For a year or more now, Canon has quoted ISO speeds for its printers, a commendable move and one that means what you see is much closer to what you get. The company rates the PIXMA MG5150 at 9.7ppm for black and 6.1ppm for colour. Although we only saw 7.7ppm for black and 3.6ppm for colour, it's interesting to note that these speeds are faster than the £90 Kodak ESP 5210, which its manufacturer rates at 30ppm and 29ppm, respectively. OK, these are draft speeds, but Kodak doesn't quote normal-mode ones. Don't always believe what you see on the box.
Having said that, Canon's duplex print, which is standard on this model, is still horrendously slow, with our 20-side duplex document taking 9mins 42secs to complete. This is mainly down to the dye-based inks needing extra drying time between sides. The printer also appears to use its photo black when printing duplex pages, which is slower and gives a greyer black.
A colour photocopy took 43 seconds, a little longer than some of its rivals and 15 x 10cm photos took between 52 seconds and 1min 22secs, depending on the source we were printing from.
Print quality in general is as good as we've come to expect from Canon. We saw clean black text, bright colours, authentic copies that are unusually close to originals, and excellent photos. Photo reproduction shows accurate, natural colouring, high levels of detail in bright and shadowed areas and no noticeable colour casts of any kind
The five ink cartridges are only available in one capacity, though Canon does sell a twin-pack of the pigmented black ink and a four-pack with one cartridge of each of the colours. Both these packs represent discounts over the individual prices and at the best prices we could find give costs per page of 3.9p for black and 9p for colour.
These are a little on the high side, when measured against something like the HP Photosmart Wireless B110a, around 0.8p more for black and 1.4p more for colour
Canon’s PIXMA MG5150 is an evolutionary printer, offering nothing particularly spectacular over the equivalent model from its previous range, but is still one of the best mid-range, all-in-one machines available today. Duplex may be slow and running costs are a little high, but these may well come down over time as retailers sell more of them. The feature set, for a printer costing just over £70, is exceptional.