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Canon Maxify G7050 review: A pricey, feature-packed MFP that’s cheap to run

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £600
(inc VAT)

An office inkjet that costs a lot up front, but marries useful office features with spectacularly affordable ongoing running costs


  • Ultra-low running costs
  • Useful document feeder, including duplex scanning
  • Automatic duplex printing


  • Average quality
  • No borderless photos
  • Very expensive to buy

The Maxify GX7050 sits right at the top of Canon’s range of office-focused ink tank printers. Like the brilliant Pixma G series, the Maxify GX series of printers swap ink cartridges for voluminous ink tanks that can be filled from a bottle. The benefit of this is that the printers can produce thousands of pages between refills, the ink is comparatively affordable, and there’s significantly less environmental waste.

The GX7050 builds on the features of the Maxify GX5050, adding a built-in copier/scanner/fax, an automatic sheet feeder, an extra paper storage tray and a handy colour touchscreen. This adds around £200 to the price of the basic printer-only version.

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Canon Maxify GX7050 review: What do you get for the money?

The Canon Maxify GX7050 is a sizeable all-in-one printer. It’s styled identically to other Maxify devices in the line-up, with a mostly white exterior adorned with black trimmings, and a splash of extra colour is provided by the windows into the ink tanks, which gives useful guidance about how much ink you have left and when you should consider purchasing some refills.

The GX7050 is the largest model in the series, measuring 399 x 410 x 314 (WDH) and weighing 13kg. Its footprint is only 6mm larger than the Maxify GX5050, but it’s 76mm taller, thanks to an additional paper tray and the scanning and sheet-feeding equipment built into the top. That also accounts for the additional 4kg, though once you’ve popped this on a table, you shouldn’t need to move it very often. 

The extra paper tray makes three in total on this device: there are two 250-sheet A4 trays under the output tray, and another 100-sheet rear-feed tray, where you can put envelopes, photographic paper or anything else you might want to print on. You could use both lower trays to store 500 sheets of plain paper, or add in some coloured or speciality paper if you use such things regularly. 

Positioned on the top of the device, the generous automatic document feeder can accept documents of up to 50 sheets. It uses two scanners, one on the lid and the other on the base, so it can scan both sides of a sheet simultaneously.

Just below this is the control panel. This has physical buttons for core functions such as making mono or colour copies, or cancelling print jobs. Most of the fine control can be performed via the colour touchscreen, which provides access to more refined options, and lets you tell the printer what kind of paper you’re putting into its various trays. 

Four bottles of ink are supplied with the printer, one each of black, cyan, magenta and yellow. Canon suggests this is enough to print 6,000 mono pages and 14,000 colour pages, though if you produced them in the printer’s Economy mode, it rises to 9,000 and 21,000 respectively. Those figures are based on printing the ISO/IEC 24712 document, so you may get more or fewer pages, depending on what you’re printing.

The printer can be connected to a network via Wi-Fi or Ethernet. If you would prefer to keep it offline or restrict it to a single PC, you can also connect via USB.

READ NEXT: Canon Maxify GX5050 review

Canon Maxify GX7050 review: Is it easy to use?

Setting up the Canon Maxify GX7050 is simple. A link to a website is included in the supplied instructional pamphlet, which takes you to a step by step guide and points you to the right software or app to download. Confident types can skip through this fairly rapidly, but newcomers can see pictures, animations and videos of every step of the process.

The ink from the bottles is simply poured into the tanks, and these are accessed by lifting the scanner unit, which is hinged at the back. Although pouring ink sounds daunting, it’s a simple process and difficult to get wrong, with strong colour guidance and moulded bottlenecks that will only fit over the correct tank. The ink doesn’t start coming out until the bottles are properly in place, so spills are unlikely. 

The colourful touchscreen interface is bright, bold and clear, and this makes light work of controlling the printer or adjusting the various features. You can also control the printer from the Android or iOS app, or via the printer drivers for your computer.

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Canon Maxify GX7050 review: How fast is it and how much does it cost to run?

We expect ink tank printers to provide affordable printing and the Canon Maxify GX7050 doesn’t disappoint in this regard. In fact, at 0.2p per mono page and 0.2p per colour page (based on Canon’s ink prices and its volume expectations printing the ISO/IEC 24712 standard print patterns) it matches the cost of the Maxify GX5050. This makes it the joint-cheapest per page printer Expert Reviews has tested to date.

