Today when you are looking for an all-in-one printer, there are a myriad of choices. Not only are there many printer manufacturers, but each manufacturer has a plentitude of different models. To be a top contender, an all-in-one must do everything well and have some features to grab the purchasers attention. The Canon Pixma MG5220 is an all-in-one printer, scanner, and copier with a wide range of features. We took a look to see how well it does at both performing everyday functions and at differentiate itself from the crowd.
The Pixma MG5220 comes in a typical large box, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: The Pixma MG5220 box
The contents of the box, shown in Figure 2, include a Getting Started Guide, a Network Setup Troubleshooting Guide, the power cord, installation software, and sample paper.
The printer itself is nicely protected and comes with a guide for installing the print head, as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: The printer in protective cover
The print head is packaged inside the printer and can be seen in Figure 4.
As you can see in Figure 5, this Canon Pixma is glossy black device with rounded edges. At 17.9 x 14.5 x 6.3 inches (454 x 368 x 160 mm), it is fairly compact for an all-in-one. It weighs in at 17.7 lbs (8 kg) making it hefty enough to feel substantial while still being easy enough to move around the house or office.
Figure 5: The Canon Pixma MG5220
As shown in Figure 6, all of the controls for the printer are combined on a panel on the right side of the printer. There is a 2.4-inch LCD, which is bright and clear and tilts for easy viewing. The onscreen menus are controlled by three selection buttons and the Home button below the screen. There is also a scroll wheel which is used to select menu items.
Just to the left of the scroll wheel is a Back button that takes you to the previous selection. Below that are the + and – buttons that specify the number of copies. Below that are the Black and Color buttons to start black or color printing, copying, or scanning. These buttons light up with a blue light when these functions are available. Just to the right of the Black button is a useful Stop button that cancels the job in progress. The power button is just below the color button on the front of the printer.
The buttons on this printer are clearly marked and easy to use. The interface is intuitive.
The right side of the printer has a door in the front that opens to reveal the built-in card reader, as shown in Figure 7. The Pixma MG5220 can handle a variety of media cards including SD, SDHC, MultiMediaCard (v4.1), MultiMediaCard Plus (v4.1), CompactFlash, Microdrive, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick PRO Duo.
Figure 7: The memory card slots
Under the memory card slots is a front side USB/PictBridge slot.
Figure 8 and Figure 9 show the back of the printer where you can see the power cable and the USB port.
Figure 8: The power cable connection
After removing the packing materials, you need to install the print head. Although this might sound intimidating to the neophyte, it is relatively easy. The print head pops into place easily as do the five ink cartridges. When you lift the scanner cover to get started with this procedure, an animated guide is shown on the LCD to help you along.
As a matter of fact, between the Getting Started Guide, the animated setup guide on the LCD screen, the CD wizard, and the printed Network Setup Guide, getting this all-in-one going is very straightforward. Even setting up the wireless network is easy provided you know the name and password for your network. When we set everything up on a Mac, the unit printed, but it didn’t scan. Going back over the setup instructions we determined that we had missed a step. When we repeated the procedure including all the proper steps, the installation was fine.
Expect to dedicate about an hour for the installation including 20 minutes or so for the software to install. The Canon Solution Menu EX and the MP Navigator EX software are full-featured programs that have many options for printing photos and scanning images while remaining easy to use. We really liked its ability divide multiple images into separate scans, so we could load up the scanner with photos, but save each of them separately.
Canon has included their new Full HD Movie Print software which allows you to print frames from HD movies. However, you need a Canon HD EOS DSLR or Canon PowerShot camera to make this software work properly.
Part of the installation includes aligning the print head and, of course, loading the paper. The front tray, shown in Figure 10, holds 150 sheets of paper and also acts as the output tray. Because of this, the output tray is limited to 50 sheets. While some might find this restrictive, since we are usually ne
ar-by to watch large print jobs, we did not think it was too difficult to remove the paper as it neared 50 sheets. Canon recommends that you use the rear tray, shown in Figure 11, for photo paper and envelopes. This tray is double-hinged and can be folded down when not in use. This printer can handle 10 envelopes at a time and the tray will hold 150 sheets of paper.
If you have ever created a paper jam because you forgot to open the paper output tray, you will enjoy this printer. The paper output tray opens automatically when printing or copying starts and the paper is ejected. This is a feature that we would like to see on all printers.
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The scanner at 2400 x 4800 dpi produces high quality scans. As shown in Figure 12, the scanner opens wide and the cover telescopes slightly to accommodate books and thicker items. The software has a feature called Gutter Shadow correction which will compensate for the binding on a book, which is a nice feature. We longed for a sheet feeder, but found none on this unit.
As noted earlier, the software can sense multiple objects on the scanner bed and separate them into individual files. The Auto modes make scanning on this all-in-one easier than most. The Auto Scan Mode recognizes the type of document that you are scanning and automatically uses the best settings. The Auto Document Fix automatically analyzes and fixes the document making sure that text is easy-to-read and that pictures have even color tone and contrast. However, the Pixma 5220 also offers all the necessary scanning settings, if you want to set them yourself.
There is a brief warm-up period when turning the printer on or waking from power saving mode, but during this power up and everyday printing, this printer is quieter than several others that we have reviewed.
