The Canon Pixma TS3450 appears to be an incredible bargain. It promises a full range of capabilities, including printing, scanning, and copying, for less than £50. Given that moderately priced multifunction printers typically cost over £100, this is a substantial savings.
It should also leave every discerning customer with one burning question: what has Canon sacrificed in order to maintain cheap prices? This will be addressed in our review, but you can expect to be impressed. Clearly, you’re not going to get the world’s best printer for this price, but our biggest fears of exorbitant printing expenses and poor print quality were largely allayed.
It comes packaged with two ink cartridges, one monochrome and the other having cyan, magenta, and yellow ink. Standard-capacity cartridges have enough ink to print around 180 black pages and 180 color pages. When it comes to refills, you can also choose XL cartridges that contain more ink – enough for 400 black pages and 300 color pages – and are more cost-effective.
Is it user-friendly?
Setting up the Canon Pixma TS3450 was effortless. The manual instructs you to visit Canon’s getting started website, which includes a step-by-step tutorial for removing the box and plugging in the device.
It was installed on a Windows PC, and it utilized the computer’s Wi-Fi settings to automatically connect the printer to my network.
Using the same website, you can wirelessly connect other devices, like mobile devices and additional desktops. It detects the sort of device you are using and directs you to the software and driver downloads that correspond to it. On a smartphone, for instance, you are encouraged to download the Canon Print app, which enables you to print images and documents from the device, launch scans or copies, or capture a copy using the camera instead of the scanner.
The device itself has the fewest controls possible for a multifunction device. There are buttons for making color or monochrome copies from the scanner bed, cycling through the available paper sizes, and modifying the Wi-Fi settings. Nevertheless, there is no standard menu, thus any additional configuration should be performed via a linked device.
In spite of this, it is possible to utilize the printer to print test sheets and execute the automated print head alignment. This requires consulting the manual, as each option has a number code. The feature is initiated by pressing one of the copy buttons after repeatedly pressing the settings button until the correct number appears. That is tedious, but it shouldn’t be required on a regular basis.
How quick is it and what does it cost to operate?
I wouldn’t expect a printer at this price point to establish any print speed records, and the Canon Pixma TS3450 is no exception. In comparison to other inexpensive printers we’ve examined, it’s about as sluggish as it gets, but it’s also the least expensive by a wide margin.
It takes 14 seconds to create the first page of a multiple-page mono test print, which is relatively slow. Epson’s lowest ink tank type, the EcoTank ET-1810 (£160), takes almost the same amount of time. In the same test, it is one second slower than the HP Envy Inspire 7220e (£120) and four seconds slower than the Brother DCP-J1200W (£106).
Yet, it shines when it comes to photo printing. The TS3450 produced six 10 x 15cm images in 6 minutes and 16 seconds, which is faster than all the other cameras I’ve chosen to compare it to. The Brother DCP-J1200W takes roughly twice as long, and even the second-fastest HP Envy Inspire 7220e is over three minutes slower.
I would expect a cartridge printer to be more expensive than an ink tank printer like the Epson EcoTank ET-1810 in terms of printing costs. Yet, printing costs are manageable if you use the more expensive XL cartridges.
A cost of 5p per mono page and 7p per color page (as determined by Canon using the ISO 24712 standard) is more expensive than the Brother DCP-J1200W, which costs 3p and 6.2p per page, but it is still a better value than the HP Envy Inspire 7220e, especially when printing in color.
Note, however, that these numbers represent an ideal scenario in which all color cartridge inks run out simultaneously. In actuality, with a three-in-one color cartridge such as the one required by this Canon, there will inevitably be some wastage, as you will need to replace one color before the others are totally depleted.
If you don’t print frequently, you should also consider the printer’s cost over the long run. To obtain the Epson EcoTank ET-1810’s ink tank print prices of 0.2p per mono page, for example, you must pay £180 upfront for the printer, but the Canon Pixma TS3450 only costs £50; this represents a saving of £130. At 5p each monochrome print, you can print 2,600 pages before you need to assess whether your printing is excessively expensive. Depending on how often you use your printer, this may be quite a while.
How is the print quality?
Again, with a price tag around £50, we did not anticipate the Canon Pixma TS3450 to produce flawless prints. This quickly appeared in our black text print. It is instantly apparent that it is not as sharp as the Brother and HP machines, its primary competitors. Under magnification, text on plain paper is not as jagged as it is on the Epson EcoTank ET-1810, but it is not as tidy and clear as it is on the Brother and HP printers.
Our colorful, mixed-graphics and-text document’s print quality was a tale of two halves. Overall, the colors were bright and vibrant, while the black backdrop was not printed as densely as I would have liked. More disappointing was the emergence of light banding in solid-color blocks, which persisted even after the automatic head alignment method was applied. To be truthful, I have not examined a printer for less than £200 that did not have at least one flaw in this regard.
The printing of photographs follows a similar pattern with rich, vibrant colors, and I discovered that black backgrounds had a slight red tint but otherwise appeared OK. It handles softer hues with a bit too much force compared to other printers, but it excels at printing vivid hues. It printed a magnificently vibrant dish of fruit, for instance, but a stock photo of a model with fair skin gave her an inappropriately pink hue. The banding issues are eliminated in the highest-quality print settings.
The Canon Pixma TS3450 is an incredible value at £50. It may not have the print quality you’d expect from something costing substantially more, but it punches well beyond its weight given its low price.
However, if you have the means to spend a bit more, you should search elsewhere. The Brother DCP-color J1200W’s printing capabilities are not nearly as robust, but it is an excellent multifunction printer for regular office activities, especially when it comes to producing documents quickly. Its monochrome printing is crisper, and it costs just over £100.
If you want a printer with refillable ink tanks to reduce the continuous cost of printing, you must spend a bit more. The Epson EcoTank ET-1810 omits scanning and copying to keep its price below £200, but it’s an excellent choice if you need to print in bulk and don’t want these features.