Canon rates the PIXMA MG4150 at 9.9ppm for black and 5.7ppm for colour. In our tests we saw a maximum speed of 8.1ppm, for the 20-page text test and slightly less, around 7.9ppm, for the five page documents. So good speeds when printing black text, but unfortunately the same can’t be said for colour pages.
We can understand why printers have to pause when printing duplex pages; if they didn’t, the ink on the first side(s) would smudge while printing the second side(s). The Canon PIXMA MG4150 does this, but it also does it while printing single-sided colour pages.
We measured pauses of around 14s during four of the five pages in our text and colour graphics test, which increased the time taken to 2:48 and cut the overall speed to 1.8ppm. This is very slow though hardly a surprise, since the Canon PIXMA MX435 (which uses the same cartridges and ink) took an identical time during testing.
What is odd is that machines using the earlier 510-513 cartridges - a black and tri-colour arrangement, as here - aren’t held back by these pauses. It’s hard to see why Canon would change ink formulations to one which takes so much longer to dry that it cuts the print speed to this level.
A colour copy only took 31s and photos printed in 1:08 to 1:39, in standard and high quality modes, respectively. Print quality on plain paper is very clean, almost laser-sharp on single-sided pages. On duplex pages, where dye-based colour inks are used together to build up the text, the result is less sharp and less black, more a dark grey.
Colour graphics are generally smooth, though blues and greens default a little dark. Copies are more faded and fuzzy, as the scanner isn’t that good, despite its comparatively high resolution. Photo prints are, as usual, very detailed and with a natural colour palette. Canon still maintains its position at the forefront of consumer photo reproduction.
You only need to buy two cartridges for this machine, but you can go for standard or high yield, with the high yield being much more economical. At the best prices we could find, we calculate an ISO black page cost of 3.8p and an ISO colour cost of 7.4p. These are both reasonable running costs, from an £87 machine.
While the PIXMA MG4150 has many of the features that make other machines in the range very good home all-in-ones, there are some drawbacks, not least its slow colour and duplex print speeds. Colour copies are also not as good as from some rival machines. Still a fair printer, but there’s more competition for this one.