Review: Canon Pixma MG5150

Our score: 4/5
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July 27, 2011 2:41 PM
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Published: July 26, 2011 11:00 PM
By Marine Goy
Translated by: Jack Sims
The MG5150 is a mid-range, 3-in-1 inkjet designed for the individual consumer looking for a machine that can handle photos as well as office document prints.
Canon is promising "numerous features, good print quality and economy of ink".

Hardware

Its relatively sober design will fit in pretty much anywhere, though the hood does scratch easily. The 6 cm screen can be tilted upwards and has a colour display of the options selected using the buttons underneath.

The MG5150 copies and scans, has a card reader, two paper loaders (150 sheets each), 5 separate cartridges and auto double-sided. These are its main features but it doesn't have either wi-fi or Ethernet.

Speeds

As often with Canon inkjet models, speeds are hugely affected by drying times. Our test documents include graphic elements (tables and photos). These elements are detected by the printer and require more ink and therefore longer drying times, which slows things down. This explains the difference between the print speeds announced by Canon (11 ppm) and the times we scored it at with our test documents (6 ppm). You'll remember that Canon does work to the ISO standard and the information it gives remains reliable.

Print speeds with our test documents

In double-sided mode these speeds fall to 2 ppm.

It takes almost 2 minutes to print an A4 photo and 42 seconds for a 10 x 15 cm print. This is a good deal longer than the minute for an A4 and 32 seconds for a 10 x 15 cm you get with the higher end Canon Pixma MG5250.
 
Print speeds with our test documents
 

Quality

In office document mode, the results for text would be fine if the 'snow' effect on background coloured areas wasn't so pronounced. The characters are sharp and the shading of coloured areas well respected. For pure text the print quality will be fine.

Overall, the results are very good and the details well reproduced. There's a strong tendency towards red in the colours. Some users like the impact of bright colours but the purists will prefer a more accurate and neutral rendering.
 



Scanner and copier


It takes just 15 seconds for this scanner with a higher than 1200 x 2400 resolution to scan a 300 dpi document. This is fast. As always there's a bit of a lack of precision but the results are good all the same although the colour difference is 7%
 
The copier is quite fast. It takes 10 seconds for a black & white copy and 17 seconds for a colour. While black & white quality is fine, the colour copy of our test graph had the same faults as the printed document. The 'snow' effect in the coloured areas considerably affects the legibility of the document.

Energy consumption and noise: top notch!

All too rare in the world of printers, standby energy consumption is below 1 Watt (0.6 W), a good score when you think that this is the state the printer will be in most of the time. When printing it consumes 17 Watts, which isn't as low as it could be (some, like the Epson Stylus SX420W draw just 9 W) but remains reasonable. With this machine, the annual energy consumption will cost 1.2 kW/1000 pages.


Cost per page

Unfortunately you still can't get hold of high any capacity cartridges, which is a shame as they bring down costs and maintenance. The cost per page for text documents is 11.7 pence, which is more than for the MP640 and MX870 (7.6 pence), or even the MP990 (8.7 pence). The Epson Stylus remains competitive at 9.9 pence.

ISO lifespan for text
Cartridge Price ISO lifespan
Cost per page
PGI-525PGBK (black) £11.50
341 3.4 pence
CLI-526C (cyan) £11.99
520
2.3 pence
CLI-526M (magenta) £11.99
500 2.4 pence
CLI-526Y (yellow) £11.99
515
2.3 pence
CLI-526BK (black) £9  3005 0.3 pence

 
ISO lifespan for 10x15 photos 
Cartridge Price
ISO lifespan Cost per page
PGI-525PGBK (black) £11.50 3800 3 pence
CLI-526C (cyan) £11.99 207
5.8 pence
CLI-526M (magenta) £11.99 204 5.8 pence
CLI-526Y (yellow) £11.99 202
5.8 pence
CLI-526BK (black) £9  660 1.4 pence
Which makes for a total of 19.1 pence per photo (ink only not including paper).

4/5 Canon Pixma MG5150 DigitalVersus 2011-07-27 00:00:00

Pros

  • Quiet and low energy consumption
  • Cost per page: 11.7 pence (ISO text)
  • Double page loader
  • Double-sided
  • Good scanner

Cons

  • Tendency towards red on photos
  • Colours on photos too bright
  • Overly long drying time
  • Lower double-sided speeds: 2 ppm
  • Just the standard size cartridge available

Conclusion

This very affordable all-rounder model gives good photo (watch out for colour neutrality however) and office document prints. With a sober looking design, it's particularly quiet and standby energy consumption is among the lowest out there. If you're looking for a faster model with wi-fi, go for the more expensive MG5250.

OUR SCORE 4/5
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