Canon Pixma MG6120 review: Canon Pixma MG6120

The lid of the MG6120 lifts to reveal the five-ink cartridge bay for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black ink tanks, and there's another high-capacity pigment black cartridge inside that only draws ink when you toggle the "monochrome" mode within the driver preferences. This convenient feature actually saves you money in the long term by extending the longevity of the smaller black cartridge, since it only gets depleted in color print mode.

Printing functions aside, the MG6120's copy function has all the features you'd expect from a diligent multifunction printer. You can enlarge the original copy up to 400 percent or simply fit the entire document to a page. Other special features include two-sided copying, borderless copying, exact duplication, cropped copy, and 2-on-1 and 4-on-1 photo collages.

Scanning is also typical, with save options that include sending the file straight to your PC, as an e-mail attachment, scanned as a PDF, or simply open it in an application. You can save all documents as TIFF, JPEG, bitmap, or PDF files, and the scanner now supports film and negatives as well. The negative and slide holders are accessible underneath the document protector underneath the lid, and the scanner supports document sizes up to 8.5 inches by 11 inches, but a fixed hinge makes it difficult to stretch the scanner cover over thicker documents and books.

We're surprised at the disparity between the MG6120's impressive text and presentation speed output versus the time it took to print photos and pages of color graphics. It's no match for the Epson WorkForce 610 and drops down to second place in the text page test with a respectable 8.24 pages per minute (PPM) but loses momentum and falls to the bottom of the pack at a sluggish 1.02 pages of color graphics and 0.87 full-color photo snapshots per minute. Despite polarizing speed test results, you're unlikely to notice the subtle differences as a consumer unless you're printing consistently high pages of text or photos. To that point, the MG6120 isn't the best performer for busy offices, although we wouldn't hesitate to flaunt its output quality in a boardroom presentation.

Speed test
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Presentation Speed (PPM)  
Photo Speed (1 Sheet)  
Color Graphics Speed (PPM)  
Text Speed (PPM)  
Epson WorkForce 610
Canon Pixma MG6120
Lexmark Interact S605
HP Photosmart C6380
Kodak ESP 5

Contrary to the speed tests, the Pixma MG6120 performed well in our quality examination, printing solid, dense text with fully formed characters down to five-point font size. The color graphics test emerged solid and evenly distributed, but we did notice small portions with more neutral tones than the original, specifically in areas with gradual color gradients. To confirm, we repeated the test in three iterations and the imperfections were consistent throughout, although likely unnoticeable to most eyes. In most cases, snapshot photos came out with vivid coloration and with even tones.

Service and support
Canon supports the Pixma MG6120 with a standard one-year limited warranty program that includes InstantExchange and a year of toll-free phone support. In addition, the product page for the printer features frequently asked questions, registration, recycling information, driver downloads, and more.

The Canon Pixma MG6120's slower-than-average print speeds are offset by its competent home office capabilities including HD Movie Print, simple installation, and dual paper trays that let you store up to 300 sheets at a time. In the future we'd like Canon to allow adjustments to the touch-sensitive control panel, but we're satisfied to recommend a printer that finally achieves a balance between the modern luxury of touch sensitivity and the need for quick access to the control panel.

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