Canon's latest MX range is aimed squarely at the market for cheap-to-buy multifunction printers that could be used in a home office of small business. See also Group test: what's the best multifunction printer?
The PIXMA MX525 is a compact and stylish MFP with Canon's characteristically glossy black exterior and smoothly curved edges. As it's front loading, the MX525's 458 x 385 x 200 mm dimensions will fit tidily onto a sturdy shelf able to bear its modest 8.7kg weight. See all Printer reviews.
You're offered the full set of print, copy, fax and scan modes and the control panel is cleverly worked into the front slope of the lid. While it would have been ideal to see a touchscreen here, the price is just too low to include the technology yet Canon still manage to keep the control buttons to a minimum around the 62 mm colour display. This is partly achieved by incorporating a dual-function panel – for example, a numberpad lights up when you connect to a phone line for faxing.
Print capacity is predictably modest, with a 100-sheet feeder that drops down from behind the front panel and an additional 30-sheet ADF on top. The structure of the machine feels solid throughout and the economy of space is underlined by the output tray positioning, directly above the input.
Duplex printing comes as standard and a USB port to the left of the input tray allows you to print with PictBridge and from flash thumbdrives without a PC. When you do want to link up to a PC or network, you can choose between USB, 11n Wi-Fi and ethernet.
Android, Windows and Apple devices are also included, with access to Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print.
Print operation on the MX525 is relatively quiet but print speeds are on the sluggish side. The fastest draft black-and-white documents only reached around 11 ppm, with 3 ppm for standard-quality duplex and 7 ppm for standard single-copy colour documents. A4 colour prints and copies managed a more respectable 1 min 50 sec.
The MX 525 uses only two ink cartridges and while draft black text documents are perfectly usable, standard versions remain clear without being outstanding. Colour graphics are generally bright but suffer some banding issues.
Photo quality is above average with a decent amount of detail but with a tendency towards darker tones than the original.
Fortunately Canon has produced 600-page XL versions of the two cartridges which work out at just 3.53p per page each, whereas the supplied 180-page standard versions work out at a more hefty 8.32p for black and 11.6p for colour.