Canon rates the PIXMA MG4250 at 9.9ppm in black and 5.7ppm in colour. Our five-page text test recorded 6.1ppm and 6.4ppm in fast (draft) mode, only two thirds of the spec. This rose to 8.0ppm for the 20-page test, nearer the mark, but only 1.8ppm for the black text and colour graphics test.
Although duplex print is standard on the machine, it’s so slow that it probably won’t get used often. We saw 1.8spm on our 20-side test, so not even a page a minute.
Black text is good and black, though head passes don’t always line up exactly. Fast mode text is affected more by this and duplex pages, which look to be printed with a mix of the dye-based coloured inks, are more dark grey than black.
Colour graphics are dense and smooth, though there’s some loss of colour depth in colour copies. Photo prints are very good, with smooth colour transitions and both natural pastels and bright primaries where needed.
The twin cartridges, one black, the other tri-colour, are available in two capacities. It’s a shame to have a single tri-colour cartridge, as this can lead to wasted ink, if your colour ink usage doesn’t match Canon’s model. The first ink to run out forces replacement of the whole cartridge.
Using the high-yield versions of the consumables, which offer 600 ISO black pages and 400 ISO colour ones, gives page costs of 3.7p and 7.9p. These are good costs, lower then several rivals, though still not as good as from equivalent Kodak printers.
There doesn’t seem to be a lot to distinguish the Canon PIXMA MG4250 from its immediate predecessor. It’s still a good, general home printer, though its paper tray arrangement is cumbersome and its very slow at printing duplex pages. Tri-colour cartridges are likely to be more wasteful than the separate inks that are available in some of this machine’s immediate rivals.