One nice feature of this printer is that it has automatic duplexing. As shown in Figure 13, the duplexer can be seen as a large bump on the back of the printer. This automatic two-sided printing feature saves on paper costs and is very useful. The duplexer can be easily opened if there is a paper jam, but during our testing we had no paper jams of any type.
Figure 13: The automatic duplexer
Black text prints at 600 x 600 dpi. Text printouts from the Pixma 5220 are excellent. When printed in highest mode the output is very close to laser quality. Color printing goes up to 9600 x 2400 dpi. There is also an ink-saving draft mode for times you want to be a little frugal.
Canon rates the printer at 11 ppm for black and 9.3 ppm for color and says that a 4 x 6 inch (10 x 15 cm) borderless photo will print in approximately 20 seconds. What actually slows down the printer is that it pauses briefly between each document to allow the ink to dry. Because of this, we never encountered any smudging, but print speeds were a little slower than stated. While this printer is no speed demon, it is adequate for average use.
As with other Pixma printers, color photos were also of very good quality, especially when printed on Canon paper. Colors were extremely vibrant. And the longevity of the photos is excellent. Canon states that the inks are rated for 300 years if the photo is stored in an archival-quality album with a plastic cover and kept in the dark. For those of us who like to display their photos, the inks are rated for 30 years when the photo is displayed under glass indoors and not in direct sunlight.
The Canon Pixma MG5220 has five standard capacity ink cartridges: cyan, magenta, yellow, and two black. One black is pigment-based, while the other is dye-based like the color cartridges. Canon states the pigment-based black makes for better text quality.
Ink costs are, as usual difficult to assess. They depend on how much of the paper is actually covered with ink. Also, you have to be aware that all of the colors can go into the printing of a black page and that both black cartridge can be drawn from on a single page. But to give you an idea of the costs: Each of the separate color inks is rated for between 500 and 520 pages and costs USD 14 (2.8 cents of dollar per page). The black ink cartridge is rated for 341 pages and costs USD 16 (4.7 cents of dollar per page). The black pigment cartridge is rated for about 660 photo images and costs USD 14 (2.1 cents of dollar per page).
This makes ink costs reasonable, but not truly economical. As we write this, no high capacity ink cartridges are available, which would bring ink costs down a bit.
Additional features include the fact that the Canon Pixma MG5220 is Energy Star compliant and that there are iPhone and Android apps that allow you to print your photos wirelessly from an iPhone or Android device. It should be noted that the iPhone app works only with saved images. You cannot use it to print text documents unless you capture the screen and convert the text to an image.
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The main specifications for the Canon Pixma MG5220 all-in-one printer include:
- Dimensions: 17.9 x 14.5 x 6.3 inches (454 x 368 x 160 mm)
- Weight: 17.7 pounds (8 kg)
- Print speeds: 11 ppm in black, 9.3 ppm in color, 4 x 6 inches (10 x 15 cm) photos in as fast as 20 seconds
- Print resolution: up to 9600 x 2400 dpi
- Automatic duplexing
- Paper capacity: 150-sheet cassette, 150-sheet rear tray
- Paper Sizes: 4" x 6" (10 x 15 cm), 5" x 7" (13 x 18 cm), 8" x 10" (20 x 25 cm), Letter, Legal, U.S. #10 envelopes
- Connectivity: USB 2.0, Wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11b/g/n)
- Memory Cards Supported: SD, SDHC, MMC, MMC Plus, miniSD, miniSDHC, microSD, microSDHC, RS-MMC, CF, Microdrive, MS, MS PRO, MS Duo, MS PRO Duo, and USB flash memory
- More Information: https://www.usa.canon.com
- MSRP in the US: USD 149.99
The Canon Pixma MG5220 is a substantial color inkjet all-in-on that prints, scans, and copies well. It offers excellent printing on text and very good printing on photos. Not only are photos vibrant, but their archival life is quite long. The controls are intuitive and easy to use. The software is excellent and the auto-scanning features work seamlessly.
We love some of the features including the Stop button and the paper tray that opens automatically if it is closed when printing starts. We liked the wide variety of memory cards that the printer accepts. We also liked the fact that you could scan several images and the software was smart e
nough to separate them to be saved individually.
The retail price of the Pixma MG5220 is USD 149.99, but it can be found for under USD 100 and at that price offers a lot for the money. The printer is energy start compliant. The automatic duplexer works well and can save on paper costs. Unfortunately, the ink cost is the biggest negative for this printer. Replacing all five cartridges costs USD 72 which, depending on use, will have to be purchased every four or five hundred pages. These costs are not astronomical compared to others, but we longed for a printer that could accomplish all that this Pixma can with lower ink costs. We were stymied as to why Canon does not offer high-capacity ink cartridges for this printer, which could bring the ink consumption costs down. If you print everyday documents in draft mode, you can, of course, save on ink.
That said, this is an all-in-one that really is a jack of all trades. It does everything well and if you are willing to print in draft mode or don’t mind the cost of ink, it is a real winner!
- Excellent print quality
- Very good image quality
- Excellent software
- Good photo archival qualities
- Stop button
- Automatic duplexer
- Excellent auto scanning
- Easy-to-use interface
- Paper tray opens automatically when printing starts
- Low energy consumption
- Poor to average ink consumption
- No automatic document feeder
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