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The Canon MAXIFY GX5550 is an inkjet printer on a mission to usurp lasers. It’s fitted with all the features a busy small office is likely to need – particularly when it comes to paper handling, where it has real strength in depth. Add decent speeds and print quality, backed up by exceptionally low print costs, and it’s certainly a compelling alternative. If you’re looking for a home office or small office printer and you’re expecting to print fairly often, this is a great choice.


  • Extremely low running costs
  • Brilliant paper handling
  • Quite fast


  • No scanner

Key Features

  • A flexible inkjet printerThis printer has three paper inputs, and can automatically print on both sides of a page. That makes it highly flexible for power users.
  • Refillable ink tanksRefillable ink tanks make this far cheaper to run than any laser printer.


If you’re looking for a do-it-all printer for the home, look away now. The Canon MAXIFY GX5550 is unashamedly focused on printing, and on doing rather a lot of it.

It doesn’t have a scanner, so it can’t scan copy or fax, it’s just optimised for printing office documents, mostly on plain paper. It’s brilliantly specified for that role, particularly when it comes to paper handling – there are three input trays, plus automatic duplex (double-sided) printing.

Perhaps just as importantly this is an ink tank printer, refillable from large bottles of ink. While it’s not cheap to buy, the resulting low running costs mean it should prove cheaper to own than the small colour laser printers it’s gunning for.

Design and features

  • Brilliant paper handling
  • Refillable ink ensures very low running costs
  • Colour control panel

The Canon MAXIFY GX5550 is designed to compete with the kind of colour laser printers typically found in home offices and small businesses. Look at its features, and it’s actually better specified than most. This is particularly true when it comes to paper handling – simply a printer’s ability to store and handle paper effectively.

In its base, the GX5550 has two 250-sheet paper trays, giving it twice as much paper storage as I’d expect in a comparable laser printer.

View from the front side with the lower trays opened
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

In addition there’s a 100-sheet paper feed at the back. Together, these let the printer store up to 600 pages spanning three different media types – for example, plain paper, headed notepaper, and coated matte inkjet paper. This means it can handle a variety of typical jobs without you needing to empty the input tray to change the paper type.

View from the top, front, side, with rear input and paper output trays extended
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

As you’d probably expect, the Canon MAXIFY GX5550 is also a duplex printer, capable of flipping over each sheet to print on the reverse side. That’s great for saving paper on longer documents, and it looks more professional too.

This printer also supports both wired and wireless networking, making it easy to share to other users. Its colour touchscreen makes it fairly simple to access various configuration and maintenance options. It’s a little frustrating that this isn’t paired with a USB host port, which would allow users to print directly from an inserted thumb drive. In practice, that’s only likely to be an issue in an office with multiple users or visitors.

Detail shot of the control panel and screen
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Other than its dexterity with paper, this printer’s major selling point is the refillable ink tanks visible in its front panel. These are empty when it arrives: you have to fill them from the supplied bottles, then wait while the printer whirrs and chugs for about 12 minutes, priming the system. It’s a one-time job, after which you’ll probably get more than 5000 black or 12,000 colour pages before you even need to top up the ink.

Canon says that new bottles will last for an incredible 6000 black or 14,000 colour pages, and you can stretch this to 9000 and 21,000 if using Economy Mode. With bottles reasonably priced at around £20 in black and £12 for each colour, that works out at just 0.6p for a full-colour page, or 0.43p in Economy.

Filling the black ink
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

It’s hard to overstate what an advantage that is over a comparable laser printer. I’d expect an entry level or small workgroup laser to arrive with no more than 3000 pages’ worth of toner, and probably much less. At best, replacement toners would last perhaps 6000 pages, but again 2000-3000 would be more typical. And you’d probably pay in the region of 10p per full colour page, although you might be able to get this somewhat lower with a toner subscription service.

Forgive the pun, but on paper that gives this printer two massive advantages over a laser: far lower running costs, and less frequent maintenance.

Print speed and quality

  • Fast prints, but not on every job
  • Strong print quality
  • Fast to print a first page

In terms of printing performance, the Canon MAXIFY GX5550 wasn’t too far off laser printer speeds, but it struggled to perform its best on Trusted Reviews’ regular test documents. Long job preparation times meant it needed 24 seconds to deliver a first page of black text, and could reach only 5.4 pages per minute (ppm) over five pages. Its best speed was just 6.1ppm on our 20-page test. That’s nowhere near laser-fast.

