Canon’s Maxify business inkjet range, launched last year, tops out with the MB5350, a machine boasting nearly all the extras you could want in a small business all-in-one, including duplex scan and print, twin paper trays and full wireless connection.
Big, black and cuboid, the Canon Maxify MB5350 is also quite tall due to its twin 250-sheet paper trays. At the top, a sloped control panel set into the lid of the scanner includes a 75mm touchscreen which handles many of the control functions, supplemented by six push buttons.
If you’re used to the touchscreen on your phone, you’ll find the plastic face of the Maxify one a bit spongy, though it’s reasonably responsive if you use firm pressure.
The flatbed scanner is fitted with a 50-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) with twin scan heads, so you can scan and copy duplex documents in a single pass. This is much quicker than having to pass the paper through the scanner once for each scan and a third time to re-collate the sheets.
There’s a front panel USB socket, so you can use a USB drive to upload documents for printing or download pages from the scanner. The lower of the two paper trays takes only A4 paper, but the upper one can take smaller sizes, down to 10 x 15cm photo blanks. Printed pages feed out to an extending support above the upper tray.
Each time you change the paper size or type, you have to enter the new details on the touchscreen and register them with the machine, so it knows what it has available. It's a pity there isn’t some way of sensing this automatically.
Pulling down the front cover gives access to the four individual ink cartridges, which have high yields of 2,500 black pages and around 1,500 pages in colour. When a cartridge runs out, the machine automatically moves it to the correct position for replacement and won’t let you continue printing. There doesn’t appear to be a way to change cartridges before they're empty, though.
Supplied software includes Canon’s Easy WebPrint and My Printer utilities. There's also a free Android app to download for printing from mobile devices and you can use AirPrint for iPhones, iPads and Macs.
Canon claims speeds of 23ppm for black print and 15ppm for colour from the Maxify MB5350. Under test, those figures look a bit fanciful. Our 5-page mono text test gave a speed of 14.3ppm, though this increased to 17.1ppm on the 20-page document. These are both healthy speeds, just not up to the claims.
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When it comes to colour print performance, we saw 7.7ppm in our 5-page text and colour graphics test, only just over half the claimed speed, but again reasonable in comparison with other machines of the same type, and even colour lasers in the same price bracket.
Duplex print is standard on the machine and Canon seems to have got round the drying time issue common to most duplex inkjets as there’s very little pause between sides. We measured 9.8 sides per minute on the 20-side duplex document, another respectable result.
A single page colour copy took 19s, while five pages from the ADF completed in an impressive 26s. 15 x 10cm photos took around 50s, independent of source, though it’s not possible to print borderless photos.
Print quality is very good, with sharp, densely black text, not as clean as laser output but close. Colours in areas of fill are bold and unbanded and black text over colour is clean, without any haloing. Photo prints are up to the high standard of colour photos from all four-colour Canon machines.
The device is quite noisy, with a measured output of 66dBA at 0.5m, but it offers a quiet mode, which reduces the noise, though reducing speed at the same time.
Using the high yield cartridges, which seem to be the only ones generally available, gives page costs of 1.4p for mono and 4.2p for colour, both including 0.7p for paper. These are very low, well below the costs from any colour laser we’ve tested and below those of many inkjet rivals, too.
Canon’s range of Maxify all-in-ones looks like very good value and the MB5350 compares well with both Epson’s WorkForce Pro WF-5620 and HP’s much more expensive Officejet Pro X576DW.
While the HP blows both of the others out of the water on print speed, it can’t match the running costs of the Canon machine. The Epson, which is around £20 cheaper than the Maxify MB5350, can’t match its print quality and is also slightly slower.
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Canon has done most things right in the Maxify MB5350. We might want it a little quieter and it’s very keen on filling its display with messages and requests, but it’s quick, produces high quality print and is cheap to run. In our book, those are the three things that make a good all-in-one.