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How to Choose the Best Canon® Printer

How to Choose the Best Canon® Printer

Canon offers a range of  reliable printers for the home and office.  We explore all of the best printers Canon has to offer in their PIXMA to MAXIFY lines.

The two most common Canon® wireless inkjet printer lines on the market are the PIXMA® series and the MAXIFY® series.  Both series include a number of different printers, each with their own specialties.  So how do you know which one to choose?  In this article, we will breakdown the differences between the Canon PIXMA and Canon MAXIFY series, and go over the features of some of our favorite printers so you can find the right machine for your needs.


Why Choose a PIXMA Printer?

ts5020

PIXMA may be Canon’s most popular line, due to the variety of PIXMA printer models available on the market.  They are a great multipurpose printing solution that works well for a wide range of customers, including families, students, photographers and working professionals.  As of this writing, Canon is currently offering 29 different PIXMA printers on their website.  Each model is labeled with an identifiable set of initials that reveal the printing capabilities of that particular series.

PIXMA MG/MX/TR/TS Series: Photo-all-in-one printers.  These Pixma printers produce great looking photographs and offer print, scan, copy and fax functions.

PIXMA iP Series: Photo ready single-function printers.  Perfect for high quality photo prints, this series is a solid option for busy creatives on a budget.  Professional photographers should consider the PIXMA Pro series.

PIXMA iX Series: Business ready single-function printers.  A simple and efficient PIXMA series that prints crisp text, graphics and photos.  If you need a business printer with copy or fax capabilities, go for the MAXIFY series.

PIXMA G Series: Megatank printers.  The most cost-effective Pixma option, it’s refillable ink tank system prints thousands of pages at an amazing value and offers print, scan and fax options.

PIXMA Pro Series: Professional photo printers.  This series is designed especially for photographers and graphic designers.  Skip the photo lab and print gallery grade photos right at home.

PIXMA Pricing and the Cost of Ink

The PIXMA line varies considerably in price.  The cheaper options are often Canon’s newest all-in-one inkjet printer series.  The PIXMA Pro series is by far the most expensive printer series, which are designed for professional photographers.

With such a broad price range, it’s important to factor in the total cost of operation along with the purchase price of the printer.  It’s easy to be swayed by a low initial price point and later, end up spending a fortune on replacement cartridges.

To make a budget friendly choice, you need to examine operating costs a bit further. Cartridge price is only part of the story. For a complete understanding of operating costs, calculate the cost per page of each cartridge your printer uses.  This will give you an idea about how much you can expect to be spending on ink in the long term.

The best way to determine the average cost per page is to take the price of the cartridge and divide it by the page yield.  A cartridge’s page yield is the average number of prints you can get from a particular cartridge.  For example, replacing a single high yield PG-245XL black cartridge in the iP2820, will cost around $25.99, and prints around 300 pages.  After doing a little math, your cost per page would be around 8.6 cents per page.  To cut down on cartridge costs, consider buying a compatible version of the cartridge from a reputable supplier.  An LD brand compatible Canon PGI-245XL is just $18.99 and offers a cost of 6 cents a page.

Our Favorite Canon PIXMA Printers

We picked these three printers because they are incredibly popular and, considering pricey original Canon cartridges, they also offer great value when paired with affordably priced compatible Canon ink cartridges.

PIXMA TR8520 – Buy on Amazon

The TR8520 is one of the newer PIXMA printers on the market and at an affordable price point, it’s a relatively inexpensive investment.  Print, scan and fax functions offer streamlined functionality and an automatic duplexer makes 2-sided printing quick and convenient.  Users will appreciate the machine’s versatility. You will get crisp, reliable results whether you print documents or photos, and a built in Wi-Fi connection lets you print from your smartphone or tablet.

Cartridge replacement can get a bit pricey if you need to replace multiple cartridges at a time.  Luckily, since each cartridge color is sold individually, you will likely just need to replace them one at time.  The TR8520 uses five cartridges, the PGI-280 pigment black and CLI-281 cyan, magenta, yellow and dye black.  High yield (XL) and super high yield (XXL) cartridges are also available and are generally a better value if you print regularly, due to their higher ink capacity.  Original Canon PGI-280XL cartridges go for $25.99 and CLI-281XL color cartridges are $20.89 each.  You can get an affordable compatible Canon  PGI-280XXL for $11.99 and compatible Canon CLI-281XXL cartridges for just $10.99 apiece.

PIXMA TS8320 – Buy on Amazon

The TS8320 is a wireless all-in-one photo printer that’s perfect for printing everyday documents and photos.  Customers appreciate its ease of setup and the ability to print square photos. The only downside to this printer is that the printer panel has to be open while printing. Apart from that, you can expect great quality photos from this Canon printer.

The printer uses the same cartridge series as the TR8520 and requires six individual ink cartridges to operate: cyan, magenta, yellow, pigment black, photo black and photo blue.  Canon offers the PGI-280XL high yield cartridge for $25.99 and each CLI-281XL high yield color cartridge go for $20.89.  You can print even more pages for a lot less with LD’s compatible alternatives to the super high yield versions of these cartridges: the Canon PGI-280XXLfor $11.99 and Canon CLI-281XXL for $10.99 which cost significantly less but print significantly more.

PIXMA MegaTank G2200 – Buy on Amazon

The PIXMA Megatank is a refillable ink tank printer that delivers vibrant color prints at an incredibly low operating cost.  If you regularly do a lot of printing, this printer is a great option!  Capable of handling a multiple paper types and sizes, ranging from envelopes to 4” x 6” photos, it offers high quality prints with great depth of color too.

