Canon Pixma MG5250 review
A good all-rounder, but rival printers are better options if you favour high quality or speed over other attributes.
Review Date: 27 Aug 2010
Price when reviewed: £150
Reviewed By: Mike Jennings
Recent years have seen Canon’s Pixma machines become the byword for inkjet quality, so we were intrigued to see if the new MG5250 could continue with this trend. It’s certainly a good-looking printer. As with the majority of Pixma products, it’s clad in glossy black plastic and it’ll sit well in the trendiest of studies or living rooms.
Canon has placed emphasis on how easy it is to use, too. The right-hand side of the machine houses the control panel, which is dominated by a small 2.4in colour screen, and sitting beneath is an iPod-style circular control that’s used to scroll through the broad range of options. Further buttons make it easy to change almost every print, scan and copy setting.
It’s well-designed elsewhere, too; a USB port can be used to load pictures directly onto the printer from your camera – they’re previewed on the screen – and there’s a card reader behind a small flap. The screen itself can be tilted upwards, and the paper tray accepts 150 sheets of A4.
The design is matched with good print quality. Photographic prints are often the strong suit of Pixma printers, and that's true here: bright, vivid colours and dark, even blacks dominated pictures. We noticed slight graining across broad areas of colour and, occasionally, jagged edges on sharper areas, but it's nothing too distracting and, crucially, superior to its rivals.
Quality elsewhere was a mixed bag. Mono text wasn't as sharp as we liked, with blurry edges to the thick, dark letters, while draft quality looked weak and washed out. On non-photographic paper images and graphics were reasonably bright, but a touch blurry. Again, it’s fine for everyday use, but not as good as it could be. As we’ve come to expect from Canon’s MFPs, scans had plenty of detail and you get Canon’s excellent ScanGear software.
The MG5250 could only return average results in our speed tests, too. While its 13.4ppm pace at draft and 9.4ppm speed at normal quality is fine, these figures plummeted when we tasked it with more intensive jobs: it chugged through our 24-page colour document at just 3.4ppm. Scan speed s are typical for an MFP at 2.6 pages per minute.
The MG525 is brand-new, no retailers had stock at time of going to press, so that £150 price should drop a little once retailers start to compete. Ink pricing also looks expensive at present, as we had to calculate the costs using Canon’s own RRPs, so each of the five cartridges costs £12, The costs per page at these prices work out stupidly high, but we confidently expect them to drop in line with other Canon printers, such as the MP640.
The Pixma MG5250 sits in the middle of the road in most areas, with decent design, acceptable print quality and variable print speeds. At this price, though, you could invest in the Pixma MP640 if you want higher print quality or the HP Officejet 6000 if you're after speed. Compared to the competition, the MG5250 just doesn't do enough to stand out.
See our sister site PC PRO for a review of the just-released Canon Pixma MG4250, a £55 multi-function device.
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