So the other day I got a rather amusing e-mail in my inbox from my beloved Chantelle, which pretty much went along the lines of “f*ck, f*ck, f*ck, f*ck, f*cking printer not printing, die, die, die, f*cking f*ck f*ck f*ck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”.
Needless to say, I chuckled out aloud, shared the e-mail’s contents with my colleagues who had inquired as to why I was chuckling out aloud, and then shot back a reply saying that it was probably the Ubuntu desktop machine playing up again and I’ll have a look when I get home after work.
So Chantelle went off on her delivery without a printed invoice and I got home after work and looked at the printer.
Sure enough, just as she had described it in her e-mail, my trusty old Canon PIXMA IP4500 printer that I had received as a going away present from the UCTRF (University of Cape Town Retirement Fund) back when I left the employ of Commerce I.T. in 2008 was as dead as a doornail. No power, indicating that the power supply unit had most likely gone.
But hey, the printer IS five years old, which is pretty ancient in terms of personal computing then.
Taking this fact into account, I immediately decided that I would rather buy a new printer than sink money into getting the old one repaired, and so took to the Internet to source something new – and it didn’t take very long before I found what I was looking for: the gorgeous beast that is the Canon PIXMA MG3240!
Going for the ridiculously cheap price of R650 at Chaos Computers (I had to get it from the Willowbridge branch, seeing as the Somerset Mall branch has recently closed down), the Canon MG3240 is a multi-function desktop printer, which basically means that it is a lovechild born from the holy union between a printer and a scanner, in other words, it prints, it scans and it copies.
Even better, it is a wireless printer, meaning that once you’ve connected it to your home’s wireless network using the software supplied, pretty much any device with printing capabilities can send a print job over to it, meaning that my Windows laptop, Ubuntu desktop and even Android tablet (it comes with built in AirPrint support) can happily all print on the same printer – borderless if you want and without any annoying cables to get in the way!
Another pretty cool feature is its Auto Duplex Print capability, which basically means it prints the first page, sucks the page back in, and then automatically prints on the other side, without any intervention from you whatsoever! (Seriously cool, it had me giggling out aloud when I realized that you could set it up to do this and then did it for the very first time).
The only real negative that I can mark against the nifty little home inkjet printer is the fact that it only uses two cartridges, namely a black and a multi-colour, which obviously means wastage as you can’t replace individual colours as they run out.
Nevertheless, given the fact that the only printing we ever do is for Chantelle’s invoices, they ought to last long enough as it is, and like I’ve mentioned before, I don’t really have anything against switching to generics or just a refill service if the proper stuff proves to be too expensive (it’s the old razors and razorblades story after all).
Anyway, all in all this is a great little printer for home usage, and the extra functionality of the scanner and wireless printing makes it an excellent addition if you don’t exactly have lots of space on your working desk in the first place.
Definitely a product which I can recommend, and I guess I can now finally pawn off my standalone Canon LiDE 100 scanner – which basically sits all by itself, packed away in an unused cupboard anyway…