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.
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
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.
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.