Canon Pixma MG5220 MFP Offers Speed, Quiet Operation, and Good Quality
At a Glance
The Canon Pixma MG5220 color inkjet multifunction (print/scan/copy) offers strong speed and output quality, and it's competitively priced ($150 as of August 25, 2010). It's a suitable match for families or home offices with light scanning needs.
The Pixma MG5220 is outstandingly simple to install, whether by USB or wireless. The Canon installation software even automatically adds the printer on a Mac--a rarity. The 2-inch color LCD flips up for easy viewing, the menus are simple to navigate, and the other controls are nicely laid out. Canon also provides a comprehensive software suite that takes advantage of all the unit's capabilities, from scanning to copying to producing outstanding photos.
Most home-oriented MFPs such as the MG5220 lack an automatic document feeder for scanning multipage documents. We miss it on this otherwise capable machine. That minor complaint aside, the MG5220's impressive paper handling includes automatic duplexing (two-sided printing) and two 150-sheet input trays: one undermounted drawer for plain paper, plus a vertical rear feed for thicker media. The scanner cover telescopes to accept thicker material. Memory card slots support CompactFlash, Memory Stick, SD Card, and XD-Picture Card.
The MG5220 performed very well in our tests. On plain paper, printing mostly text with some simple monochrome graphics, the MG5220 posted a fast result of 7.8 pages per minute on a PC and 8 ppm on a Mac. Snapshot-size photos averaged a swift 2.3 ppm on the PC. A higher-res, full-page photo on our Mac understandably took longer--almost 2 minutes. Color scanning was fast, too, while black-and-white copies landed in the middle of the pack overall. At any speed, the MG5220 is noticeably quieter than most printers.
On output quality it fared about as well as it did on speed. At the default settings we use for testing, its text quality was quite nice, but the output turned nearly laser-like when we chose High quality in the driver (taking a bit of a speed hit). Such results are ideal for business correspondence and the like. As for graphics, test photos that looked overly bright on plain paper were nothing short of fantastic on Canon's own photo paper. Scans of color photos tended to look dark, but monochrome scans and copies were sharp.
The ink costs are reasonable. The separate inks include a $16, 341-page black cartridge (4.7 cents per page) and $14 cyan, magenta, and yellow cartridges lasting between 500 and 520 pages (2.7 to 2.8 cents per page). The dedicated photo black, also $14, lasts for about 660 photo images (or adds a small amount to a typical document). A four-color page would cost about 13 cents.
The Canon Pixma MG5220 provides a generous serving of speed, high image quality, and features for a reasonable price. For a similar model with an automatic document feeder, check out the Canon Pixma MX350.