Canon Pixma MG6150 review: Canon Pixma MG6150

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Typical Price: $299.00
5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Excellent black print quality. Excellent photo print quality. Intuitive and slick touch panel. CD/DVD printing.

The Bad Very slow print speeds. iPhone/iPad app performance is flaky.

The Bottom Line Canon's Pixma MG6150 is a slow multifunction printer, but the print quality and ease of use make it a multifunction worth waiting for.

9.1 Overall
CNET Editors' Choice Nov '10

Design

The PIXMA MG6150 is a large multifunction in glossy piano black plastic that uses a lot of touch controls, which naturally enough makes it something of a smudge magnet. Its three inch LCD screen seems awfully small set against the large top of the 470x368x173mm printer body, but when you power it on the touch panel below, which runs the length of the printer, lights up. This makes selection a snap for any given task; and as the display only lights up relevant options subject to the context of the menu you're currently in, it's also very easy to learn the flow of menu commands.

Features

The multifunction aspects of the MG6150 encompass scanning via a 4800x4800dpi CIS scan head, copying via the same mechanism and printing; fax is the noticeable absentee feature, but we're seeing fewer multifunctions with faxing built in these days, at least in the consumer/SOHO space.

The MG6150 prints from six colour inkjet tanks to plain paper, photo media and directly onto CD and DVD media, giving it plenty of operational flexibility. Connections are via USB or 802.11n Wi-Fi, and it's compatible with Canon's Easy Photo Print App for iPhone and iPad. That's not quite as fully featured as HP's competing ePrint solution that we've seen on the Envy 100 and the Photosmart B110 .

Performance

In one key aspect, the MG6150 doesn't perform as we'd like. Specifically, Canon rates its print speeds at a relatively sedate 12.5ipm in black and white. IPM figures should be more in line with real world printing speeds, or at least that's the theory. Printing a standard document on the MG6150 over Wi-Fi, it managed to spit out a single page in 18.26 seconds and a total of 5 pages across a minute, well below its stated specifications. Even switching to draft mode didn't make that much of a difference, with the first page emerging in 12.02 seconds and a total of 7 pages emerging within a minute.

In other words, if you're the impatient type, this isn't the multifunction for you. On the other hand, if you're after quality, this is well worth considering. Normal coverage was as close to laser quality as we've ever seen out of an inkjet, and even the draft coverage was generous and easy to read with very little distortion on printed characters. That same quality shone through in 4x6-inch photo prints, which came out bright and vibrant in our tests.

We did hit problems getting Canon's Easy Photo Print application to talk to the MG6150 from an iPhone 3GS and iPad. The printer was detected, and the interface allows for a lot more customisation than HP's ePrint solution, but when it came time to print, we'd hit a near completion point, with the printer indicating it was processing the file, and then it would spit out a blank 4x6-inch and the application would indicate it had lost communication with the printer, every single time. We couldn't discern if this was a printer issue, a phone issue or a wireless network issue, but we'd certainly advise caution if this was a big selling point for you. We were certainly disappointed.

Conclusion

Our annoyance with the Easy Photo Print application aside, the MG6150 offers great print quality for both documents and photo prints. As long as you've got the patience for its rather sloth-like printing style, it's a great printer.

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