If you’re after a creative all-rounder for the home, it’s hard to beat Canon’s Pixma TS6150
- Five-ink setup
- Rapid performance speeds
- High-quality prints and scans
- Slow duplex prints
- Poor colour photocopies
- Black prints are expensive
The Canon Pixma TS6150 is aimed at home users with a creative bent. A monument to polished black plastic, its looks might be a matter of taste, but its squat stance and uncluttered panels both appeal – control is via a 7.5cm colour touchscreen. Despite its size, the TS6150 includes two paper trays: an enclosed one in the base, and a rear feed for plain or photo papers. There’s also automatic duplex printing and support for wireless networks.
While common or garden inkjets plod along with four colours, the Pixma TS6150 has a five-ink setup comprising pigment black ink for bold text on plain paper, and dye-based black, cyan, magenta and yellow tanks for graphics and photos. Replacements come in standard, XL and XXL sizes. Calculated for the latter, running costs are a reasonable 8.6p per page of A4 graphics and text, but at 3p per page, the black component is surprisingly expensive. That’s a shame: although the printer does have two black inks, the dye-based one is barely used in the plain paper ISO/IEC 24711 standard – it’s the pigment ink that’s pricey.
Canon Pixma TS6150 review: Performance
Expensive black prints aside, there’s plenty to love about the Pixma TS6150. It produced our 25-page text test at 12ppm – typically for the Pixma range, draft printing was no quicker – and colour graphics at 3.9ppm. It’s more impressive when printing photos, needing only 70 seconds for each borderless 6 x 4in print at the highest quality setting. Photocopies were quick enough, at 13 seconds in black or 23 seconds in colour.
Tested over Wi-Fi, scans were also quite rapid, with previews complete in seven seconds, and a 300dpi A4 scan needing only 19 seconds. Things slowed down at higher resolutions, with a photo scan taking 31 seconds at 600dpi and about a minute and a half at 1,200dpi. Still, both times are competitive for a home device.
Where the TS6150 really delivers is in the quality of its results. Despite a so-so 1,200 x 2,400dpi maximum resolution, scanned images were about as good as you will get from an MFP, showing excellent colour accuracy and sharply focused detailing. Dynamic range was very high, with the scanner able to distinguish all of the shades in our scan target. Plain paper prints were great, too, exhibiting dark black text – quite crisp by inkjet standards – and punchy colour graphics. Shade control was excellent, with smooth progressions in our presentation slide backgrounds, and we couldn’t make out any grain with the naked eye.
The printer also excelled on photo paper, delivering natural looking prints with sharp detailing. For some judges their tone was a touch warm, making skin tones slightly flushed, but colours were generally accurate and controlled. Our black and white test print didn’t quite have the sizzling contrast we see in dedicated photo printers, but it was otherwise good, and free of any colour cast.
There were a couple of weaker areas. At 2.3 images per minute (ipm), duplex prints were on the slow side, and at the default settings they were fainter than the same pages printed on one side only – you could tweak this if you don’t mind waiting longer. Surprisingly, given the strong printing and scanning, colour photocopies were also a touch drab.
While we’re whinging, this MFP does have a couple of other irritations. After stocking its rear tray you need to remember to close the dust cover, but it’s so tiny that it’s easily overlooked. The scanner lid is opened by a recessed handle in the front edge: grab it anywhere else and you’ll invariably end up lifting the entire scanner bed, such as you would when replacing the ink tanks. Once it’s up, it’s released with a counter-intuitive lift, after which it floats back down – pushing it down results in an unsettling clack.
Canon doesn’t seem to have mastered touchscreen printer controls yet, either, but this is one of the company’s best efforts. While drag gestures aren’t supported, the TS6150’s menu system is intuitive, and its screen responds consistently.
Canon Pixma TS6150 review: Verdict
Overall, this is a classy MFP. Compact and quiet, it’s easy to live with, and offers great all-round performance with few rough edges. It’s easy to recommend, then, but high-volume users should beware its comparatively high black ink costs.