Speed is one of the main differentiators between this machine and the PIXMA MG5150, with Canon quoting 9.7ppm and 6.1ppm for that machine, but 11.0ppm and 9.3ppm for this one. In reality, although the figures aren’t what the company specifies, the differences between them are roughly right.
This printer completed our 5-page black text print in 43s and the 20-page print in 2:09, equivalent to speeds of 7.0ppm and 9.3ppm, respectively. The MG5150 produced 7.0ppm and 7.3ppm, so certainly slower on longer documents. The 5-page colour speeds were 3.6ppm for the MG5150 and 5.0ppm here, so again a noticeable improvement on this machine.
Duplex print is very slow on both printers, with this one producing a speed of 2.8 sides per minute, and the cheaper machine offering just 2.1spm. A full-page colour copy was a lot faster on the MG5250, competing in just 22s, when it took 43s on the MG5150. Similar improvements were apparent when printing photos, where this machine printed a 15 x 10 cm photo in 53s from a PC and just 32s from an SD card.
Print quality is as good as ever from a Canon machine, with clean cut, densely black text, bright, attention-grabbing colour graphics and natural, well-coloured photos. Colour photocopies are impressively close to the originals and the only place the printer falls down is when printing duplex pages. It then appears to use its dye-based black ink, which isn’t nearly as dense or black as the pigmented one.
The five ink cartridges are only available in one capacity, though you can buy a twin pack of the pigmented black ink and a triple pack of the three main colours. Using the best prices we could find gives a cost per page of 3.6p for ISO black and 8.9p for ISO colour. These put it pretty much in the middle of the range of running costs for mid-range all-in-ones, a little higher than some on black print and a penny or so lower on colour.
Comparing the Canon PIXMA MG5250 with its cheaper stablemate shows that, in this case, you get what you pay for. The extra £30 buys you a noticeably faster printer, which also supports wireless network connection and direct print on CDs and DVDs. Print quality is generally very good, though duplex black print is a bit insipid and print speed is also good, though again duplex results are weaker.