The Canon Pixma MX410 is a worthwhile all-in-one solution for people who need an output solution for intermittent monthly use to print out boarding passes, office documents, or occasional snapshot photos. Its dual-ink cartridge bay limits its output performance so we don't recommend it for photo-specific use, but you'll certainly be satisfied with the Pixma's graphic and text quality. Add extra features like wireless connectivity, an auto-document feeder, and Canon's exclusive HD Movie Print that lets you pull and print still photos out of Canon compatible HD video cameras, and this $100 device is more than worth its price.
Design and features
The design of the Pixma MX410 is streamlined so that every drawer, tray, and port folds up flush into the self-contained body. The result is a very sleek matte black exterior with all of the buttons you need to adjust the settings placed conveniently on the front panel. Since the default function is to print, the rest of the hot keys (copy, fax, scan) are the largest on the panel along with backlit power and start buttons and a blinking alarm for low ink and paper jams.
Last year's Pixma MX330 is no longer offered on the Canon Web site, but you can still spend the same amount and benefit from a dedicated 1.8-inch LCD display. The MX410 is simpler with only a two-line dot-matrix graphic display in the middle of the control panel, and although it's not as fancy as a color LCD, it's still adequate for all the day-to-day print, scan, and fax functionality.
Most AIOs don't typically include auto-document feeders (ADFs) with printers at this price point, so we're happy to see that Canon includes one to make it much easier to scan or copy stacks of documents. The ADF can only handle up to 30 pages at a time, so the majority of your blank media goes through the rear input tray that holds 100 pages, and a plastic guide folds out of the rear tray to corral larger media.
Output, on the other hand, is a much more simplified process: all outbound prints just pop out of the front drawer onto an angled lip that folds out of the main body. We're disappointed to see that the MX410 doesn't include a multimedia card reader for direct prints, but you can hook up a digital camera directly to the printer through the PictBridge USB port on the bottom of the unit.
The top of the printer lifts open to reveal the standard 8.5-inch-by-11-inch scanner bay, but you can also pop that open and access the two-ink cartridge bay below. To keep costs low, the MX410 only uses two inks: one for black and one for tricolors. While we prefer five or sometimes even six separate cartridge tanks to cut down on the cost of consumables, it makes sense that a printer at this accessible price only has two tanks. If you plan to use your printer for more snapshot photo prints or graphical documents, a printer with separate ink cartridge bays like the Canon Pixma MX870 will prove more economical.
The package includes a driver CD with all the installation files you need to customize your prints. Within those settings, you can choose between commonly used templates like standard, business, paper saving, and photo printing that adjust the type of media, paper size, and source.
Additionally, the driver provides you with adjustments for borderless printing, vivid photos, gray scale prints, and even manual color intensities by numeral increments. It also features a pop-up print status monitor that shows the current job, document name, device owner, status, and a graphical representation of the ink cartridge levels. Conveniently, this pop-up automatically disappears once the job in queue is finished printing, but we prefer status monitors that show us the page and progress of the print.
The driver also automatically installs Canon's Easy Photo Print EX software onto your computer that flaunts all the creative features of the MX410. It allows you to print simple snapshot photos on the fly, create whole albums of artwork, and print calendars with custom pictures, as well as custom stickers using Canon's proprietary sticker paper.
The explorer window on the main page works just like a Windows Explorer pane, except we prefer HP's Solution Center layout that automatically scans and detects printable pictures on your hard drive for you. Canon's creative suite is incredibly easy to use and even lets you make simple photo edits like red-eye correction, face sharpening, and blemish removal, which is great for people who don't want to deal with the hassle of third-party editing software like Adobe Photoshop.