Canon Pixma MG4250 review
The quality of all-in-one printers at around the £50 mark is tremendous these days, and for home users who print mainly documents plus a few photos, Canon’s Pixmas have long been a safe bet. This is still the case with the new Pixma MG4250, although don’t expect any major enhancements.
The most noticeable difference with the new model is the shift to a matte finish throughout, which gives the printer a less flashy, tacky look. The controls remain on the left edge of the device, with a few minor alterations. The circular scroll wheel has been replaced by a simpler, yet more clicky and cheap-feeling four-way cursor pad to go with the existing option selectors, and the garish blue glow of the power button has been toned down. The screen still tilts up for use when copying or scanning.
The MG4250 lacks the individual colour inks of its more expensive Pixma cousins, but arguably the most important improvement is that it finally accepts high-yield ink cartridges. To illustrate the difference this makes, a set of standard inks – one black and one combined colour – will set you back just over £25 from Amazon and will last only 180 pages. That gives you a high running cost of 7p for mono and 14.3p for colour.
By contrast, the XL black and colour inks each cost only around £4 more, yet they last 600 and 400 pages respectively. This reduces the running costs to a much more reasonable 2.8p for mono and 7.1p for colour. The printer itself is cheap at £55 inc VAT, so you’d be crazy not to spend a little more on XL cartridges to go with it.
Performance is mixed, depending on your main printing habits. Mono documents fly out at a solid 18.2ppm in normal mode, and slightly faster in draft mode. The print quality is high, with thick black text and no visible spidering, and although solid areas showed a few speckles, it’s generally fine for document work. Colour output isn’t quite so good, crawling out at only 3.5ppm in our tests, but aside from a rather pale red, the results are perfectly acceptable. The same is true of photographs – although, understandably, they aren’t quite as rich and vivid as the output from a more expensive Pixma with individual inks.
Scanning speed is average, with results that are good but not excellent. Colours are vivid and fairly well captured, although a close look at our scanned photographs shows that the detail isn’t on a par with the average HP all-in-one. Some scans and copies were a little murky, too, particularly when capturing colour on a white background.
With a 2.5in colour screen, AirPrint support, an auto-duplex mode, and various auto-off and quiet-mode features to play with, the Pixma MG4250 offers plenty for its low price. It doesn’t quite beat our current favourite budget all-in-one, the HP Photosmart 5510, though, which has a much higher-quality (albeit slower) scanner, slightly lower running costs and a nicer touchscreen interface.
Author: David Bayon
- Google reveals why it thinks we'll buy smartwatches
- Windows 8.2/Windows 9: release date, features and free cloud version
- Apple's top reasons for rejecting apps
- Raspberry Pi unveils HTML5-optimised browser
- Apple and FBI "actively investigating" celeb photo hack
- Swatch Touch smartwatch in development
- Did iCloud flaw lead to celeb photo hack?
- Microsoft refuses to hand over customer emails
- Apple signs up credit-card companies for NFC payments
- Apple bans developers from selling your health data
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to turn off Google Location Tracking
- 20 years of PC Pro: our greatest review mistakes
- 20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List
- Wikipedia's "right to be forgotten" protest hits the wrong note
- 3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies
- 20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Best of IFA 2014: what smartphones, tablets, smartwatches are expected to launch at IFA this year?
- How to uninstall a program on Windows: remove unwanted apps from your PC
- How to format a USB drive on a Mac or Windows
- What’s the best 4G network in the UK?
- How to set up a wireless hotspot for your business: give customers free or paid for internet access
- How to download YouTube videos: save YouTube videos to your iPhone, iPad, laptop or Android device
- How to access iCloud on a PC
- Nexus 5 vs Moto G 4G (2014 model)
- Chromecast vs Roku Streaming Stick vs Apple TV: what's the best TV streaming device?
- The 8 best small tablets of 2014: what's the best compact tablet?
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office