Monday, 19 August 2019

Canon Pixma G3010: An Affordable, Feature Rich Ink Tank Printer

As far as printers are concerned, my colleagues have all suggested that Ink Tanks are better than Ink Jets, and while I’ve not used a lot of Ink Tank printers, when Canon sent over the new Pixma G3010 to us for testing and reviewing, I was slightly more excited to check it out than I usually get about printers. So, if you’re in the market for a printer, and the Pixma G3010 (Rs. 12,623) has caught your attention, here’s my full review of the Canon Pixma G3010 all-in-one printer:
Pixma G3010 Specifications
Dimensions    445 x 330 x 163mm
Weight    6.3kg
Functions    Print, Scan, Copy
Printing Resolution    4800 x 1200
Connectivity    USB, WiFi, Canon Print app
Scan Speed    ~19 seconds
Print Speed    Color: ~17 seconds
B/W: ~11 seconds
Display    1.2-inch LCD
Design and Build

The Canon Pixma G3010 isn’t the most compact all-in-one you’ll find. However, it is definitely one of the better looking ones out there. The printer comes in a nice matte-black finish that just looks classy, and just overall this feels like a better built unit than most other printers in its price range.

The buttons are all arranged on the right side of the printer, which is also where you’ll find the LCD display. Not a lot can be said about these buttons, other than the fact that they get the job done. Personally, I didn’t find myself using the buttons all that much, since almost everything on this printer can be done using a smartphone (more on that later), but the times when I did use the buttons (mostly to turn the printer on or off), the buttons felt tactile, and definitely well built.

That’s not surprising, Canon’s products are well built (just take a look at their cameras), and the Pixma G3010 is no exception.

Other than that, the printer comes with the usual things — the extendable paper tray, and the (also extendable) paper output tray. The input tray is great, since it easily folds on top of the printer itself, so it can protect the internals of the Pixma G3010 from dust — that makes it easier to store the printer when it’s not being used.

The Pixma G3010 is also well designed in the way that Canon has arranged the ports on this thing. There’s the main power-input on the left hand side of the printer (which is also a reversible connector, and I love that. Brownie points to Canon), and there’s a USB port on the right hand side that you can use to create a wired connection between the printer and your system.

Setting Things Up

Setting up the Pixma G3010 might seem like a mammoth task if you take a look at the included manual with its really confusing drawings. However, it’s actually not that difficult to set things up. The most important things while setting up the printer is actually installing the cartridges in the print-head, and filling up the colors — Canon provides single bottles of all the colors you’ll need to fill the printer up inside the box itself, so you can get started with printing right away.

Once you’ve filled the ink, and set the cartridges, you can move on to connecting the printer to your PC and/or your smartphone — using a wired connection or a wireless one if you’d like. For the wired thing, you’ll have to use the USB-port on the right hand side with the included USB cable.

Connection and Compatibility

Even though the Pixma G3010 only offers a single USB port for wired connectivity, it does offer a plethora of ways to connect to a PC or a smartphone. There’s obviously the wired method that you can use, by connecting the printer to your PC with the included USB cable  and installing the drivers, either from the Canon website, or from the included CD.

However, you can also use the Canon PRINT app (Android, iOS) to connect your phone to the printer and print photos, documents, scan items directly to your phone’s memory, copy, and even click pictures from your smartphone camera and directly print them out with the Pixma G3010.

You can obviously also make the Pixma G3010 available over your internet so all your local devices can access it wirelessly and send printing jobs to it. That makes it very easy to share the printer, especially if you’re in an office space with a bunch of systems, all of which might need access to the printer sometime or the other.

You will need the drivers for the printer in order to set things up, like I said, but there’s one interesting thing I noticed. So Canon says that macOS isn’t supported by the printer yet, and yes, if you try visiting the web-page mentioned in the manual for downloading drivers, you’ll not find a download button. However, I was able to get the printer working with my MacBook Pro running macOS Mojave by simply downloading the Pixma G3010 series drivers from this website.