As you can see from the chart below, it compares favourably to consumer ink tank printers from rival companies (and from Canon itself), which tend to have colour printing costs of at least 0.4p per page in four-colour systems like this. I’ve put the Brother MFC-J6955DW in this chart, too. It’s a more traditional inkjet with cartridges rather than bottles and tanks, to demonstrate the difference in price between regular and ink tank printers.

It’s worth noting, however, that being an inkjet aimed at offices, some of the affordability of the GX7050’s colour ink is down to it being inferior, with prints not looking as good – see the ‘What’s the print quality like’ section below. 

I have to admit that I was expecting the larger, more expensive Maxify GX7050 to outpace or, at the very least, equal the performance of the Maxify GX5050. It was a surprise to me, then, that its performance fell some way behind, sometimes by a considerable margin.

Take the time it takes to print the first page of a print job, for example. As you can see from the graph below, the GX7050 was actually the slowest of these four printers to warm up and start printing, taking 14 seconds to finish the first page, timed from the moment I pressed the Print button. The GX5050 can get to this point in half the time, as can the Brother MFC-J6955DW cartridge-based inkjet. The Epson EcoTank ET-2850 is slower, but still beats the GX7050. 

When it comes to printing, the speed is reasonable, producing mono pages at a rate of 19.7ppm in its standard quality mode, and colour pages at 5.4ppm. However, it’s slightly behind the GX5050, which manages 20.3ppm mono printing and 5.7ppm in colour. It’s a lot faster than Epson’s consumer ink tank printer, but some way behind Brother’s MFC-J6955DW. 

Things slowed down even further in our duplex test, with the GX7050 crawling along at 3.5ppm. By contrast, the GX5050 cranks pages out at 11.5ppm, rivalling the double-sided print speed of the Brother MFC-J6955DW. However, the GX7050 isn’t as slow as the Epson EcoTank ET-2850, which plods along at 2.2ppm. 

Photo printing isn’t the Maxify GX7050’s forte, but it’s reasonably quick at it, if that’s more important to you than quality. At its highest quality settings it printed our six 6x4in test prints in 5 minutes 40 seconds, only just slower than the GX5050. It’s faster than both the Brother and Epson printers, though it’s worth keeping in mind that the quality of photo prints from these devices is higher. 

READ NEXT: Best photo scanners

Canon Maxify GX7050 review: What’s print quality like?

Text quality on the Canon’s standard settings is good. It’s almost indistinguishable from the Maxify GX5050, but looked better than the text output from both the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 and the Brother MFC-J6955DW. The latter two aren’t terrible at this, but the Canon products produce sharper looking text that’s clearly noticeable under magnification. 

It was a similar story with printing business graphics. There isn’t a lot in this, but again, under magnification, I found the GX7050’s text looked a little sharper than its rivals. I preferred the colour graphics printing on the Brother MFC-J6955DW, though, and if you have a lot of colourful charts to print, that might be worth considering.

Photo printing falls predictably behind the consumer-focused Epson EcoTank ET-2850. It isn’t capable of printing borderless photos on photo paper, and the colour in brighter images is washed out. The Brother MFC-J6955DW is much better here, too, with perfect borderless printing and much better colour. The GX7050 is no worse than the GX5050, though, since they use identical ink supplies.

Canon Maxify GX7050 review: Should you buy it?

Considering the Maxify GX7050 is the priciest model in Canon’s Maxify GX range, I remain a little surprised that it fell behind the Maxify GX5050 in our speed tests. This wasn’t a one-off in a single test, but a consistently slower rate of printing. I would have expected it to be the same or faster than the cheaper model.

The same doesn’t apply to the print quality, though, which is identical to the GX5050, by virtue of using exactly the same kind of ink. It’s great at printing letters, reasonable at business graphics, but not to be relied on for photos. If you want affordable running costs, though, it’s second to none.

If there’s a reason for opting for the GX7050 it’s for the physical accoutrements. The scanner, automatic sheet feeder and touchscreen controls are also available on the Canon Maxify GX6050, which is over £100 cheaper. However, it doesn’t have the additional paper tray on the bottom of the printer. If you want all of that, along with the ongoing cost benefits of running an ink tank printer, then the GX7050 is ideal.

However, there are other options. Brother’s office inkjet range doesn’t have the cheap ink of the Maxify, but you can still get a similar proposition for a cheaper price in the Brother MFC-J6955DW. This has the same core features but prints significantly faster, and prints graphics in photos in superior quality. You will pay more over time, though, as while its ink is reasonable for a cartridge system, it’s more expensive per page than the Maxify or any other ink tank model.

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