Canon – PIXMA MG5150 review

Inexpensive, well featured multifunction printer
Photo of Canon – PIXMA MG5150

Canon’s PIXMA range of all-in-one printers has built up a solid reputation for sturdiness, style and superior quality usually at a very attractive price – and its current MG series continues the same tradition.

Shiny black is very much the vogue colour for printers at the moment, and the MG5150 would sit very cosily next to a Baby Grand piano in your baronial living room. Given its compact dimensions (455x368x160mm), smoothly curved corners and comparative lightness (7.8kg), though, it’s ideally suited to a home office setup where space is at a premium.

Although the price for this multifunction printer – a single device that can print, scan and copy – is an astonishingly low £74, the MG5150 is by no means a cheap printer. To the right of the scanner is a large (6.0cm) colour TFT display which can be smoothly tilted up (so smoothly, in fact, that it has a tendency to slip down again – can you fix that next time, Canon?) and below is a set of big, clearly defined and easy to use controls.

The MG5150 also has something that a lot of other machines can only envy – 2-way paper feeding, with a 150-sheet feeder at the back and a separate 150-sheet cartridge at the bottom. The big advantage of this is that you can keep your photographic paper at the back and your plain stuff in the cartridge, and not have to worry about swapping one out when changing media.

Would you expect an Auto Duplex capability in such a low-end printer? No? Well, this little tiger has that as well, in addition to three protected memory card slots for all the usual suspects as well as the out-of-favour CompactFlash, plus a PictBridge USB port, allowing you to print directly from digital cameras. Incidentally, the enclosed software even allows you to print images from HD movies – but only from Canon cameras that use the MOV format (maybe another area to expand next time?) The MG5150 also has a self-opening output tray that remains neatly folded away until you need it. This eco-friendly theme is echoed by the use of five single ink cartridges rather than a block’ for the main colours.

We reckon the main reason that Canon has managed to keep the price of the MG5150 so low is because it has no Wi-Fi connection – but as this printer is targeted principally at a sole user, this shouldn’t be much of a problem.

There’s no skimping on print quality either. Colour photos were remarkably sharp and true to the originals even at the Standard setting and mono documents likewise appeared bold and solid. Even the speeds were more than acceptable – 11ppm for draft quality documents and 8ppm for Standard, while even Fine quality A4 photos took just 3min 50s and Standard versions in 1min 35s. Curiously, the Fine prints seemed slightly more red than the Standard ones, and scanned versions were generally lighter in tone overall.

Company: Canon

Contact: 01737 220000

If you're a sole trader or home worker and want an inexpensive multifunction printer that gives exceptional quality images while providing a host of extras' like auto-duplex and two-way paper feeding, then the Canon PIXMA 5150 is a worthwhile choice.