Today we have a special treat for you: the Canon Pixma MG3620 review. The thing about the Pixma MG3620 is that it offers great value for money, i.e. it plays (and wins) in the best bang for the buck category.
So, if you’re looking for the best photo printer on a budget, this is it. Cut and dried. For all intents and purposes, the review should end here, as in this is the tl;dr version for people on a hurry. As in, if you’re on a tight budget, and by tight we mean you’re not ready to spend more than 100 bucks on an inkjet printer, it doesn’t get much better than the Canon Pixma MG3620. At least in this world it doesn’t.
Also, while we’re at it, check out our highly informative article about laser vs inkjet printers, and see what’s what before you buy. If you want to learn more, keep reading, alright?
What it is
Canon is well known for two things: digital cameras and printers, and the Pixma MG3620 makes for a fast scanning, high image quality and fast color copying machine. To put it another way, if you’re looking for the quintessential multi-purpose printer with all the necessary features at an affordable price, you will not go wrong with this baby.
Basically, this is a barebones home/office multifunction machine, a jack of all trades, master of none. The Pixma MG3620 is designed for users who are not ready to spend money for fancy features they don’t really need. What does it mean?
Well, for example, this device doesn’t sport an eye-candy LCD control panel for running stand-alone operations. After all’s said and done, if you’re good at finding good deals, you can buy this machine for something like $80, so don’t expect miracles.
Also, you won’t get cool features like ADF (automatic document feeder) for scanning/copying multipage documents. If you’re into that kind of stuff, look elsewhere and prepare to spend more. However, you’ll get better than average speeds and even a duplexer for making 2-sided prints.
So, after all’s said and done, the Pixma MG3620 is not a bad deal at all, provided you know what you get, as in “caveat emptor”. We’ve saved the best for last though: despite its affordable price, this machine delivers high-quality prints, and that’s exactly what makes it awesome.
In terms of design, this Pixma MG3620 looks elegant in all-white/all-black (there are 2 colorways available) and it will feel at home basically anywhere: home and office alike. To the left of the lid, which takes up most of the real-estate of the top of the machine you’ll find a control panel with physical buttons.
The controls allow you to switch between plain letter-size paper and 4 x 6-inch photo paper, but not other sizes. Obviously, since this is an entry-level printer, you only get one paper tray, hence when it’s time, you’ll have to switch to photo paper if you’re looking to print photos. However, this is a minor inconvenience.
Since there’s no fancy touchscreen display, you’ll get buttons for color and black-and-white copies, and, strangely enough for gen-z’ers aka “zoomers”, you’ll have to actually press the “copy” button multiple times to make extra-copies. We know, that sounds very low tech and all that, but life is hard.
All jokes aside, you can also make copies to photo paper, but keep in mind that you can only use 4 x 6-inch photo paper. Moreover, there’s no way to do complex copy jobs, since there’s no copying software to speak of. So, when we told you “barebones” in the preamble, we meant that literally.
As expected from its more than reasonable price tag, this printer is pretty far from being a speed demon. To be more precise, the wireless Pixma MG3620 can churn out 6.4 pages per minute, which is not bad compared to other devices in its price range.
A five-page document takes approximately 47 seconds according to our tests, and if you’re using the Quiet Mode, text printing will get slowed down a little bit, so be advised. For example, a single page of text will be printed in something like 16 seconds, yet on Quiet Mode it takes 23-24 seconds.
Considering these metrics, we can safely state that the Pixma MG3620 is an excellent printer for students, but if speed is the name of the game, there are better options on the market. We must mention that the Pixma MG3620 excels at printing graphics on plain paper.
Copy and Scan Speed
If you’re looking at making color copies, you won’t be disappointed, as the Pixma MG3620 is one of the fastest models we’ve ever tested, spitting out a copy in 27 seconds. Considering the price asked, this is nothing short of flabbergasting.
Scanning is another department where the Pixma MG3620 really shines, being able of capturing a 600-dpi image of a photo in 39.4 seconds, which is outstanding for an under $100 machine. Scanning a black-and-white PDF at 300 dpi is also impressive at 9 seconds, so there you have it.
If these specific metrics are important to you, the Pixma MG3620 is a must-have.
The MG3620 uses dye and pigment (black cartridge and color cartridge) inks, i.e. both dye and cartridge in the same time, with the general principle being (in Canon’s view at least) that dye inks offer more vibrant color, while pigment ink delivers sharper, heavier text.
According to our testing, this stands true, as the Pixma MG3620 prints sharp and heavy text on standard paper; however, if you use high-quality inkjet paper, you will be surprised (in a good way) by the results, as this printer will deliver book-worthy text with extremely sharp edges comparable with a laser printer’s output when printing from a text document.
If you’re using the duplexer, be advised: text will look a tad fuzzy, even if you go for high-quality inkjet paper. The dye-based color inks are only used by the machine when you go for 2-sided prints, as the printer mixes them together to produce a composite black, and also prints lighter deliberately to prevent the ink from going-through (and showing) on the other side of the paper.
Overall graphics quality is good, with dark shade and rich colors, while the text is amply sharp. The same goes for printing glossy photos; photo scans also look great, with accurate/rich colors and sharp details. No complaints here, as you can imagine, and we must mention that the Pixma MG3620 allows you to make copies of larger photos onto 4 x 6-inch photo paper, yet if you want to copy an 8 x 10 photo, you’ll end up with the edges cut off.
According to our calculations, the cost per page runs somewhere around 10 cents for a black/white page, and 24 cents for a color page, which brings the average cost at 17 cents per page. This may sound like a lot, we don’t know, but that’s math and it’s hard to argue with facts.
The relatively high costs are due to the fact that the Pixma MG3620 works with one tri-color cartridge and one black cartridge, but it all depends on where you buy your cartridges from. As in, if you’re getting a really good deal, and/or you’re using high yield cartridges, you can cut down on costs.
There’s not much to talk about in this regard, other than the wide array of mobile device printing options, which include Google Cloud Print, Apple AirPrint for Mac OS X and Mopria for Android Devices. The Canon MG3620 will connect via Wi-Fi obviously, and, if you’re a Windows user, you can also access a 705MB collection of cards, calendars and other templates called My Image Garden.
This basic printer is an excellent choice for people low on cash looking for a no-nonsense machine. The MG3620 produces more than decent photo prints, prints razor-sharp text and excellent photo scans. If you can live without fancy features, like LCD screens and multipage copies, just go for it.
- Fast scanner
- Prints graphics quickly
- Very good photo scan quality
- Duplex for 2-sided prints
- Fast color copies
- Great for students and home use
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Slow 2-sided printing
- No separate document feeder
- No separate photo paper tray
- No LCD