At first glance, this mid-priced all-in-one looks much like the PIXMA MG5150, but Canon’s PIXMA MG5250 has significant differences to justify the extra £30 in its asking price.
The shiny, glossy black finish of this machine is all too easy to smudge and scratch – this sample had been out and about and showed both. There are two paper paths: from the upright tray at the rear, which has a pull up and tilt support and from a cassette at the front, which is awkward to get your fingers in. Both have capacities of 150 sheets.
The PIXMA MG5250 can also print directly on suitably treated CDs and DVDs. An internal cover folds down and the supplied disc carrier slides in from the front. The smaller, credit card-sized discs are also supported.
A 60mm colour LCD screen folds up from the rear of the control panel set into the machine's top surface. This is to the right of the single-page, Contact Image Sensor (CIS) flatbed scanner, which has extending hinges, so it can handle books as well as single sheets.
The main control panel is well-organised and the printer's operating system has been revamped, making better use of the three soft-function buttons directly in front of the display. There's Canon's trademark click-wheel for navigating menus and a well-configured set of auxiliary buttons providing good control of the printer's functions.
A curved cover folds out from the right-hand front corner of the machine to reveal three memory card slots, including CompactFlash as well as the more normal SD and MemoryStick. xD cards are only supported via a third-party adapter. Underneath the card slots, is a PictBridge/USB socket for connection of cameras and USB drives.
The three main differences between this machine and the Pixma MG5150 are print speed – more of which in a bit – direct CD/DVD print and wireless connection. The wireless connection is easy enough to set up, though selecting characters for a WPA passcode using the click wheel is tedious. There’s no cabled network connection, so you need a wireless router for networking.
The five ink cartridges, with both pigmented and dye-based blacks, clip into the print head with a minimum of fuss and Canon thoughtfully provides indicator LEDs, showing when they’re properly engaged and flashing when ink is low.
Drivers for Windows and OS X are provided on CD, though there's no specific support for Linux. An above-average application bundle includes OCR and PDF file creation, Easy-PhotoPrint EX for photo manipulation and Canon's new Full HD Movie Print, though we can't help feeling this could use a lot of paper.