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Canon MAXIFY MB2050 review

MAXIFY MB2050 front three-quarters
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £159
inc VAT

The new MAXIFY range provides even more alternatives to a cheap office laser, but the entry-level MB2050 fails to shine

The Canon Maxify MB2050 is the entry-level printer in Canon’s new Maxify inkjet printer range. The Maxify range promises high capacity, pigment-based and smudge-resistant inks, maximum duty cycles of up to 30,000 pages per month and extensive cloud and mobile printing support. However, Canon is playing catch up to rivals such as Epson, which has been making its excellent WorkForce series for a while.

The MB2050 looks similar to the largest PIXMA models. There’s a fully enclosed 250-sheet cassette in the base, and printed pages are ejected into a tray just above it. At the top, hinges with a strong detent stop the 50-page automatic document feeder (ADF) crashing down onto the scanner platen. The lid houses a colour screen and a set of conventional buttons, although menu navigation is a little clunky in places.

Besides support for AirPrint, Google Cloud Print and various mobile operating systems, the MB2050 can connect to services such as Google Drive, Evernote and Dropbox, allowing you to print or scan directly from the cloud. There’s a USB host port, too, so you can do the same with a flash drive.

Canon claims modest print speeds of 16 mono pages per minute (ppm) and 11ppm for colour prints. The MB2050 scored 14.7ppm in our 25-page mono test. Sadly, it only managed 5.1ppm in our colour test, which is disappointing for an office device. Double-sided printing was also slow, with 10 colour sides printing on five pages in four and a half minutes. Copying was fast, though, with 10 mono pages completing in just 53 seconds.

We tested the MFP over Wi-Fi, but scan times were slow despite a clear line of sight to a router less than two metres away. Switching to a USB connection sped things up, but not by as much as we’d hoped; a 1,200 dots per inch (dpi) scan of a 6x4in photograph took two minutes. Scans were reasonably good, and in prints, black text was excellent for an inkjet. While printed colours were bold they appeared lacking in saturation, leading to slightly drab graphics.

While pricier MAXIFY models accept high-capacity ink tanks, the MB2050 uses standard capacity supplies good for an average of around 1,000 pages each. As we went to press we couldn’t find the new consumables on sale for less than their recommended retail prices, which give page costs of 2.1p and 5.3p for black and colour printing respectively. While we’d expect that to come down somewhat, it’s not especially competitive, leaving the MB2050 competent but not class leading.

TechnologyThermal inkjet
Maximum print resolution600×1,200dpi
Maximum optical scan resolution (output bit depth)1,200×1,200dpi (24-bit)
Number of colours (cartridges)4 (4)
Maximum number of colours (cartridges)4 (4)
Quoted photo durability (source)Not stated
Standard interfacesUSB, USB host, 802.11b/g/n wireless
Optional interfacesNone
Dimensions (HxWxD)260x463x389mm
Duty cycle (pages per month)15,000 (max), 200-1,000 (recommended)
Paper handling
Maximum paper sizeA4/legal
Maximum paper weight275gsm
Standard paper trays (capacity)1 (250)
Maximum paper trays (capacity)1 (250)
Photo features
Borderless printingNo
Direct (PC-less) printingUSB, cloud
Memory card supportNone
Supported operating systemsWindows XP or later, Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later, iOS, Android, Windows RT
Other features6.2cm colour screen
Buying information
WarrantyOne-year RTB
Price£155 inc VAT
Consumable parts and pricesPGI-1500XL BK black ink (1,200 pages) £29, PGI-1500XL C cyan (1,020 pages), PGI-1500XL M magenta (780 pages), PGI-1500XL Y yellow (935 pages) £18 each
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge(s)400 pages (ISO/IEC 24712)
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s)300 pages (ISO/IEC 24712)
Cost per ISO/IEC 24712 A4 page inc VAT8.4p
Cost per ISO/IEC 24712 A4 page inc VAT (colour part)6.0p
Cost per ISO/IEC 24712 A4 page inc VAT (mono part)2.4p
Part code9488B008