The Canon MAXIFY GX5550 was more competitive in colour, reaching 7.0ppm when printing multiple copies of our mixed text and graphics page. When duplex printing it managed a decent 5.0 images per minute (ipm) over 20 sides. In other words, it printed 20 pages onto 10 sheets of paper in exactly four minutes. 

I ran a second set of tests using shorter documents, which need less preparation before printing starts. When printing multiple copies of a single page of black text, the first arrived in just 15 seconds, and the printer went on to hit a much more impressive 19.7ppm maximum. Tested with a 50-page text document it again sat idle while waiting for the job to be prepared, before leaping into action and printing quickly. Overall, it reached 17.3ppm on this test.

Detail shot of the ink tank levels, while a photo is printing
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

These mixed performances are influenced in part by the speed of my modest host computer – they’d be better on a newer, faster device – but they’re still a little behind the 25ppm or better in black and 15ppm or more in colour I’d expect from a comparable colour laser. How much that matters comes down to just how heavily you expect to use this printer.

Inkjet printers rarely match a good colour laser when it comes to outright plain paper print quality, but the Canon MAXIFY GX5550 gave a good account of itself. Black text in particular was very strong, with crisp character outlines and a bold black finish. Colour graphics lacked the sheen you get from an even application of laser toner, but they were still quite punchy, and certainly good enough for everyday plain paper use.

This isn’t a photo printer, but it’s up for trying if you insist. You can’t print without borders, and the results on coated paper don’t have a glossy, lab-like finish – that’s down to this printer’s pigment-based inks, which are optimised for plain paper. That said, they work excellently on coated matte inkjet papers, which could be ideal for labels or for high quality graphics prints.

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Should you buy it?

An economical office colour printer

If you want a low-maintenance, small office printer that’s cheap to run, the Canon MAXIFY GX5550 could be ideal. It’s almost a match for a laser when it comes to print quality, and it knocks the best lasers for six when it comes to running costs.

Not quite a match for a laser

This printer isn’t as fast as a colour laser, and its print quality isn’t as good as the best laser printers. If you print in very high volumes and you demand speed as well as economy, the GX5550 won’t quite fit the bill.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance, hassle-free printer for a home office, the Canon MAXIFY GX5550 could fit the bill perfectly. With large ink tanks and clever paper handling, you’ll spend more time printing than fiddling around with paper and consumables.

It’ll also save you a packet over a comparable laser – although it costs around twice as much to buy, you’ll recover the extra outlay before you’ve even finished the generous ink supplies that come in the box. Happily, it’s backed up by a three-year warranty (registration required), so you’ve plenty of time to benefit from its remarkably low running costs.

The Canon MAXIFY GX5550 isn’t perfect, though, particularly given its patchy speed on our tests. For some users, the lack of a glossy sheen on its prints might prove to be a dealbreaker, too. If you can live with both, this really is a compelling alternative to a colour laser for a busy small or home office. Check out our Best Printer guide for even more options.

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How we test

Every printer we review goes through a series of uniform checks designed to gauge key things including print quality, speed and cost.

We’ll also compare the features with other printers at the same price point to see if you’re getting good value for your money.

Measured the time it takes to print with various paper

Compared print quality with other printers

Tested printing with monochrome and coloured ink


What type of printer is Canon MAXIFY?

Canon’s MAXIFY range are inkjet printers designed for home and small offices. They typically have business features such as fax modems, and they’re optimised for printing on plain paper rather than photos.

Does Canon MAXIFY have Wi-Fi?

Yes, all the current MAXIFY printers have Wi-Fi connectivity along with a port for an Ethernet connection.

Trusted Reviews test data

Energy consumption
Printing A4 mono speed (single page)
Printing A4 mono speed (5 pages)
Printing A4 mono speed (20 pages)
Printing A4 colour speed (single page)
Printing A4 colour speed (5 pages)
Printing A4 colour speed (20 pages)

Full specs

Quiet Mark Accredited
Size (Dimensions)
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Model Number
Ink Cartridge support
Printer Type
Ink Type

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