Canon’s Pixma MX526 might look similar to its stablemate, the home-focused Pixma MG5460, but this all-in-one has its sights set on the small office.
The first giveaway is the 30-sheet ADF perched on top, and there are USB 2, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections, as well as fax functions. Like the MG5460, the MX526 doesn’t have a touchscreen, Canon opting instead for a 6.2cm LCD and a cluster of buttons. Paper capacity is limited, with the slide-out paper tray holding only 100 sheets.
Instead of a four- or five-ink setup, the MX525 uses a tri-colour cartridge alongside a black tank. Photo quality suffers slightly as a result. Prints exhibit good contrast and natural tones, but closer inspection reveals speckling. You’ll have to be patient, too: 6 x 4in prints took 1min 37secs, and A4 photos took 4mins 23secs.
The MX526’s scanner is highly capable. Speeds are competitive – the Canon took only 35 seconds to produce a crisp, accurate scan of our 6 x 4in test photo at 600dpi.
Quality isn’t an issue for text or business documents, either. Draft-quality prints are vastly superior to the Brother and Epson models, and standard-quality prints are good, too. Only colour documents really stretched the Canon, with faint banding in darker areas.
Document quality is fine for business purposes, but again, pages take some time to appear. The Canon’s 9.5ppm draft output was the slowest of all the printers on test, and normal-quality mono prints emerged at 9.2ppm. Only colour A4 prints turned the tables, with 5.9ppm edging it into joint-first place with the Epson.
Running costs aren’t a strong point. Mono A4 prints cost 6.7c each, and colour A4 prints are similarly pricey at 6.7c. Photos are cheap, though, with each 6 x 4in print costing 28c.
Overall, the Pixma MX526 hasn’t got its priorities straight. Quality is good, but strangely, given its focus, document printing isn’t cheap or quick. Other all-in-ones here strike a far better balance for office use.
Stunning scans, but sluggish print speeds and average print costs undermine the appeal of Canon’s Pixma MX526. Read the review.