Canon PIXMA MG5150 review
9.7ipm print speed, USB, 455x368x160mm
Canon's PIXMA MG5150 is one of the cheaper multifunction printers (MFPs) around. You'd be hard-pressed to tell, though – it's built with the same glossy, expensive-looking plastics as the other two PIXMAs here, and it's one of the best-looking devices overall. Although it's a new model, the basic design is fairly familiar, being similar to previous models.
At this price, you'd expect some compromises, but this MFP is remarkably well-equipped. It prints with five inks, has the same high print resolution as the most highly specified devices, two paper trays and a built-in duplexer for automatic two-sided printing. The scanner's 1,200x2,400dpi resolution is plenty for most creative jobs, there's a PictBridge port, and the card reader supports most common formats. Even the small 6cm colour screen is big enough to be practical.
In fact, the MG5150's only clear disadvantage is the lack of built-in network connectivity – there's just a USB port. This isn't a problem if you intend to use it with only one computer, but it presents problems otherwise: although Windows computers and many network-attached storage devices will let you share a printer across a network, they won't support an MFP's card-reader or scanner.
Setting the MG5150 up is painless, though as with many other printers here it does involve inserting the print heads before fitting the ink tanks. There are five of these; a large pigment black tank for text printing, and black, cyan, magenta and yellow dye inks for photo prints. While the black contributes a considerable 3p to the cost of an A4 page, competitive colour ink pricing helps to keep the overall price to a reasonable 8.6p.
The pigment-based black ink helps the MG5150 deliver good quality text on plain paper, although at 9.9 pages per minute (ppm) in draft mode it's fairly unhurried. Fortunately, the normal mode is barely any slower, meaning that high-quality letter printing is actually rather quick for an inkjet. More expensive devices are quicker when it comes to colour and photo printing, however.
Surprisingly, perhaps, the MG5150's print quality holds its own against even the best printers here. Plain paper copies are very good, with well-judged exposure settings and very few imperfections or artefacts. Colour prints have little banding in the solid fills or gradients of business graphics, although the dye ink does mean that they lack a little impact. Photo prints are also among the best. While there's a slight softness to the details, it's impossible to spot any grain and most shades are reproduced faithfully. Whether printing from a PC or directly from a card, colours are given a slight boost in saturation that, in most cases, lifts the results without making them garish.
The MG5150's scanner is a match for its competent printer. It's quick, taking just six seconds to preview an A4 page and only three times as long to capture it at 300 dots per inch (dpi), and the results are great. While the focus wasn't as sharp as we'd like, the full range of colours are captured very accurately, with only the very darkest shades of black tending to merge together somewhat.
The stylish MG5150 comprises a high-quality printer and scanner that work together to produce excellent results that embarrasses some of its pricier competition. It's great value to buy and run and lacks only network connectivity, making it a clear Budget Buy winner.
|Maximum native print resolution||9,600x2,400dpi|
|Max optical resolution||1,200x2,400dpi|
|Output bit depth||24-bit|
|Quoted speed, mono A4||9.7ipm|
|Quoted speed, colour A4||6.1ipm|
Tested Print Speeds
|Time for two 10x8in photos 1.0||6m 37s|
|Time for six 6x4in photos 1.0||10m 1s|
Physical and Environmental
|Standard printer interfaces||USB|
|Optional printer interfaces||Bluetooth|
|Noise (in normal use)||44.5dB(A)|
|Maximum paper size||A4/legal|
|Maximum paper weight||300gsm|
|Standard paper inputs||2|
|Standard paper input capacity||300|
|Maximum paper inputs||2|
|Maximum paper input capacity||300|
|Duplex (code, cost if option)||Yes|
|Printer technology||thermal inkjet|
|Supported operating systems||Windows XP/Vista/Vista-64/7/7-64, Mac OS X 10.4.11+|
|Other inkjet features||6.0cm colour screen, automatic print head alignment, replaceable print head|
|Other inkjet options||None|
|Consumable parts and prices||£10|
|Price per colour A4 page||5.6p|
|Quoted life of supplied black cartridge||323 pages (ISO/IEC 24712)|
|Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s)||4,335 dye black pages (estimate), 520 cyan, 500 magenta, 515 yellow pages (ISO/IEC 24712)|
|Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s)||N/A|
|Warranty||one year RTB|
|Number of ink colours||5|
|Number of ink cartridges||5|
|Maximum number of ink colours||5|
|Maximum number of cartridges||5|
|Quoted photo durability||30 years|
|Quoted photo durability source||Canon|
Tested Scan Speeds
|Full scan area preview||6s|
|A4 document at 150dpi||17s|
|A4 document at 300dpi||18s|
|6x4in photo at 600dpi||27s|
|6x4in photo at 1200dpi||1m 27s|
Tested Copy Speeds
|Time for single A4 mono copy 1.0||17s|
|Time for single A4 colour copy 1.0||30s|
|Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.0||N/A|
|Direct (PC-less) printing||Yes|
|Supported memory cards||USB, CF, SD, SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, MicroDrive|
|Maximum number of copies||99|
|Max mono fax resolution||N/A|
|Fax memory (maximum mono pages)||N/A|