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Canon PIXMA MG3550 - Performance and Verdict

By Simon Williams



Our Score:


Canon PIXMA MG3550 - Print Speeds

Canon claims the PIXMA MG3550 can print at 9.9ppm for black and 5.7ppm for colour. These are quite modest specs and, under test, we got reasonably close to the first of them. The 5-page black text document gave 7.7ppm, while the longer, 20-page version, increased this to 8.1ppm. The five-page black text and colour graphics test returned 1.9ppm, though, which is very slow and the duplex document – duplex print is standard – was also slow, at a mere 2.2ppm.

A single-page colour copy took 33s and 15 x 10cm photos took 1:09 from a PC and 1:33 printing wirelessly from a Samsung Galaxy SIII Android phone. We initially had trouble printing from Canon's Easy Photo Print app, which refused to find the printer, but in the end it clicked into place.

Canon PIXMA MG3550 - Printing

Canon PIXMA MG3550 - Print Quality and Costs

Print quality, even for such an inexpensive printer, is very good. Black text is crisp and dense and colours in business graphics are surprisingly intense, though in a plain paper copy they looked a little muddy. Photos were every well reproduced, with plenty of detail and accurate colours, throughout.

The LED-illuminated, Contact Image Sensor (CIS) flatbed scanner is rated at 4,800 x 1,200ppi enhanced and gave good clear scans of text and image-based material.

Canon PIXMA MG3550 - Cartridges

The trend in consumable costs has been towards smaller differences between single cartridge prices and multi-cartridge packs, but here it's worth buying the twin-pack, as you gain a couple of pounds each time.

Using the XL versions of the cartridges, which offer better value than the standard ones, gives page costs of 3.6p for black and 7.7p for colour. These are reasonable values for this class of machine – you always pay a bit more for consumables when the price of the printer itself is low.

Should I buy a Canon PIXMA MG3550?

The main competitors to this Canon machine are some of HP's low-cost Deskjet printers, like the Deskjet 2450, and the Epson Workforce WF-2530WF from Epson. Print quality, particularly on plain paper, is better here than on the Epson, though there's less to choose between the MG3550 and the Deskjet.

Print costs are roughly comparable for black print between all three marques, though the Canon printer is up to 2p cheaper on colour pages. It also has a more solid, quality feel to its plastics.


Canon succeeds in offering a good range of all-in-ones with slowly increasing feature sets, depending on asking price. Although the PIXMA MG3550 is at the bottom end of the scale, it does the business as a printer, scanner and copier and includes wireless compatibility to print capably from phones, tablets and laptops, as well as desktop machines.

Prem Desai

January 6, 2014, 1:48 pm

I'm a big fan of Canon printers having owned a few, but getting bored now.

They do nothing new, look as ugly as ever and Canon just keep introducing new ink cartridges to screw us out of more money.

If you bought 3 different models, they would all use different ink cartridges (I am excluding specialist cartridges) which is a huge waste of money.

Canon is not alone in doing this.


March 17, 2014, 10:23 am

Bought a MG3550 in red for my office because I had used an IP4300 for years giving good service but it did not have photo copy. That machine downloaded no problem on Mac.
A word of WARNING. If you are about to buy a MG3550 for a Mac OSX lion, the instal disc that comes with the 3550 ONLY works on Windows so you have to go on line and instal from a Canon download. The problem is that the new 3550 is not recognised by Mac if over a year old in there drop down printer recognition so you have to go into Mac and instal a driver for 3550 because the canon driver fails to find and load.
This problem took us two days to sort out, in the end we had to ask a friendly computer Wiz to work out how to instal it.
Not very friendly to instal if you have a Mac but it works very once installed well giving clear crisp print and copy but the photo needed playing with to get it sharper.
Would recommend this machine, it looks good and works well once installed.

Rafael Vieira

May 11, 2014, 7:14 am

Stupid printer. Comes without USB cable and the Wifi installation DOES NOT WORK. In MAC or in PC. Waste of money.


June 23, 2014, 4:08 pm

Why is the set-up and subsequent usage soooooo difficult?!
I expect there to be ONE button for scanning and not a maze of random buttons, settings, hidden options and time-wasting uselessness.
The set-up itself was so complicated, the printer wasn't recognised by my computer, then a bunch of useless banners/picture shows/gadgets/floating buttons on desktop were installed, but trying to find the option you need takes a Sherlock Holmes to find.
expected so much better from Canon. I'm rather good with computers, but this printer is overly-complicated, I just wanted TWO buttons: print and scan. Instead I got a ton of useless garbage, which angers me to no end.


July 24, 2014, 10:54 am

This machine absolutely drinks the ink up. I have only had the printer for a few weeks and have done hardly any printing but have already put in two new black cartidges and am about to put in the second new colour cartidge, and these are XL cartridges. There is no way I could have printed all of the items mentioned on the test chart above with just one set of ink cartridges. I am very disappointed with this printer, eventhough it was cheap. I would advise people not to waste their money on it.


January 7, 2015, 5:40 pm

Recommend do NOT purchase UNLESS you are guaranteed that the machine/s will not be subjected to the so-called U052 error. Please research "dreaded U052 error" and note that Canon has not reimbursed, repaired for free nor do they assist buyers in correcting the issue (as evidenced per 74 page forum on their site). Note also the users calling for class action lawsuit in this regard.

My Printer Ink

June 1, 2015, 10:05 am

I am using this MG3550 which works perfectly for Windows 8 or imac but it is quicker to response on imac for the print and less problem for reinstalling when driver could get frequnetly glitched. I am using remanufactued PG540XL & CL541XL which saves me 60% of the cost and it cost me only £8 rather than replacing with OEM cartridges.

Mark Powell

January 26, 2016, 11:34 am

Mine stopped feeding paper. It's only printed a couple of pages a week and 7 months later I'm returning it. The software bundle isn't a pro either, I hate the bloatware that comes with these, and installing only the drivers seems riddled with errors and the program crashed several times during installation. I bought accidental damage cover from my supplier and took great joy in accidentally kicking this piece of c**p across the room.

Mark Powell

January 26, 2016, 11:36 am

Iv'e just read a few of the other reviews. Most of them hit the nail on the head. Expected a lot more from Canon.

HJ Kim

July 12, 2016, 1:18 pm

Simply shit. DO NOT BUY THIS PRINTER. Had it for a few months, fails to recognise papers every fucking time. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME AND MONEY ON THIS.

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