The PIXMA MG7550 is Canon's new top-of-the-range all-in-one. Designed for the home and photo customer, it offers five-colour, duplex print on paper or CD/DVD blanks and can be cabled to a desktop or linked to a variety of mobile devices.
Available in black, white and, uniquely, burnt orange, you can see how the Canon PIXMA MG7550 has developed from the original ‘lacquered box’ design of the company’s PIXMA all-in-ones of a few years ago. The sloped front panel has taken the place of the complete scanner lid surround seen on earlier models, but gives plenty of room for both the 8.8cm touchscreen and a number of dedicated touch buttons, which light up when needed.
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Below the controls, the whole front panel folds down to become part of the output tray, and a secondary support swings out automatically from its front edge. However, the third stage has to be pulled out by hand and has no end-stop, so pages sometimes end up quite untidily stacked.
Below the output tray are two low-profile paper trays: one for a meagre 125 sheets of plain paper and the other for 20 photo blanks up to 13 x 18cm. It’s a clever arrangement and there’s a slot above which takes a CD/DVD carrier, stored in a clip under the photo tray.
At the left-hand edge of the front panel, inside the front cover, are twin SD and MemoryStick slots, although there’s no USB socket. There's one at the back for connection to a computer, though wireless is the more versatile option. The printer is compatible with AirPrint, Wi-Fi Direct and Canon’s own print service, PIXMA Cloud Link.
The printer also has NFC (near-field communication) wireless technology. Touch an NFC-enabled tablet or smartphone to the small cross at the end of the PIXMA MG7550’s control panel and details of the printer should be added into the device’s print list. Sadly, the Samsung Galaxy phone we tested it with threw up an ‘unidentified tag’ error.
There are six ink cartridges for this machine, including a photo black and photo grey.
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Canon rates the PIXMA MG7550 with page-to-page print speeds of 15ppm mono and 10ppm colour. In our tests, which include processing time for each print job, we saw a speed of 10ppm for our five-page test piece, rising to 11.5ppm on the 20-page document. Printing in draft mode made very little difference to the overall performance.
These speeds are quite respectable for an inkjet all-in-one, although they’re only around 70 per cent of Canon’s claims. Our five-page mono text and colour graphics test resulted in 4ppm, which is less than half the rated speed and none too quick. Mono duplex speed, always a problem for Canon because of the pause needed to dry ink between sides, gave 3.8 sides per minute.
A single-page colour copy took 19 seconds, which is quick, while 15 x 10cm photo prints took 54 seconds at highest quality from a PC and just over 30 seconds at normal quality from SD card and a Samsung Galaxy S3 Android smartphone.
The quality of the prints from the machine is well up to Canon’s usual high standard. Text is crisp and dense and colours look smooth and bright, even on plain paper. It’s hard to see an obvious difference in photo quality from the extra grey ink – it’s quite subtle, and we were surprised to see a loss of detail in some darker shadows.
Scanning the Internet for the lowest ink costs we could find, we couldn’t get down to the prices we located when reviewing the PIXMA MG6450 only a few weeks back. This time we calculated a mono page cost of 3.1p and colour cost of 8.6p, which are good results, but not down to the levels of the £180 Canon Maxify MB2350, although that’s aimed at the SOHO (small office, home office) market.
Compared with the Canon PIXMA MG6450, which is around £60 cheaper, the MG7550 additionally offers CD/DVD print, twin paper trays, a larger touchscreen and higher-resolution printing and copying. If you’re doing a lot of photo prints, the photo grey ink may also prove beneficial, but you’ll need to decide whether these extra facilities are worth the price premium to you.
The Canon PIXMA MG7550 is a sleek, top-of-the-range A4 all-in-one that's perfect for photo enthusiasts. It can print from most devices, has useful touchscreen control and easy access to consumables.
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