Canon Pixma MG5350 review
13ppm print speed, USB, 802.11n wireless, 166x450x366mm
Canon's Pixma MFPs rarely provide many surprises, but that's no bad thing: they've been producing our favourite balance of photo quality, text quality and usability for years. This model has a 7.5cm colour screen and support for printing from either Google Picasa or Canon's own Image Gateway. By the time you read this, Canon should have added support for Google's Cloud Print standard, which allows you to send documents from Google's web services directly to the printer from anywhere in the world.
The MG5350's four-colour print engine includes both pigment and dye-based black inks, which are used for text and photo printing respectively. Text prints on plain paper are among the sharpest we've seen from any printer, while our illustrated colour business document emerged with sharp text and vivid diagrams. Photo prints are stunning, with warm, vivid colour and clean, untinted reproduction of pale tones. Although the MG5350 lacks a grey cartridge, monochrome prints suffer only the slightest of greenish tints. Copy quality is also excellent, with sharp text, accurate colours and brilliant shading, even on mono copies of complex illustrations.
Print speeds aren't the fastest around, but the quality is worth the wait. There's little point in using draft mode; although they look good, draft text prints emerge at just 4.6ppm versus 4.4ppm for a standard quality mono document. Colour is slower: 2.4ppm if you're printing single-sided and 2ppm for duplex. Double-sided prints look very professional, but you'll want to avoid the very thinnest papers (75gsm and below) to prevent ink from bleeding through or making the paper wrinkle as it dries. Print costs are reasonable for a colour inkjet. A mono page costs 2.7p, while a page of mixed black and colour printing comes in at a relatively low 7.5p. A 6x4in photo on Canon Photo Paper Plus II will cost around 29p.
We were also impressed by the MFP's scan quality: scanned text is pin-sharp and colours are accurate, even when it comes to low-contrast images or areas of fine gradation. Scan speeds are quick, too - a 300dpi 14 scan takes just 13 seconds, while a 600dpi scan of a 6x4in photo comes in at 52 seconds. The scanner lid hinges lift up to make it easier to scan thick objects, which is handy if you want to capture content from a book.
Canon's scanner interface gives you plenty of options for image adjustment, sharpening and correcting flaws such as dust, scratches and fading. A text entry box allows you to enter resolutions up to the scanner's maximum 2,400dpi optical resolution. Preview scans and settings are retained between scans and you can create your own scan profiles. You can also choose to have the interface remain open between scans, and a thumbnail preview mode isolates different items on the platen so they can be scanned as separate images.
The Pixma MG5350 is an excellent home printer. Its scan, photo and document quality are outstanding and its running costs are reasonable, but slow print speeds keep it from winning a full five stars. The Canon Pixma MG6250 costs a bit more, but is much faster, making it a better buy.