Setting up the PIXMA MX926 is a relatively easy, albeit quite involved, process. Getting it out of the box for the first time means taking off all the orange plastic transport tape - it's a fun game finding it all - and removing the cling-film keeping the glossy black exterior pristine. Once that's done, you've got to plug it into the power and start it up for the first time before installing the ink cartridges, then follow the steps displayed on the printer's display.
After you've got the cartridges installed, the MX926 goes through a five-minute alignment process, then a five-minute head cleaning - this is quite a wait, but it's time we used to install the printer's drivers on our Windows 8 test-bench. The driver package is lightweight at around 40MB - and you can choose not to install any superfluous software if you don't want it.
Canon PIXMA MX926: Performance and print quality
The Canon PIXMA MX926 uses five ink cartridges. There's a pigment black, used for monochrome document printing, and photo black, cyan, magenta, and yellow ink cartridges used for colour document and photo printing.
You can buy standard-size cartridges - CLI-651-BK, -Y, -M, and -C respectively - which are good for around 350 colour document pages (though the black is fine for around 1700). The standard PGI-650BK should produce around 375 pages. Each of these costs around $20 at street prices.
Far better value is paying a few extra dollars per cartridge for CLI-651XL cartridges, which more than double the number of printable pages per refill in most cases. There's even an XXL-sized pigment black which boosts output to 1000 pages per refill, at only approximately $28 versus the $20 375-page standard - comparatively excellent value.
If you can commit to paying an extra few dollars per cartridge per refill - around $25 extra in total for a complete refill kit of individual cartridges - the MX926's refills are impressively priced. Using this printer for anything but the highest volume of printing produces prices per page that are competitive with low- and medium-priced laser or LED printers, as well as any inkjet competitor.
When it comes to printing speed, the PIXMA MX926 gets along nicely for draft- or normal-quality documents. The first page can sometimes take 10 to 15 seconds as the printer spools, receives document information, and gets everything ready, but after that initial first page out we found that it stood up to Canon's claims of 10 colour or 15 monochrome pages per minute.
Text print quality is good in the Normal quality mode, and excellent in Best. It's slightly under-saturated and grey in draft mode, although still consistent and free of any skipped lines. We'd happily use the PIXMA MX926 to print text as small as 8pt, where it's still smooth and detailed enough to be legible.
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