I’m not certain if Canon would approve of that, but hey, I use a MacBook Pro and I wanted to also test this printer out with my laptop, so I did what I had to. The good news is that it works perfectly fine, so if you’re using a Mac, this is something you can do to get the printer working with your laptop as well.
Printing, Scanning, and Copying Performance

To test out the printing performance of the Pixma G3010 printer, I printed out an absolute ton of documents and images, both coloured and black-and-white, to see what things look like, and how good the printing quality on this printer actually is. I printed out documents, Photoshop files, even the Amazon listing for this very printer. I also scanned documents, took a picture from my phone and used the Canon PRINT app to print it out, and a lot more.

By doing all of that, the conclusion I’ve arrived at is that the Pixma G3010 will not let you down no matter what you’re asking it to print. It can print text files, images (both monochrome and coloured), pictures clicked from your smartphone, and even screenshots you may have taken, all with a decent speed, and good quality that’s at par with what other printers offer in this price bracket.

Unlike a lot of other printers, the ink doesn’t smudge if you touch (or even rub) the paper too hard immediately after it’s done printing, and there’s also no colour bleeding on the paper. I did notice once that there were some wet spots on a sheet, but that only happened that one time, and never happened again, even though I printed almost everything I read today, so I’m willing to write that off as a one-off error that will almost certainly never happen again.

For pictures, I didn’t have glossy photo quality papers on hand to actually test this out properly, but even on regular quality A4 sheets, the photos printed from the Canon Pixma G3010 look good. The printer doesn’t seem to mess up colours at all, and the photos turned out really nice, especially considering that I used regular A4 sheets to print them out. I’m fairly confident the print quality of pictures on actual photo-quality sheets will be a lot better.

Also worth mentioning is that while the printing speed here is decent, the printer does take a couple of seconds to start printing when you send a document or an image to print — this happens regardless of whether you’re printing over a wired USB connection, over WiFi, or sending a print job from your smartphone using the Canon PRINT app. It’s not too long a wait, but if you find yourself printing hundreds of documents every day, the wait might get annoying for you. However, this is something we’ve seen happen with a number of ink tanks in this price range.

Other than that, the Pixma G3010 can also scan documents and copy documents and both these functions work as you’d expect them to. You can either start a copy function by pressing the ‘Black’ or ‘Colour’ button on the printer, or you can start a copy job through the Canon PRINT app. Scanning also works really well, in fact, if you start a scan from the Canon PRINT app, you can even save the scanned copy to your smartphone directly, which is just really cool.
Pros and Cons

While I personally came to a positive conclusion about the Pixma G3010 printer, here are some of the most important pros and cons about the printer so you can get a quick overview of everything this printer does well, and things it could improve upon.

Pros:

    Good build
    Printing quality is nice
    Scanning and copying work really well
    Excellent mobile app available for both Android and iOS

Cons:

    The buttons can be confusing
    No official macOS support

Canon Pixma G3010 Review: Worth the Money?

So, the Canon Pixma G3010 is a pretty amazing all-in-one printer that brings quite a lot of features, including wireless support, for a pretty competitive price of Rs. 12,623 on Amazon, and personally, I think this is a solid printer to consider if you’re looking for in the Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 15,000 price range. It offers all the features you’ll need, WiFi printing, easy set up, good print quality, an amazing mobile app, and more. That said, there are other printers you can consider as well — there’s the HP Ink Tank 419 that my colleague reviewed, which offers a lot of these very features, for Rs. 13,150, but doesn’t look nearly as good. There are also options from Epson that you can check out, but at the end of the day, Canon is a name that’s pretty well known in the printing space, and keeping that in mind, I’d say the Pixma G3010 is definitely a printer worth considering.

Buy the Pixma G3010 from Amazon (Rs. 12,623) I’ve used and reviewed quite a lot of earphones and headphones, and mostly because I really like checking out new earphones almost all the time, it’s kind of an obsession. So, when Blaupunkt sent over the true wireless BTW-01 Bluetooth earphones, I just had to check them out. Well, I’ve been using these earphones for the last week or so as my daily drivers, so this is my review of the Blaupunkt BTW-01 truly wireless Bluetooth earphones, and whether they are worth their Rs. 4,999 price tag.
Blaupunkt BTW-01 Specifications
Bluetooth Version    Bluetooth 5.0
Profiles    HFP, HSP, A2DP, AVRCP
Battery Life    up to 6.5 hours (when using single earbud)
up to 5 hours (when using both earbuds)
Charging Time    1.5 hours (for earbuds)
1.5 hours (for case)
Weight    Earbuds: 5.5g each
Case: 29g
Price    Rs. 4,999
Design and Build

