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Canon Pixma G4510 Review

PRICE WHEN REVIEWED
  • £285
It’s well known that manufacturers of inkjet printers sell their printers as cheaply as possible, and then make most of their profit from selling you expensive ink cartridges that may only last for a few hundred pages before they need to be replaced again. But Canon's Pixma G4510 has a refillable tank and here's our full review.


Epson has been one of the few manufacturers to challenge that status quo in recent years, with its EcoTank range of printers. The up-front cost of the EcoTank printers is quite high when compared to conventional inkjet printers – and they might seem too expensive for home users who only need to use their printer every now and then – but the EcoTank printers do away with ink cartridges altogether and replace them with large ink tanks that are built into the body of the printer.

These tanks have a much higher capacity than conventional ink cartridges, and can be refilled with low-cost bottles of ink that last for thousands of pages before the printer needs to be filled up again. That design reduces the long-term running costs dramatically, making the EcoTank printers a cost-effective option for home workers or businesses that need do a lot of printing work.

And, after watching Epson for a couple of years, Canon has now decided to join in with its own refillable printers in the new Pixma G Series (also known in the US as ‘MegaTank’ printers).

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Like Epson’s EcoTank printers, the Pixma G Series has a fairly high initial purchase price. The range starts at £169 for the ‘entry-level’ G1510, which is a basic, single-function printer with only USB connectivity.

There’s a multi-function model called the G2510, which adds a scanner and copier for £214, but still relies on a USB connection.

The first Wi-Fi model is the G3510, at £259, while the top-of-the-range G4510 that we review here adds a fax and automatic document feeder that bring the total price to £284.

You can buy it from Canon or Amazon.

DESIGN AND FEATURES
Canon has done a good job with the design of the G4510 and, despite the four large internal ink tanks, the printer measures just 445mm wide, 330mm deep and 197mm high, so it won’t take up too much room in a small office. There are some clever touches too, such as the cut-away panels that allow you to view the ink levels while you’re printing.

Getting started is a little nerve-wracking though, as you have to be quite careful when you squirt the four bottles of coloured inks into their individual tanks inside the printer (it’s probably a good idea to put some newspaper around the printer while you’re doing this, just in case).

In most other respects, though, the G4510 is a fairly conventional inkjet printer. It provides 4800x1200dpi printing, 600x1200dpi scanner, and 20-sheet document feeder for scanning and copying. There’s a 100-sheet input tray at the back, with your printed documents feeding out at the front, and the printer supports duplex (two-sided) printing to help save paper.

We had no trouble setting up the G4510 with our Windows laptop, as the Windows software is included on CD-ROM. There are also apps available for iOS and Android mobile devices, as well as support for Apple’s AirPrint. However, there’s no Mac software on the CD-ROM, and Canon’s web site refers Mac users to an Apple Help file that explains how to use AirPrint to print from a Mac.
Yet, when we looked around on Canon’s website, we did find proper Mac drivers and scanning software that we were able to download. However, the Mac drivers didn’t include a duplex option, so Canon really needs to decide whether or not it wants to provide proper support for Macs in the future.

PRINT PERFORMANCE
The G4510 isn’t particularly fast, given its high price and the fact that it is designed to print thousands of pages every year.

Canon claims print speeds of 8.8 pages per minute for mono printing, and just 5ppm for colour, although our own tests with a variety of Word and PDF documents produced speeds of 7.5ppm for mono and 3.5ppm for colour.

We can’t complain about the quality of the printer, though, with the G4510 producing smooth, crisp text output, and attractive colour graphics. It can turn its hand to photo output as well, producing brightly coloured 4x6in postcard prints – albeit at a rather leisurely 60 seconds each.

RUNNING COSTS
It may not be the fastest printer around, but the G4510 will earn its keep, thanks to its extremely low running costs.

A bottle of Canon’s black ink costs £12.99 but lasts for 6000 pages, which comes to a mere 0.22 pence per page – compared to around 2.5p per page for a good inkjet printer. The three bottles of cyan, magenta and yellow inks together will cost a total of £27.27 and last even longer, at 7000 pages.

That works out at just 0.4 pence per page, while most cartridge-based printers typically cost 8-10p per page. Those running costs are also in line with those of Epson’s EcoTank range, so the G4510 will certainly appeal to any business that needs to print hundreds of pages every month.

SPECS
  • A4 colour inkjet printer with 4800x1200dpi resolution
  • 600x1200dpi scanner/copier
  • 100-sheet paper tray
  • USB
  • Wifi, with Apple AirPrint, Mopria (Android)
  • 197x445x330mm
  • 7.3kg

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