The latest in a run of new multifunction devices, the Canon Pixma MX515 is another reasonably stylish but extremely versatile model launched from the Canon stable.
The Canon Pixma MX515 is not the smallest of MFDs, partly because of the 30-sheet ADF built into the top. This works particularly well with the scan, copy and fax facilities – the Canon can also use the convenient memory-card slot to handle copying photos from a compatible card.
The ADF forms a plateau on the top of the Canon Pixma MX515, surrounded by borders that slope down pleasingly. The control panel is rather busy, with a multitude of buttons plastered across the front. These are rather boldly marked, if very easy to use. Accompanying this is a 2.4in colour screen. The latter is a little pale, but still fairly attractive. It’s not touch-sensitive, and you still have to use the many buttons to navigate a slightly limited set of menus. See also: Group test: what's the best printer?
The control panel is intuitive though, and while the need to resort to buttons sometimes overcomplicates the process, the Canon Pixma MX515’s user interface is not exactly cutting-edge but easy enough to use.
Many an inkjet compromises on the paper feeding mechanism, but the Canon Pixma MX515 remained pleasingly robust throughout testing. The input feed is quoted for use with up to 100 sheets. We think this might be pushing it a little, but the Canon could comfortably take at least 80.
The top-mounted ADF relegates the main output feed to the base of the Canon Pixma MX515, and finished prints are ejected from a space just above the input feed. As it happens, the paper holder is substantial enough to prevent sheets from getting mixed up with those in the input tray, and the MX515 was generally flawless in operation.
The Canon Pixma MX515 includes 802.11b/g/n wireless facilities along the more standard USB 2.0. Crucially for a printer that in part targets an office audience, the MX515 also supports ethernet for wired networks.
It can even be tweaked to offer Bluetooth, with the purchase of an optional adapter.
Canon Pixma MX515: Performance
As a scanner we found the Canon Pixma MX515 to be another highly capable model, with decent attention to detail, and a good range of colours.
The Canon Pixma MX515 sees something of a first in our printer testing – its fastest real-world text speed of 9.7 pages per minute was identical to the figure officially quoted.
Admittedly this text isn’t of the highest quality, with many smudged characters and banded text. The middle mode comes at a still reasonably zippy 8.1ppm. Banding is eliminated, although the text was still a little fuzzy overall. The lettering is nice and bold, though not as much as it is at the highest quality mode of 1.9ppm.
Even here, the character definition is slightly uneven: the Canon Pixma MX515 isn’t a great text printer.
Auto duplexing is supported, although the drop in speed is quite significant. Should you want to print double-sided pages, you’ll find the top speed of 9.7 falls to a sluggish 4.7ppm. This is rather slow and means that few users will want to leave auto-duplexing on.
The Canon Pixma MX515 fared better on graphics. The fast and middle modes hit the relatively competitive speeds of 3.2 and 2.3ppm respectively. In the medium mode the rather level-headed colour palette strikes a nice balance, not too intense and glowering, but neither is it overly bright. At the highest quality level, the results on photographic paper are very polished.
As with the MG4150, the Canon Pixma MX515 has surprisingly affordable running costs of 3p and 4.5p for black-and-white and colour respectively. These are very good figures that see it providing rather more value than, for example, Canon’s i-SENSYS LBP-7010C.
The Kodak Hero 5.1 remains better value still, though, with that printer’s 1.8p per text page proving particularly hard to beat.