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Canon Pixma MG5620 review: A journeyman inkjet all-in-one printer

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With the app installed, you can connect to most Canon Pixma or Selphy devices and print single photos with relative ease. Canon also bundles in two other software titles: My Image Garden to help you organize and get creative with your photos, and Full HD Movie Print, Canon's own proprietary software which lets you extract high-quality still images from movies filmed on your Canon cameras.

The front panel has a simple 2.5-inch LCD screen that works well enough to display details about your prints, although you won't be doing any heavy duty photo editing on it. The whole front section lifts forward to reveal the five-ink cartridge bay with a pigment black ink that helps reproduce extra dense text prints.

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The cost to supply consumables for this printer largely depends on how much you use it, but using Canon's prices and page yields, we can calculate that the average page of mixed text and graphics will cost you about 5 cents per page, for just the black ink cartridge alone; color pages are slightly less expensive at just under 3.5 cents per page for each cartridge.

It's easy to see where Canon makes their money back on the low cost of the machine to get you started. The refill prices are the cost to play and Canon buries the knife a little deeper by including "starter" cartridges with less than average fills, but you can save a few bucks in the long term buying Canon's XL capacity cartridges that pack in extra ink for a little more.

Performance

We ran a series of speed and quality tests on the MG5620 and the results fall within the acceptable realm for a sub-$100 inkjet printer. It averaged just under three pages per minute using the combined results of two different timed tests for color-photo speed and a 10-page text document that employs a variety of font sizes and fonts. Of course, if speed is a priority over output quality and you're only printing text, you should consider investing in a laser printer like the Samsung ML-M2020W monochrome printer.

If optimal photo quality is what you're looking and money isn't an issue, we can recommend this printer's output for professional documents like slide shows, full-color prints, spreadsheets and handouts.

The internal driver lets you cycle through different print qualities to conserve remaining inks, and you'll be more than satisfied with the printer's color reproduction -- the darker spots of our sample image are dense and unmarred by bleeding colors. Bright colors pop as they should, and the text is well-formed all the way down to smaller font sizes.

Conclusion

The cost of consumables is a limiting factor for the Pixma MG5620 and any consumer photo inkjet printer, though it works well, prints quickly and includes an impressive list of features. As an alternative, we recommend the Epson Expression XP-420, which costs about the same but gives you better quality output and a slightly cheaper ink cost.

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