Review: Canon Pixma MP495

Our score: 4/5
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December 1, 2010 5:30 PM
12 want this Me too!
 
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Published: November 30, 2010 11:00 PM
By Marine Goy / Morgane Alzieu
The Canon MP495 is an all-in-one wireless inkjet. Designed as an allrounder, it produces photo prints and rapid office docs worthy of a professional print shop (according to Canon anyway). And it's cheap! You won't find cheaper on the wi-fi multifunction market right now.

Hardware
 
Confining ourselves to aesthetics for a second, we think the Canon printer range is quite a success. This model, with its glossy black hood, is no exception. Printing, copying and scanning are all on the menu for this baby of the connected generation.

At this price, we weren't expecting anything more than the bare minimum: a 100-sheet capacity paper holder at the back, two ink cartridges (one for black and the other for colour) but no card reader, no touch screen, no fax and no double-sided function.


Though there's no touch screen on the front, it does nevertheless measure up in terms of usability. Navigation round the control buttons is simple and intuitive.

Speeds


Canon promises rapid printing for both photos and office docs. At least they're right about office documents. The times we measured it at are even faster than Canon was claiming: 8 pages per minute (ppm) for colour (5 ppm according to Canon) and 12 ppm for your black and whites (8.8 ppm according to Canon). This puts the MP495 on the right side of average for current printers.

For photo prints, times are double the competition. See the MP640 or the MP990. Here, an A4 print takes two minutes and a 10 x 15 cm photo 51 seconds. So long in fact that we've been forced to knock this printer down the ratings: it gets just 3 stars.
 

Quality: uneven

Excellent with office documents and worth a 5-star rating here. Our test graph, by no means easy to render successfully, comes out fresh, sharp and precise. The results here are among the best we've seen.



Photo quality is sub 3-star however. We're used to seeing brighter more accurate colours from Canon. Here we're lacking in sharpness and precision. Droplets are visible and if you're a stickler for photo prints, we recommend you go for something that'll give you the sort of quality you're looking for. Something like the Epson Stylus SX525WD or if you're an unconditional Canon lover, the MP640.



Scanner and copier

The CIS type scanner offers resolution up to 2400 dpi. It's on the right side of average if you compare it to what's currently on the market, with a nice and rapid scan: Six seconds for preview, just four for a 75 dpi scan. It takes 8 seconds to scan at 300 dpi.


The average colour difference is at around 6% for the scanner. Again, not bad when you know that most recent multifunctions tested have broken the 8% barrier.

Copying times were also measured at pretty good speeds: 11 seconds for a black & white and 22 seconds for colour.

Looking now at image quality, while there is some loss of colour and precision, results are good, better than on the MP640 our Canon reference. For home use this'll be more than enough.


Energy consumption & Noise levels

This model draws 2 watts in standby, which is ok though we'd really like to see all printers go under the 1 W barrier these days. When it's running the wattmetre scores it at 11.9W.

We also measured the noise levels produced by the MP494 and scored it at 51 dB. Fairly quiet, then, even if the printer is slightly noisy when it goes to the tray for more paper. Something for Canon to look into.

 



Cost per page: 8.1 pence with XL cartridges

These are the same cartridges as the ones used for the Canon MP270.  The print heads are part of the cartridge. This detail does have some importance as it simplifies the blocked print-head issue. You just change the cartridge and you're away again. The MP495 comes with so-called standard cards. There is in fact a second set, the XLs, that are more expensive to buy but which last longer and work out cheaper in the long run. With these, the cost per page is particularly low: 8.1 pence. This is of course more than the 4.2 pence for the latest Kodak tested (ESP7250) but a good deal better than the average.

ISO lifespan for text documents
Cartridge Price
ISO lifespan
Cost per page
PG-510 (black) £10.46 220
4.8 cents
CL-511 (colour)
£12.49 244 5.2 pence
PG-512 (black XL)
£13.80 401 3.4 pence
CL-513 (colour XL)
£16.49
349 4.7 pence


4/5 Canon Pixma MP495 DigitalVersus 2010-12-01 00:00:00

Pros

  • Wi-fi
  • Cheap to buy, cheap per page: 8.1 pence
  • Good quality scanner
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • No double-sided, no card reader, no fax
  • Photo quality and speeds are a little poor
  • No touch screen
  • No USB PictBridge port

Conclusion

A pretty little wi-fi model, an allrounder and very nicely priced. Perfect for you if you're not too much of a stickler for photo quality. In terms of speeds and quality for office documents, we can't fault it. Photos aren't its strong suit however.

OUR SCORE 4/5
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