The Canon Pixma MG5650 has iffy controls, but we love it for its decent speeds, great quality and low running costs
Canon’s MG5650 is the latest mid-range multifunction peripheral (MFP) in the company’s PIXMA range. It’s aimed at home users, and in common with most other PIXMA models it looks fairly stylish. Two particularly useful features come as standard: Wi-Fi, for wireless printing, and automatic duplex (double-sided) printing, which saves paper. There’s also support for printing from mobile devices and via cloud services.
The MG5650 makes do with a single 100-sheet input tray. Paper takes a U-shaped path, exiting via a short shelf that supports only the part nearest the printer; the front edge is gathered up by a stop that extends from the front of the input tray. It’s a bit basic, but it does keep printed pages tidy.
This printer takes five separate ink tanks, a large pigment black supply used for plain paper printing only, and dye-based black, cyan, magenta and yellow inks for graphics. The tanks are inserted under the hinged control panel. We found it easier than on previous models to line them up for insertion, although we were surprised to discover that it’s possible to put the dye tanks in the wrong slots.
We’ve grumbled in the past about the control system used on this MFP, which combines a four-way navigation and OK button with three dedicated selection buttons placed under the screen. In use, it’s inconsistent and can be fussy and confusing. Canon’s added a new cassette setting where you specify the paper you’re loading, but its only discernible purpose is to annoy you with an error message when you’re trying to print photos. You can switch it off.
Fortunately, that’s the bad news out of the way, as the MG5650 is otherwise hard to fault. It’s fast enough when printing, delivering a first mono page in just nine seconds and going on to reach 11.9 pages per minute (ppm) in our text test. At 3.7ppm, colour printing was acceptably quick, although 6x4in photo prints took over two minutes each at the highest print quality. Mono A4 copies took just 12 seconds, and colour 25 seconds, while scans were swift up to 600 dots per inch (dpi). The MG5650 took 99 seconds to scan a 6x4in photo at 1,200dpi, which is a little lethargic.
^ Canon provides basic and advanced versions of its scan interface: both are easy to use
It’s hard to fault the quality of the results. While black text wasn’t the crispest we’ve seen, colour graphics were excellent, as were photos printed on Canon’s glossy paper. Photocopies were accurately exposed, while scans were extremely sharp with accurate colour reproduction and good preservation of shade detail.
The MG5650’s running costs make a final, strong argument in its favour. Stick to the XL supplies and a page of text and graphics should cost around 7.3p, which is reasonable for a home inkjet. Although we found a few things to be grumpy about, the Canon Pixma MG5650 is an excellent general-purpose home MFP overall.
|Maximum print resolution||4,800×1,200dpi|
|1,200×1,200dpi (24-bit)||1,200×2,400dpi (24-bit)|
|Number of colours (cartridges)||5 (5)|
|Maximum number of colours (cartridges)||5 (5)|
|Quoted photo durability (source)||30 years (Canon)|
|Standard interfaces||USB, 802.11b/g/n wireless|
|Duty cycle (pages per month)||Not stated|
|Maximum paper size||A4/legal|
|Maximum paper weight||300gsm|
|Standard paper trays (capacity)||1 (100)|
|Maximum paper trays (capacity)||1 (100)|
|Direct (PC-less) printing||No|
|Memory card support||None|
|Supported operating systems||Windows XP or later, Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later, Android, iOS, AirPrint, Cloud Print|
|Other features||6.2cm colour screen|
|Consumable parts and prices||PGI-550PGBK|
XL (500 pages ISO/IEC 24712) £12, CLI-551BK XL £11 (5,565 pages (Canon estimate)), CLI-551C XL £11 (715 pages ISO/IEC 24712),
CLI-551M XL £11 (645 pages ISO/IEC 24712), CLI-551Y XL £11 (715 pages ISO/IEC 24712)
|Quoted life of supplied black cartridge(s)||300 pages (pigment black, ISO/IEC 24712), 1,795 pages (dye black, Canon estimate)|
|Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s)||Cyan 345 pages, magenta 306 pages, yellow 347 pages (ISO/IEC 24712)|
|Cost per ISO/IEC 24712 A4 page inc VAT||7.3p|
|Cost per ISO/IEC 24712 A4 page inc VAT (colour part)||4.7p|
|Cost per ISO/IEC 24712 A4 page inc VAT (mono part)||2.6p|