Canon Pixma TS8050 review

A cleverly designed MFP in more ways than one

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Our Verdict

When printing full colour documents and photos, Canon’s six ink system has a real advantage, producing vibrant and professional results. The clever foldaway design and large touchscreen are also highlights, but the Pixma’s running costs aren’t cheap.

For

  • Space saving foldaway design
  • Wi-Fi and NFC pairing
  • Impressive connectivity
  • Six ink system improves colour fidelity

Against

  • ‘Setup’ cartridges supplied are standard size, not XL
  • Refills are expensive
  • Slow print speeds
  • Text looks a little heavy when not on ‘Fine’ setting

Canon’s remarkably compact multifunction printer has more features and functions than most large office MFPs. Printing, scanning and copying are a given, but with three in-trays, it can print onto blank compact discs as well as envelopes and paper of any size.

The scanner resolution is impressive and its print resolution is even higher at 9,600 x 2,400 dpi. This MFP – which retails at £150 (around $195, AU$260) – adds an SD card slot to its inputs and can print on both sides of plain paper. The 4.3-inch touchscreen is one of the best on the market too, but that’s not its unique selling point. With six ink cartridges instead of the usual four or five, this device has a real advantage when it comes to printing colour images.

Design and build

Canon is the master of miniaturisation, and somehow, all of these features fit into a smooth shoebox-sized unit that packs up tightly enough to fit in a desk drawer. Almost every panel of the Pixma TS8050 folds or slides to reveal an access hatch, or another paper tray. Our favourite design feature is the way the paper delivery tray slides out automatically whenever you print.

Our only concern is that there are so many moving plastic pieces that could easily snap off over time. The two paper in-trays are both worryingly wobbly already. On a more positive note, the SD card slot will be useful for photographers and it’s good to see a full set of Ethernet and USB ports.

Spec Sheet

Here are the full specs of the Canon Pixma TS8050:

Type: Multifunction colour inkjet printer  

Functions: Print, copy, scan 

Ink: 6 cartridges (C, M, Y, BK, GY, PGBK)

Connectivity: Ethernet, Wi-Fi, USB, NFC

Data storage slot: USB port, SD card slot 

Print speed: 15 ppm (mono), 10 ppm (colour)

Paper tray capacity: 100 sheets  

Print quality: 9,600 x 2,400 dpi

Scan quality: 4,800 x 2,400 dpi 

Apple AirPrint: Yes

Google Cloud Print: Yes

App support: Yes (iOS/Android)  

Consumables included: Six setup ink cartridges   

Size/Weight: 139 x 327 x 324mm (H x W x D); 6.5kg

Features

The key feature Canon offers over rival brands is the six cartridge ink system. The extra colour is grey, which helps the Pixma express shading and it means you have to replace the black ink tank less frequently. 

Printing and scanning in full colour and at high resolution can be done easily from a Mac or PC, or a mobile device using the handy companion app called Canon Print on iOS or Android. 

Your connectivity options are exhaustive, with a square USB port, plus a front USB connector for thumb drives and an SD card slot for cameras, while your wireless options include Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi direct and NFC for bump-pairing an NFC-capable phone. 

There are two paper trays which can be loaded simultaneously with plain paper and envelopes, or photo paper, and the 4.3-inch colour display is a touchscreen. You can use this to access Canon’s Cloud Link feature that makes it easy to print directly from social media sites like Instagram. These sort of images look rather good when printed onto square (13 x 13cm) photo paper.

Setup and operation

Canon has made the process of getting the Pixma TS8050 set up and online simple, so long as you have access to a computer while you’re doing it, as you’ll need to use one to join the Wi-Fi network. It is possible using only the touchscreen pad, but it takes a lot longer. What there should be is an app to do it all for you. The Canon Print app is just for printing and scanning to and from your phone (and this it does rather well). 

Once connected, we had no problem printing wirelessly from a phone, or a Mac, and for copying and scanning using only the printer, we found the touchscreen display to be a refreshingly intuitive interface.

Performance

The Pixma TS8050 isn’t the fastest inkjet out there, turning out mono pages at a rate of 15 per minute, but they look crisp and black, not to mention consistent each time. Characters look a little heavier than a laser printer, but they also have an appealing blackness that is perhaps down to Canon’s special black pigmentation. 

As you might expect from a camera brand, the emphasis here is on photo printing and that’s where the six ink tank system really gives Canon an unfair advantage. The Pixma TS8050 gets the balance between the colours right, so you get better shading and more realistic hues than many inkjets. At full 9,600 x 2,400 dpi quality, we were impressed by the faithfulness of our prints on Canon’s glossy photo paper.   

This printer is slightly noisier than the smooth running HP LaserJet Pro MFP M227fdw we recently reviewed, but in general, it runs quietly, especially when you actually switch to the machine’s Quiet Mode.