The Canon PIXMA MG5250 is an inkjet printer that also scans, copies, prints directly from memory cards or USB sticks, and wirelessly connects to your home network. If you've got a household with multiple computers, the PIXMA MG5250 is a not-too-expensive way of meeting your printing needs.
The Canon PIXMA MG5250 inkjet multifunction is easy to set up, although the process does take some time if you're not familiar with it. You'll need to unbox the printer and remove all its protective padding and wrapping, and then install the print head and each of the five ink tanks before a print head alignment and test page. Then comes the powering up, connecting to your PC and installing all necessary software. We managed to get from opening the box to printing in around 20 minutes, which is slightly longer than average for an inkjet printer.
The 2.4in colour LCD of the Canon PIXMA MG5250 is an invaluable addition to the printer — we think that if you're buying a multifunction printer for home, a colour LCD is almost mandatory because of the useful information it can display. It also makes the printer a lot easier to use when you're printing directly, or scanning or copying documents without the help of a computer. The PIXMA MG5250's 2.4in screen is bright and tilts with a wide range of motion, and provides constant updates on the printer's status.
Wireless connectivity is a useful extra that makes the Canon PIXMA MG5250 attractive to multi-computer households. It's easy to connect the PIXMA MG5250 to a wireless access point using the scroll wheel and display, and accessing it over a network is similarly trouble-free. The front-accessible card slots and USB ports make direct printing from a PictBridge-compatible camera or memory card simple, although there is not much scope for editing your photos before printing.
The Canon PIXMA MG5250 impressed us with the fine quality of its photo prints. Using individual cyan, magenta and yellow ink tanks with a dedicated photo black cartridge, the PIXMA MG5250 can output images that are vibrant and full of detail. We ran through around thirty A4 full colour prints in High quality settings, and the included ink cartridges were all still around half full. Colour images display great levels of detail, and we were also surprised with the fine gradation and lack of visible banding in monochrome prints.
The Canon PIXMA MG5250 isn't a particularly fast printer. In Standard quality mode we managed to just top 10 pages per minute with our monochrome test document, while colour documents were printed at just under eight sheets every minute. If you're desperate for speed you can switch the PIXMA MG5250 to Draft mode but this takes its toll on quality, especially in the saturation of solid colours. High quality photo prints are even slower, with colour A4 printouts taking over a minute to complete.
A full set of inks — using PGI-525BK black, CLI-526BK photo black, CLI-526C cyan, CLI-526M magenta and CLI-526Y yellow cartridges — will set you back around £60. You should get an average of 469 prints from the photo/colour cartridges for a combined ongoing running cost of 10p per A4 colour page, while black documents are incredibly cheap at 0.5p per A4 sheet — this figure comes from the quoted 3005-page yield of the Canon PIXMA MG5250's black cartridge, which only costs £18 on its own.
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