Canon Pixma MG5250 review

27 Aug 2010
Canon Pixma MG5250
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

A good all-rounder, but rival printers are better options if you favour high quality or speed over other attributes.


11ppm print speed, USB Hi-Speed, 802.11g Wi-Fi, 160x455x368

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.

Canon Pixma MG5250

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.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Maximum native print resolution 9,600x2,400dpi
Max optical resolution 2,400x4,800dpi
Output bit depth 24-bit

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A4 11ppm
Quoted speed, colour A4 9ppm

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.0 3m 23s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.0 2m 24s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfaces USB Hi-Speed, 802.11g Wi-Fi
Size 160x455x368
Weight 8.1kg
Noise (in normal use) 47.5

Paper Handling

Maximum paper size A4
Maximum paper weight 105gsm
Standard paper inputs 2
Standard paper input capacity 150
Maximum paper inputs 2
Maximum paper input capacity 150
Duplex (code, cost if option) Yes


Printer technology thermal inkjet
Supported operating systems Windows XP, Vista, 7, Mac OS 10.4, 10.5, 10.6
Other inkjet features 2.4in colour screen
Other inkjet options none

Buying Information

Price £150
Consumable parts and prices £13,99
Price per colour A4 page 2.3p
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge 341
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s) Cyan 520 pages, Magenta 500 pages, Yellow 515 pages
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s) N/A
Warranty one year RTB

Print Quality

Number of ink colours 4
Number of ink cartridges 5
Maximum number of ink colours 4
Maximum number of cartridges 5
Quoted photo durability 30 years
Quoted photo durability source Canon

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview 11s
A4 document at 150dpi 18s
A4 document at 300dpi 23s
6x4in photo at 600dpi 31s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi N/A

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.0 9s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.0 19s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.0 N/A

Photo Features

PictBridge support Yes
Direct (PC-less) printing Yes
Supported memory cards SD, CF, MS, SDHC, xD, MMC
CD printing Yes

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies 99

Fax Features

Max mono fax resolution N/A
Fax memory (maximum mono pages) N/A