Canon PIXMA MX515 review

Simon Handby
18 May 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

A stylish MFP with a comprehensive specification, but print costs are relatively high



print speed, USB, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless, 200x458x385mm

Canon's PIXMA MX515 is a small inkjet MFP aimed at the home office. Its smart chassis contains a practical set of features including a fax modem and a 30-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF). Like many home devices there's support for wireless networking, but Canon has also included a wired Ethernet port – a more reliable option for an MFP if it's within reach of your router. Only one interface can be active at a time, so to use the network port you need to disable the wireless first.

Canon PIXMA MX515

The MX515 is comparatively simple when compared to high-end models in the PIXMA range. There's a single paper input tray with a capacity of only 100 sheets. The input tray is mostly protected from dust by the output tray above it, but when empty both can be folded up neatly. To the left are two memory card slots, while the top panel is given over to the ADF – which folds closed when not needed – and the control system.

We have mixed feelings about the MX515's controls. Its small screen is clear, but you can't alter the display's angle for easier viewing. To navigate you use a mix of three dedicated buttons below the screen and a four-way rocker switch without an OK button in the centre; a set-up that we found counter-intuitive and sometimes simply confusing. On the other hand, there's a great looking system of blank buttons which only light up with additional options when they're relevant; a neat trick that greatly reduces clutter.

Canon PIXMA MX515 controls

This isn't a slow text printer, but on graphical jobs it was one of the most lethargic inkjets we've reviewed in some time. Our colour graphics test inched out at just 2.3ppm, while each postcard-sized photograph took three minutes. Fortunately, the results were uniformly good, with stronger colours on plain paper than we've seen from other Canon inkjets. Duplexed (double-sided) prints were less impressive, as they were noticeably fainter despite lengthy drying pauses. These pauses also contributed to their slow speed; 10 sides of colour printed onto five pages took six minutes, 26 seconds.

MX515 scan interface

Canon's scan interface is simple to use and the results here were more than capable

Our scanner tests underlined the advantage of a wired network port over Wi-Fi; the MX515 was as fast over Ethernet as when connected via USB, completing a 600dpi photo scan in just 21 seconds. Captured images were in sharp focus with accurate colours, and the scanner only struggled to distinguish the two very darkest shades in our test pattern. Copy quality was also far above average, with colour copies particularly accurate.

Despite its modest price, this MFP combines a good set of features that generally perform well, but it's let down by comparatively high print costs – particularly for black-only pages which cost 3p each. It's not a bad choice if you're after something stylish for light use, but if low running costs are more important we'd recommend Kodak's ESP Office 2170.

Basic Specifications

Maximum native print resolution4,800x1,200dpi
Max optical resolution1,200x2,400dpi
Output bit depth24-bit

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.012m 20s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.018m 17s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfacesUSB, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless
Optional printer interfacesnone
Noise (in normal use)42dB(A)

Paper Handling

Maximum paper sizeA4/legal
Maximum paper weight300gsm
Standard paper inputs1
Standard paper input capacity100
Maximum paper inputs1
Maximum paper input capacity100
Duplex (code, cost if option)Yes


Printer technologythermal inkjet
Supported operating systemsWindows XP/Vista/7, Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later
Other inkjet features6.2cm colour screen
Other inkjet optionsnone

Buying Information

Consumable parts and prices£18
Price per colour A4 page4.5p
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge180 pages (ISO/IEC 24712)
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s)180 pages (ISO/IEC 24712)
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s)N/A
Warrantyone-year RTB

Print Quality

Number of ink colours4
Number of ink cartridges2
Maximum number of ink colours4
Maximum number of cartridges2
Quoted photo durability30 years
Quoted photo durability sourceCanon

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview8s
A4 document at 150dpi13s
A4 document at 300dpi15s
6x4in photo at 600dpi21s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi1m 4s

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.027s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.049s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.07m 41s

Photo Features

PictBridge supportYes
Borderless printingA4
Direct (PC-less) printingYes
Supported memory cardsSD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo
CD printingNo

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies99
Max mono copy resolution600x600dpi
Max colour copy resolution600x1,200dpi

Fax Features

Max mono fax resolution300x300dpi
Fax memory (maximum mono pages)50