Instead of using ink cartridges, the Megatank uses ink bottles to create a print.  When a particular color is running low, you will need to refill the printer’s built-in tank system with the corresponding ink bottle.  Don’t fret – Canon made the refill process very easy and the bottles are designed so they won’t spill if you accidentally tip them over.  The black Canon GI-290 ink bottle prints 6,000 pages and the 3 GI-290 color ink bottles print 7,000 pages each – that’s a lot of ink!  Canon sells the black ink bottle for $20.89 and the color ink bottles for $17.09.  Find lower cost compatible replacement Canon GI-290 black ink bottles for only $6.99 and color Canon GI-290 bottles for only $5.99.


Why Choose a MAXIFY Printer?

maxify

Maxify printers are made for small business.  Whether you run operations out of your home, or rent a small office in town, these printers will get the job done, and are a smart choice for companies with just a handful of employees.  Like the PIXMA series, Canon has classified their MAXIFY line under a couple of different variations, which can distinguished by a unique set of identifiable initials.

MAXIFY MB/iB Series: Small office or home office printers.  Intended for businesses with 1-9 users, the MB and iB series are efficient machines that offer fast print speeds and a large paper capacity. Print, copy, scan and fax options are standard.

Our Favorite MAXIFY Printers

We checked out reviews for the MAXIFY line as well and also factored in compatible cartridge pricing, so you can get the best deal.

MAXIFY MB5420 – Buy on Amazon

Capable of producing laser sharp text and high quality color prints, the MB5420 uses high capacity cartridges that offer a low cost per page. With print speeds of up to 24 pages per minute and a 500-sheet paper capacity, it can consistently handle high volume output. Single pass duplex scanning automatically scans both sides of a page, making document scanning a breeze.

This printer uses four PGI-2200 individual cartridges: black, cyan, magenta and yellow. They are sold in a standard and high yield, or XL cartridge size.  We recommend going with the XL cartridge if your business prints at a high volume.  The black Canon PGI-2200 XL cartridge prints 2500 pages and goes for $36.99. Each color cartridge is $27.99 and print approximately 1,500 pages. LD brand compatibles for the Canon PGI-2200 are far less expensive, at just $11.49 for the black cartridge and $10.49 for each color.

MAXIFY MB2720 – Buy on Amazon

Canon Maxify MB2720 touts a slightly cheaper price tag with similar print, scan and fax capabilities, offering high-quality print results and low per-page cost.  Designed for businesses with 1-4 users, Canon’s Management Information Base monitors ink and paper levels and printer notifications from anywhere.  Canon also offers their own print app, which lets you print wirelessly from any mobile device or tablet.

An original Canon black PGI-1200 XL cartridge goes for $36.99 and prints 2500 pages.  High yield Canon color cartridges are $19.99 each and offer a yield of 900 pages.  LD brand compatible Canon PGI-1200 cartridges are just $11.49 and the color cartridges are $10.49 apiece.

MAXIFY MB5020 – Buy on Amazon

The Canon Maxify MB5020 features fast print speeds of up to 23 pages per minute and high quality prints for a low cost per page.  It has many of the same features as the MB5420, including duplex printing and wireless print options, for a slightly cheaper price point.  However, it does not include single pass duplex scanning, so if that’s a must-have, you’ll want to pay up for the MB5420.

The printer uses the same PG-2200 cartridges as the MB5420 as well.  Original Canon brand high yield PGI-2200 cartridges (PGI-2200XL) cost between $27.99 to $36.99, depending on the color you need.  LD Products offers a compatible high yield black cartridge for $11.49 and $10.49 per color.


Canon offers a lot of great printers, but with so many to choose from, finding the perfect fit for your needs and your budget can be daunting.  Now that you know the differences between the PIXMA and MAXIFY series you can shop for the best solution for your home or office with confidence.

*Savings based on price comparison between remanufactured/compatible cartridge prices on www.LDProducts.com and OEM cartridge and printer prices from the listed retailers: Amazon, and Staples. All products are reviewed independently. As an Amazon associate, LD Products earns from qualifying purchases through links on this page.  All prices effective as of August 9, 2019.  OEM names are registered trademarks of their respective owners and are not affiliated with, and do not endorse LD Products.

4 Comments

  • !I had a Canon 920 which Was nice for a 1 person family use. It quit suddenly printing anything black. After checking all the cartridges and taking it to a repair shop it was determined to be garbage. I like what the 922 seems to be very close to the 920. The biggest thing they didn’t put in the 922 is 2 trays,one for paper and one for pictures.

  • I have always been a Canon person. When I was in business, I sold only Canon printers. So it stands to reason when i was in the market for a printer, I purchased a Canon MX922 printer. After 6 months the printer stopped working. I Called canon and after a through diagnostic exam, they determined it was broke. They sent my a reconditioned printer, even though i purchased a brand new one 6 months earlier. OK, so i got the printer and I was happy to print again. Now one and a half years later the bulb goes out in the ADF. Canon tells me this is not a repairable item. so now i can not use my ADF. I have had other canon printer and had no problem with them. I think it is time to look for a printer that will last more than 2 years.

  • My biggest mistake was to buy a cannon pixma ts3150…setup to my computer is impossible…can only use it with my phone….have tried for 10 days to get this to work…have implemented all suggestions from canon pages…but nothing works…and forget customer support…they never answer….will throw this in the recycle bin….and search for a good printer

    • Like many, I was a Canon fan. Then, the last 2 Canon pixmas have packed it in after 2 years each: problems that can’t be fixed. I’m upset about adding a printer to the landfill every 2 years.

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