The Canon PIXMA MG8150 is a multifunction inkjet printer that has every feature a home user could want — good document and photo print quality, an excellent scanner for documents or film negatives, and wireless connectivity and direct printing. Its touch-sensitive interface isn't especially easy to use, however.
Canon PIXMA MG8150: Design, setup and connectivity
Canon's PIXMA MG8150 has a similar layout to other PIXMA models like the PIXMA iP4850, but it is wider and taller at 470x392x199mm. A 3.5in LCD screen in the centre of the printer's top panel has an easily understandable graphical interface, but the touch-sensitive buttons beneath it aren't as easy to use as we'd like. Because there is no physical feedback it is possible to press them twice accidentally if you're not careful.
The Canon PIXMA MG8150 doesn't have an Ethernet port for connecting to a wired home network, but 802.11n Wi-Fi is included. There is a USB 2.0 port on the rear of the printer for connecting a PC (although there's no USB cable included). A host USB port on the printer's front allows PictBridge-enabled cameras or USB memory sticks to be accessed directly.
Setting up the Canon PIXMA MG8150 is simple. Inserting the print head and six ink tanks is fiddly, but an on-screen guide makes it easy. Installing the supplied software takes around 10 minutes, but a comprehensive suite of maintenance and printing programs is included.
Canon PIXMA MG8150: Printing quality, speed and options
The Canon PIXMA MG8150 uses six ink tanks to produce impressive results for both plain text documents and photos. It's a quiet and reasonably fast inkjet printer, producing around 12 monochrome pages per minute at standard quality settings in our tests. A 20-page colour A4 document was printed in just over two minutes (9ppm). If you're looking to save on paper costs the Canon PIXMA MG8150 is a smart choice — it has an automatic double-sided printing option for standard A4 paper.
The quality of the Canon PIXMA MG8150's colour prints are very good, with sharp image detail and realistic gradation in colours. Printing high quality images on photo paper consumes lots of ink and takes significantly longer than printing a document, but the results are worth it. Thanks to a dedicated grey ink cartridge the PIXMA MG8150's greyscale output is clean and detailed, with no visible banding in darker image areas.
Canon PIXMA MG8150: Scan quality and speed
The Canon PIXMA MG8150 has one of the most detailed flatbed scanners we've seen in a consumer multifunction printer. With a maximum resolution of 4800x4800dpi it's able to extract a great deal of fine detail out of colour and text documents and photos. If you're looking to digitise old photographs for posterity, the PIXMA MG8150 is up to the task. Built-in film scanning — for 35mm negative and slide frames — might interest anyone with a collection of old photographs, although the quality won't be as good as a dedicated 35mm film scanner and there's no bundled film scanning guides.
Scans are quick to perform when quality isn't set to maximum levels, but 4800x9600dpi scans of film and 4800x4800dpi document scans increase the time considerably. The Canon PIXMA MG8150's flatbed scanner is quiet throughout its operation.
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