the colour one for B/W printing, what I don’t know is whether you will need the B/W one for colour printing, although I understand you will.
The original cartridges are not cheap, although I have seen them at a better price in shops from other sellers, I have not yet looked to see if there are compatible cartridges from other brands.
In short, an inexpensive printer, although not its original cartridges, easy to configure with decent performance and a modest finish in terms of manufacturing materials.