There are several features of the Pixma iP5200R which make it an interesting colour printer for general office or photo printing needs. Although it has only four ink colours, it comes as standard with both dye-based and pigmented black inks, so when you’re printing black text you get the increased permanence of black pigments and when printing colour graphics or photos, you get extra depth from dye-based black.
The printer can also handle duplex (double-sided) printing as standard and you can print on coated CDs or DVDs, using the separate disc-holder, supplied with the machine.
As a final incentive, the ‘R’ suffix implies wireless networking (no, we’re not sure why ‘R’ for ‘Wi-Fi’, either). This printer can be connected via USB 2.0, network cable or via a Wi-Fi link to one or more printers, all of which can address the printer independently.
This is a substantial machine for an ink-jet printer and uses a solid-looking, silver-coloured, wraparound top cover to add to this apparent weight. The front cover folds down to reveal a telescopic output tray which slides out to take paper fed from an angled tray at the rear. This folds down onto the top surface of the iP5200R, out of the way, when the printer’s not in use. At the base of the printer is a secondary tray, which be used for letter heads, photo paper or other special media.
We’re not finished yet, though, as a secondary front panel above the paper exit rollers folds down to take a CD or DVD carrier, so you can print on coated discs. The carrier supports both 120mm and 63mm discs.
To the right of the output tray in the front panel are two buttons to control paper feed and input from paper tray or disc carrier, indicator lights and a PictBridge socket for connecting digital cameras. Two further indicators in the rim of the case show power and fault conditions. At the rear are a mains socket and separate connections for a USB 2 link and an Ethernet cable
Installation and software
Setting the Pixma iP5200R up physically and in software terms is a little more complicated than usual, because of the extra facilities offered by the printer. Having clipped the head into place, you clip each of the five ink tanks into the head carrier and small red leds show when the tanks are properly inserted.
You can install the software drivers for a USB connection or for a network one and once you have installed the printer to one machine, it’s easy to add the drivers to extra machines on either type of network.
There’s a good range of Canon-originated software supplied with the iP5200R for printing photos, printing from the Web and printing on CDs/DVDs.