If there is one place where I have most of my concerns and complaints, its the design and the build of these earphones. So, the BTW-01 come in a decent looking case that also charges them when they’re inside it, but while the case looks decent enough, just a quick touch on the case gives away the feeling that it’s a cheaply made case. The plastic is cheap and flimsy, and opening the case is neither tactile, nor does it feel sturdy enough to handle being opened and closed multiple times, sometimes with excessive force when the user might be in a hurry.

I’m not sure why Blaupunkt would go for a case that gives off a distinctly less-than-premium feeling to these earphones, especially when the case is the first point of contact that a user will have with these earphones.

The fact that the case is cheaply made and leaves a bad first impression, is even more troubling because the earbuds themselves are actually built pretty well. They don’t feel flimsy or cheap, even though they’re made of plastic, and the design elements chosen by Blaupunkt are great, especially the ring surrounding the touchpad on each of the earbuds, which just lends them a subtle amount of bling, without being overdone.

I also really like the fact that the strength of the magnet inside the case is nice and the earbuds drop into place with a satisfying click — that’s something my Galaxy Buds don’t do, and it kinda sucks.

Speaking of things that suck, there’s still a microUSB charging port on the case here, which is sad because I feel like we should have USB-C on everything now, especially on accessories and smartphones. Right now, I use the same USB-C cable to charge my MacBook Pro, my Galaxy S10, and my Galaxy Buds. It’s easy, it’s elegant. However, while using these Blaupunkt earphones, I’ve had to carry a microUSB cable, and an additional adapter for it just to charge these things which is just something I find really annoying.

Overall, I think the design and the build on these earphones is only decent. There are some good things, like the strong magnet in the case, and the nice looking earbuds, but there are issues like the flimsy case, the microUSB port, and just the fact that the first impression you’re likely to get from opening the box of these earphones will be that of exasperation. Hopefully, that’ll fade away when you actually open the box and start using the earbuds themselves.
Comfort and Fit

Speaking of using the earbuds themselves, I found the Blaupunkt BTW-01 to be a fairly comfortable pair of truly wireless earbuds to use, even though it took me a while to be confident that they won’t just fall out of my ears while I bobbed my head along to music.

The thing is, the shape that these earbuds are, isn’t one of the best that I’ve seen. The bulk of the earbuds is towards the back, and they solely depend on the silicone earbuds to stay in your ear; there’s no earhook, or any other support for the earbuds when they’re in your ears.

If you’re like me and you’re used to wireless earbuds that come with earhooks, or are just shaped to get more support from your ear, putting the BTW-01 in your ears will make you constantly worry about them falling off. That said, they didn’t actually fall off in usual usage, but I’m confident I will not be using these at the gym, or while jogging in the park.

Once you get past the fear that these earphones will fall out of your ear, they are actually fairly comfortable to use as long as you put a properly sized earbud tip on (Blaupunkt gives different sizes in the box). I used these earphones a lot at work, and I didn’t feel any sort of fatigue in the ear, or anything uncomfortable, other than the occasional feeling that they might fall out of my ears.

I wouldn’t rate these earphones as being great as far as comfort and fit are concerned, but they are definitely good in comfort, and above average for the fit.
Audio Quality

Even with all the comfort and fit in the world, earphones will pretty much be useless to you unless they sound good, or at least acceptable, and at Rs. 4,999, the bar for ‘acceptable’ is pretty high. Fortunately, the Blaupunkt BTW-01 are well above that bar.

The earphones get pretty loud, and even then, I didn’t notice any distortion in the highs, which is great, because a lot of earphones start making the highs too loud at higher volumes and it just hurts the ears.
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The BTW-01 have ample bass, even though it’s not as deep as something like the Noise Shots X3 Bass, but it’s definitely nice and heavy without being too overpowering. The same can be said about the highs and the mids, the Blaupunkt BTW-01 have decently well defined highs and mids — they’re not the best, but they’re good and for Rs. 4,999 they’re one of the better ones.

