The Pixma MG5450 has more advanced hardware than the mid-range MG5150 and MG5250. Here Canon has gotten rid of most of the buttons and replaced them with a touch-sensitive control panel, which is more spacious with an added 1.5 cm, bringing the screen to a total of 7.5 cm. So why, lord, why not replace the touch-sensitive control panel with a touchscreen, instead of a set of backlit buttons and arrows? The MG5450 is Canon making its slow march towards full touch-compatibility, but it's not quite there yet. To go 100% touch-control with Canon, you have to go high-end. The Canon Pixma MG6350 is the first fully touch-sensitive printer Canon has come up with.
Design and Build
The MG5450 prints, copies and scans in simplex or duplex, with the ability to print via Wi-Fi. Inside the machine are five ink cartridges: cyan, magenta, yellow and two black cartridges. That's practical, since you only have to replace the cartridges that are empty.
The paper tray holds up to 150 sheets, which is entirely sufficient for household use. The MG5450 also prints CD, DVD and Blu-ray labels. It has a card reader, and after inserting a memory card you can bring up the images on the screen and print directly from the machine without going through a computer.
SpeedThe 5450 gets the exact same print speeds as the Pixma MG6250, so our reaction to seeing them was the same: "Hm, the advertised ISO speeds (12 ppm for colour and 9 ppm for B&W) are slower than what we measured!" And interestingly enough, while these are entirely respectable speeds, our measurements showed that the MG5450 is slower than the previous model, the Pixma MG6150 (10 ppm in colour and 13 ppm in B&W).
Double-sided printing naturally drops the speeds to about 4 ppm.
The photo print speeds are less surprising: Canon advertises 20 seconds for 10 x 15 cm prints, and we got 20 seconds. Less than a minute for A4 photos is fast.
Print QualityThe MG5450 has better-than-average print quality. It beats HP, Lexmark and Brother, single-handed. However, it's still a rung below Epson when it comes to photographs.
Our rather complex test graph below came out better than on the Pixma MG5150, with less visible ink droplets. And the same holds true for everything else: the shading and colours are accurate and the text is more clearly defined. However, the B&W version doesn't turn out quite as well, especially in solidly coloured areas. The droplets are visible, but not enough to make the text difficult to read.
Photographs both in colour and B&W print well on the MG5450. Unfortunately, Canon, as usual, has opted for "flashy" colours, which purists will find lack accuracy with heavy overtones of red.
Scanner & Copier
Seven seconds to scan a document in 300 dpi, that's fast. The digital rendering is good and the colours are relatively faithful with 6% inaccuracy.
The copier is equally fast, with 11 seconds in B&W and 13 seconds in colour. As usual, the quality with the copier is pretty mediocre, but there are lots of settings to choose from: resizing, intensity, paper size, paper type, duplex and print preview.
Power Use & Noise
The MG5450 is quiet, at 47 dB(A) with text and just 41 dB(A) with photographs. It also consumes little energy, eating 20 W while printing and 2 W on standby.
Cost per page: 8.3 pence on plain text documents
The Pixma MG5450 has a set of optional high-capacity cartridges. With these, it gets one more star for cost per page than the higher-end model, which requires six cartridges. It's all due to that extra grey cartridge on the MG6250 (10.2 pence per page, compared to 8.3 p here). The cost per page for photo prints (ink only) is 13.2 pence, compared to 24 pence on the MG6250. This is a pretty good deal for plain text (the average for printers we've reviewed is 9.9 pence per page), but for photographs it's high. HP offers lower costs per page (about 7.8 p) with its XL cartridges.
Canon PGI-550PGBK XL
Canon PGI-551C XL
Canon PGI-551M XL
Canon PGI-551Y XL
Canon PGI-551BK XL