For some years, Canon has adopted what we’ve described as a Chinese Lacquer box look for its all-in-ones – big and with heavily chamfered edges to their top covers. Its new devices for this year, such as the home office-targeted PIXMA MG5550, have a modified look, so it’s lower profile and has a smoother, textured black finish.
The scanner is set well down into the case and the lid has extending hinges, to cope with books as well as single sheets. In front of the lid is the control panel, which is centred around a 62mm LCD panel.
As well as the usual square of navigation buttons for working your way around the menus, there are three soft keys which show context-sensitive onscreen legends and make working with the screen nearly as natural as using a touchscreen.
Below the control panel, the front cover flips open to become the paper feed tray. An extension swings out from its front lip, with a flip-up paper stop for the output sheets, which come to rest on a telescopic inner tray, resting above the feed tray. The feed tray pulls out to make paper loading easier.
Fitting the five ink cartridges – there's a photo black as well as the pigmented text black – is made a lot easier by a new design, where you lift the whole of the control panel up out of the way. The head carriage then swings into view, with any cartridges that need replacement showing flashing red LEDs. Very convenient.
One of the PIXMA MG5550’s new features is the ability to interact directly with Internet sites, controlled from the printer’s display. It’s compatible with Google Cloud and Canon’s own Inkjet Cloud Printing Center and the idea is that you can download files for printing without the use of an intermediary computer or mobile device.
However, every time we tried to register the printer with either Google or Canon, from the printer or a connected PC, we got the same ‘Cannot connect to server’ message. This was using the same wireless link to the same router that worked fine for printing all our test jobs. We checked for firewall issues in the router, but couldn't track down a cause for this failure.