Not long ago we reviewed Canon’s PIXMA MG4150, mid-range all-in-one and the PIXMA MG4250 is already available to supersede it. Apart from the case, which is a pleasant textured black rather than the gaudy, shiny black of its predecessor, there doesn’t appear to be a lot of difference between the two.
The top of this modestly-sized box has its scanner cover – with extending hinges, so you can scan books and magazines – to the right of the control panel, which runs in a strip from front to back.
At the rear is a hinged, 62mm colour LCD, linked to three ‘soft’ function keys just in front and a series of other buttons, controlling job start and cancel and menu navigation. The clever click-wheel of the PIXMA MG4150 is replaced by a simple five button square on this machine; not as convenient.
Just over the front lip of the control panel are twin memory card slots, for SD and MemoryStick.
Then there’s the Fast Front paper tray system; which is more of a Big Front, really. Fold down the front cover and it forms the paper feed tray, which can take up to 100 sheets. A secondary tray folds down behind this and extends telescopically, though not far enough to support the whole of an output page.
To rectify this, an extra support swivels out of the front edge of the feed tray with a flip-up stop at its end. It’s all rather convoluted and virtually doubles the depth of the printer, when it’s in use.
Fitting the cartridges involves folding down the internal front panel, on which the paper trays are hinged, and they slide in horizontally. Simple retention clips then click into place, a bit like seat retainers on an Alton Towers ride.
Bundled software includes My Image Garden, a photo housekeeping application, and Quick Menu, which places useful printing tools in a mirrored L-shaped menu at bottom left of the desktop. Access to My Image Garden is tied to use of genuine Canon cartridges – use third-party consumables and it won’t let you in.
The interface colour-scheme in both tools, light on dark grey, is unhelpful. For so long, the convention has been that greyed menu items are unavailable, that having whole menus in grey takes some mental retraining. Adobe started it and Canon, unfortunately, now seems to have ‘caught up’.