Personally, I didn’t find any problems with the Blaupunkt BTW-01 as far as the audio quality is concerned, and I think if you buy these, you’ll not be disappointed by them either.
Interaction and Features

The Blaupunkt BTW-01 also come with touchpads on both the earbuds that come with support for multiple kinds of taps, and it works pretty well. Here’s what you can do with these earbuds:

    Answer calls: single tap on the left or right earbud
    Ending calls: single tap on either earbud
    Rejecting calls: long press on either earbud
    Voice assistant: triple tap on the touchpad on either earbud
    Play/Pause: double tap on either earbud
    Previous song: long press left earbud
    Next song: long press right earbud

While these features are pretty self-explanatory, it’s important to note that the BTW-01 can be used individually as well, so if you’re only using the left earbud, you won’t get access to the ‘Next song’ function, and if you’re only using the right earbud, you won’t get access to the ‘Previous song’ function on the earbuds. All of the other features work via either of the touchpads so they’ll work regardless of whether you’re using both the earbuds, or only one of them.
Connectivity

Anyway, let’s move on to connectivity. So the Blaupunkt BTW-01 come with Bluetooth 5.0, which is amazing, and they also let you use them individually. So you can choose to use just one of the earbuds and keep the other one in the case if you want.

However, if there’s one issue I have with the connectivity here, it’s the fact that connecting these earbuds to your phone is more time consuming than it should be. Here’s a basic outline of how you’d connect the Blaupunkt BTW-01 to your phone:

    Long press (about 5 seconds) on the left earbud to enter pairing mode, and pair the earbud to your phone.
    Turn on the right earbud (long press about 2 seconds), and it should automatically connect to the left earbud.
    You can now listen to music, take calls, etc using both the earbuds.

However, in case the earbuds don’t connect to each other, the procedure to actually clear the pairing list from both the earbuds and then letting them connect to each other is a complicated little issue that I don’t want to get into. All I’m saying is that I’d have really appreciated if I could just pop open the case, connect to the earphones, and use them without having to follow all these steps.

Anyway, at least the earbuds have decent range, and they are able to maintain sound quality over a distance, which is definitely nice, even though I tend to keep my phone in my pocket when I’m not sitting at my desk. There’s no aptX support here though, which is definitely something of a deal breaker to most people, but if it’s not a deal breaker to you, by all means, consider these earphones.
Battery

Then there’s the battery. While Blaupunkt doesn’t really give away the battery specs for these earphones, the manual does mention the expected battery life and charging time, and from my personal usage, the manual is pretty close to real world usage.

The earbuds lasted me around 4 to 4.5 hours of use, at maximum volume, and keeping the volume to around 60-70%, they lasted around 5.5 hours. I didn’t test the battery life while using just one earbud because that’s just not how I can ever listen to music, and I refuse to put myself through that. Still, judging by the fact that the battery life is close to what Blaupunk claims, I’m sure if you’re using these in single-earbud-mode, it should last you around 6 hours.

Charging the earbuds is taken care of by the case, so all you need to worry about is charging the case itself, which takes around 90 minutes to fully charge. As far as the charging is concerned, the Blaupunkt BTW-01 are pretty much what every other truly wireless earbuds are like — charge the case, and let the case charge the earbuds — and I don’t have a problem with that (other than the microUSB port here).
Pros and Cons

If you find the entire review too big to read, here’s a quick look at the pros and cons of the Blaupunkt BTW-01:

Pros:

    Good sound quality
    The earbuds look nice
    Touchpad controls work easily and intuitively
    Decent battery life

Cons:

    Charging case is poorly built
    microUSB port
    Connecting the earbuds isn’t the easiest thing

Blaupunkt BTW-01 Review: Worth the Price?

So overall, the Blaupunkt BTW-01 are pretty solid earbuds that are only slightly let down by the poor build of the charging case, and the fact that connecting them isn’t as straightforward as you’d like it to be, but other than that, these are good earphones. That said, unless the Blaupunkt brand name is something you find irresistible, I think the Noise Shots X5 (Rs. 4,699) and the Noise Shots X3 Bass (Rs. 3,749) are worth checking out, although connecting them is equally unintuitive.

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