I am always on the lookout for new tech items with low user ratings. No doubt- the device is quickly discounted to get it out of the retail stream while the manufacturer corrects the issue. These devices will also show up in the re-manufactured market at a significant discount owing to the many user returns. Often, the bad reviews have nothing to do with quality, capability, fit or finish. So it is with the Canon MG3520 WiFi inkjet printer. It has one of the lowest user ratings I have seen in a long while from a top tier mfg; 1 out of 5. Complaints range from non-functional, impossible to install, paper jams, to cannot scan. The printer made a brief appearance in Office Max/Depot and now Walmart is clearing it from the retail stream at $49.
The installation instructions are confusing because you are presented with too many options. Install this printer by following the “WiFi install with a USB cable”. The printer can also be installed using WPS, but none of my WiFi routers have this capability as I haven’t blowed up any of my routers since WPS’s inception. Meticulously follow the instructions using a PC that is currently on the target WiFi network. The installation software will grab the network info off the PC and stuff it into the printer. When finished, you can remove the USB cable and place the printer anywhere in WiFi range.
I have an eclectic network architecture and I finally have a printer/scanner that meets all of my needs. My Apple Mini is physically attached to my network switch and recognized MG immediately, as well as our Apple laptop (MG has built-in Apple Airplay support). My Win7 laptop can now print in the living room as easily as my non-WiFi file servers. I have full scanning capability without third party software, but I have only scanned from my MS machines. Scanning from an Apple might be a problem.
The MG has the input and output trays in the front. Paper does a 180 to print. It has no problem printing on 110 lb stock. I have noticed no differences in paper jams compared to my old Epson Workforce, which incidentally did not survive a waist-high drop (long story). I have had many problems with the Workforce registering card stock before printing, even though the Workforce paper trays are set to print back to front, bending the paper less than 45 degrees. I believe I have experienced fewer registration problems on the MG. The Canon cartridges can be refilled, unlike the Epson Workforce, and cartridges are more economical, even though the print head is on the cartridge, unlike the Workforce.
Canon has done a good job in producing this low-end printer. It’s the naivete of the American consumer giving it the bad rep. I have no problem taking advantage of it’s discounted price.