Canon PIXMA MG5150 review

At this price it's hard to fault the MG5150. If you don't need network sharing, look no further.

10 Dec 2010
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Our Rating 
5/5
Price when reviewed 
72
inc VAT

Specifications

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.

Canon PIXMA MG5150

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.

Canon PIXMA MG5150 Memory card slots

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.

Basic Specifications

Rating *****
Maximum native print resolution 9,600x2,400dpi
Max optical resolution 1,200x2,400dpi
Output bit depth 24-bit

Quoted Speeds

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
Size 455x368x160mm
Weight 7.8kg
Noise (in normal use) 44.5dB(A)

Paper Handling

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

General

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

Buying Information

Price £72
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
Supplier http://uk.insight.com
Details www.canon.co.uk

Print Quality

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

Photo Features

PictBridge support Yes
Borderless printing A4
Direct (PC-less) printing Yes
Supported memory cards USB, CF, SD, SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, MicroDrive
CD printing No

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies 99

Fax Features

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