The entry-level inkjet market offers some bargain machines which can handle the basics of print, copy and scan for very little outlay. For instance today's candidate, the Canon PIXMA MG2150, goes up against devices like the HP Deskjet 1050, priced at only £30. Can the £42 Canon machine hack it?
The PIXMA MG2150 looks like many others of Canon’s rounded black boxes, though with simpler lines and, thankfully, none of the high-gloss black. On the down side, several of the plastic panels, like the scanner lid and the front panel, feel flimsy, though they still perform their functions.
To the left of the flatbed scanner is a simple control panel with nine buttons, six LEDs and a seven-segment display. Canon has contrived to get a lot more than numbers out of the 128 possible combinations of the seven-segment display. The company uses it to code lots of status info, though you need to refer to the look-up table in the manual to decipher it.
There’s a single paper feed, a tray made from the folded down front cover. Inside, though, there’s a second fold-down, telescopic tray, which looks very neat until you realise there’s a swing-out extension with a paper stop in the feed tray, which has to be used to stop printed pages falling off the output tray – all a bit convoluted.
Canon heralds its ink cartridge installation as ‘FastFront’, claiming paper and cartridges can be loaded from the front of the machine. This is true, but it’s debatable whether it’s easier to fold down the front panel and the internal cover and lift a retaining bar on each cartridge holder, than to drop cartridges into place, as you did on earlier models. We suspect the redesign is actually to reduce manufacturing costs.
There’s only a USB socket at the back – no wireless support on such an inexpensive printer – but the software support, all from Canon, includes a couple of extras, in the form of Full HD Movie print, which enables you to print HD stills, and Creative Park, which offers downloads of templates for cards and other craft projects.