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Canon Pixma MG5550 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £70
inc VAT

With excellent print quality and features including an automatic duplexer, this is a great printer for the money

Canon’s all-in-one printers are often among our favourites, although the company tends to do best at the £100+ mark. However, the Canon Pixma MG5550 is a £70 MFP with five individual ink cartridges, an automatic duplexer, cloud printing when it’s connected to a wireless network and a colour screen. This combination of features is one we’re used to seeing from much more expensive hardware, so this MFP is a tempting proposition. The all-in-one has a single paper input tray at the bottom, which works well but is unfortunately exposed to dust.

Canon Pixma MG5550

The MG5550 has two black ink cartridges: dye-based black for photo printing and a pigmented black cartridge for sharp document printing. Pigmented inks don’t bleed, leading to more precise lettering, particularly on the kind of low-grade paper often sold in supermarkets. At standard quality, the MG5550’s mono text prints are indeed sharp and dark and printed at a rather swift 11.3ppm. We don’t like the paper input and output trays as much as those of earlier models, which kept paper out of the way in an enclosed box. Large stacks of prints in the output tray looked a little shaky, but held their order.

The MG5550’s quick standard print speed means there’s little to be gained in terms of speed by printing at draft quality; draft text prints emerged at 11.5ppm. However, draft mode uses less ink and looks just as sharp, only with thinner lettering. Close examination reveals that draft lettering is a little more jagged than its full-quality equivalent, but it doesn’t show at a glance. Colour print speeds aren’t too bad either, at 3.6ppm. However, for optimal results, you’ll want to use thicker paper: a test involving 75gsm paper left large areas of dark colour looking a little uneven due to the large quantity of ink left to try on them. Apart from slight speckling, we were happy with the quality of our colour website prints and illustrated business documents, particularly in areas of finely gradated shading. Text in small point sizes was also rendered sharply.

Canon Pixma MG5550

Canon Pixma MG5550F Print Quality

An automatic duplexer not only saves on paper, which is important if you use good-quality inkjet paper, but the double-sided documents it produces often have a look of slick professionalism that a bundle of single-sided prints lacks. That’s very much the case here. The quality of our colour duplex print was among the best we’ve seen. Slightly less ink is used than in simplex printing, but this didn’t affect the vivid reproduction of our illustrated business graphics. Even on thin paper, we didn’t see any bleed-through but the opposite side of each page was visible. Duplex printing is also slow, as the MFP has to pause while each side dries. Ten colour pages on five sheets of paper printed in five minutes and 25 seconds, which works out at a rate of 1.8ppm. If you’ve got a large document to print, you’ll definitely want to go away and make a cup of tea while you’re waiting.

Canon’s individual-ink printers excel when it comes to photo printing, although they can be expensive to run if you buy Canon’s top Platinum Pro photo paper; other, cheaper papers are available. We loved the glossy finish of our printers and were particularly pleased with the depth of black tones and untinted light colours. Skin tones fared well, as did our low-contrast test images. However, some slight graininess was visible in some prints, particularly those with subtly gradated shading. The quality is nonetheless good given the cost of the MFP. Photo print speeds were also reasonable, with a pair of 10x8in prints emerging in three minutes and 39 seconds and six 6x4in prints coming out in four minutes and 19 seconds.

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Basic Specifications

Maximum native print resolution4,800×1,200dpi
Max optical resolution1,200×2,400dpi
Output bit depth24-bit

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A412ppm
Quoted speed, colour A49ppm

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.03m 39s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.04m 19s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfacesUSB, 802.11n wireless
Optional printer interfacesnone
Noise (in normal use)43dB(A)

Paper Handling

Maximum paper sizeup to A4
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/7/8, Mac OS X 10.6.8+, Android, iOS
Other inkjet featurescloud printing
Other inkjet optionsnone

Buying Information

Consumable parts and prices£11 each
Price per colour A4 page5.1p
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge300 pages (ISE/IEC 24711)
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s)345 cyan, 306 magenta, 347 colour pages (ISO/IEC 24711)
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s)376 black, 125 cyan, 131 magenta, 127 yellow photos (four-ink)
Warrantyone year RTB

Print Quality

Number of ink colours4
Number of ink cartridges5
Maximum number of ink colours4
Maximum number of cartridges5
Quoted photo durability30 years
Quoted photo durability sourceCanon

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview6s
A4 document at 150dpi13s
A4 document at 300dpi20s
6x4in photo at 600dpi26s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi1m 39s

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.014s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.018s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.0N/A

Photo Features

PictBridge supportNo
Borderless printingup to A4
Direct (PC-less) printingYes
Supported memory cardsnone
CD printingNo

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies99
Max mono copy resolution1,200dpi
Max colour copy resolution1,200dpi

Fax Features

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