Canon Pixma iP5200R
The Pixma iP5200R is similar in many ways to its little brother, the iP4200, but with a few more features to justify an extra £60. For a start it has two paper trays. One is a cassette-type input tray of the type normally found in laser printers but it’s very shallow and only holds 150 sheets of standard paper. The other input tray is the standard top-loading sheet feeder found on most inkjet printers.
The principal difference between this and the iP4200 is the speed of its print engine. According to Canon’s quoted figures, it should be about 30 per cent quicker for photo output, 25 per cent quicker for colour document output, and marginally quicker for mono output. Our speed tests bore out this speed improvement – 10ppm for plain text (11 seconds for the first page), 1 minute 12 seconds for an A4 photo, and 51 seconds for a 6 x 4-inch borderless photo.
However, such differences are unlikely to be noticed by the average user unless they’re putting out a serious volume of printed material, in which case an inkjet printer really isn’t an economical choice anyway. Furthermore, print quality is identical to that of the iP4200.
So what else is there to set the iP5200R apart from its sibling? Well, we’re not quite sure why, but the R in its name designates extra connectivity, in the form of both Ethernet and 802.11 wireless. It’s nice to see connectivity options over and above USB in an inkjet printer, although we’re not convinced that this is the kind of device you’d want to share among multiple users. We’d have thought USB would suffice for most users.
We were also pleased to see a well-designed and easy-to-use utility which makes setting up the printer on a wireless network a breeze – such functionality for Mac users is usually overlooked by printer manufacturers. Having this wireless connectivity is probably most useful if you’re a PowerBook user who doesn’t always work in the same room of the house.
If you’re looking for a good printer with a wireless connection, the iP5200R is well worth considering. But aside from this, there’s little to recommend this printer over Canon’s lower-end, and considerably cheaper iP4200.