An attractive and versatile all-in-one printer, with a wide range of features you wouldn’t expect at this price
- Double-sided printing
- Running costs aren’t low
Canon’s low-cost Pixma MG4520 has been knocking around for several years, but it remains one of the most popular personal inkjet printers around – and there are good reasons for that. It produces very respectable photo prints, and has a great set of features including Wi-Fi and a built-in scanner.
Canon Pixma MG4250 review: What you need to know
The Canon Pixma MG4250 is a compact, low-cost all-in-one colour printer, with support for double-sided and borderless printing. It also includes a 1,200 x 2,400dpi A4 flatbed scanner, a 6.2cm colour LCD display (although this isn’t a touchscreen) and an SD card slot. It can be connected directly to a PC or Mac via USB, or hooked up to your home network via 802.11n Wi-Fi.
Canon Pixma MG4250 review: Price and competition
The Pixma MG4250 is cheap to buy, costing just £58. As always with printers, though, it’s vital to factor in the cost of consumables. The MG4250 takes two cartridges – one for black ink and one containing cyan, magenta and yellow – and the XL supplies are rated for 600 and 400 pages respectively. They cost £19 each, so you’re looking at 3.2p for a typical mono A4 page and 7.9p per colour page. A 10 x 15cm colour photo works out to around 13p, not including the cost of glossy paper. You can save a few quid on ink by buying a twin-pack, containing both black and colour cartridges, for £35.
If that seems steep, you could step up to the £70 Pixma MG5750, which has a similar set of features, but slightly lower print costs – so for regular use it should work out cheaper overall.
Or, for those who want to minimise their initial outlay, Canon’s Pixma iP7250 again produces slightly cheaper prints, and costs about the same as the MG4250 – although it has no scanner. Another option is the HP Photosmart 5520; it’s cheap, but be warned that photo-printing quality isn’t up to Canon’s standards.
Canon Pixma MG4250 review: Features and design
The Pixma MG4250’s matte finish gives it tasteful, understated look. The dinky LCD display at the left edge of the device tilts up for easy access, and the controls sit below it. There’s no fewer than 15 clearly labelled buttons, so it’s easy to kick off scanning tasks, cancel jobs and tweak settings.
When it comes to features, the Pixma MG4250 ticks a lot of boxes. It can handle double-sided printing, and as we’ve mentioned, you can also scan and photocopy with the built-in scanner. There’s no sheet feeder, though, so if you want to digitise a multi-page document you’ll have to manually scan each page in turn.
Alongside USB and Wi-Fi connectivity – all recent versions of Windows and macOS are supported – the printer also supports Apple AirPrint, and there’s an SD card reader at the front so you can print photos directly from flash media. (There’s also a slot for Sony’s MS Duo media, but almost no-one uses that these days.)
The printer itself isn’t huge, measuring just 449 x 304 x 152mm, so paper handling options are limited. For home use though it’s fine: the front tray will take up to 100 sheets, and you can use paper, envelops and labels at weights up to 105gsm. For photo prints you can also use Canon-branded photographic stock at up to 300gsm, in either A4 or 10 x 15cm formats.
Canon Pixma MG4250 review: Print speed and quality
For regular text documents, the Pixma MG4250 is a speedy performer. We found mono pages flew out at a solid 18.2ppm in normal mode, and slightly faster in draft mode. Print quality is great too, with thick black text and no visible spidering, and although solid areas showed a few speckles, it’s more than acceptable for document work.
Colour output is quite a lot slower, with A4 pages emerging at only 3.5ppm in our tests and high-quality 10x15cm photo prints taking around 44 seconds to print. We noticed that the reds were a little on the pale side, and photographs didn’t quite match the overall vibrance of more expensive Pixma models with individual inks. Overall though we were perfectly happy with the results.
Scanning speed is acceptable: you can scan a page in around 14 seconds, or make a colour photocopy in roughly 20 seconds. Digitised photos looked vivid and fairly detailed, although if you really want the best scan quality then HP devices tend to beat Canon.
Canon Pixma MG4250 review: Verdict
Although the Pixma MG4250 is cheap, its running costs aren’t the lowest in the game. If you have a lot of photos to print, it may make sense to pay a bit more for a printer that takes individual colour ink tanks: you could save money in the long run, and the colour quality will probably be slightly better too.
If that’s not a major concern, though, you can’t go wrong. The Pixma MG4250 is a very attractive and versatile all-in-one printer, with a great range of features you wouldn’t expect to find at this price.