Canon

Canon Maxify GX5020 review | PCMag

Like most tank-based inkjet printers, the Canon Maxify GX5020 offers cheap ink as its main selling point. Canon’s claimed cost per page with this single-function (print only) model is less than 2 cents, but your cost may actually be much lower. This poses the usual trade that these tank designs require: you pay a high upfront price (here, $399.99) for the printer itself, in exchange for the privilege of getting cheap ink. The advantage here, however, is that if you print enough pages, the running cost savings box make the GX5020 a real bargain. This potential, along with speed, paper handling, and output quality that hit all the right notes, makes the Maxify GX5020 our new Editors’ Choice among single-function printers for home offices.


A powerful color printer

The GX5020 offers paper handling suitable for intensive printing by personal standards in micro offices, or light to medium printing in a small office, either as a personal USB-connected printer or as a desktop printer. shared printer on a network. Its support for mobile printing, using the Canon apps available for Android and iOS devices, gives it a bit more functionality than just printing from a PC.

The 250-sheet drawer is complemented by a 100-sheet rear tray, which makes it easy to load two different types or sizes of paper, and also makes it easy to quickly replace paper in the rear tray if you need to print on another type or size. the size. Both accept up to legal size. Like most printers today, the GX5020 also offers automatic two-sided printing.

Canon Maxify GX5020 with paper tray partially open

Canon recommends a monthly duty cycle for the printer of 200 to 3,300 pages. However, 1,400 pages (70 per working day on average) would be the maximum if you don’t want to add paper more than once a week or so.

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Small enough to be a personal printer

The GX5020 is compact enough to share a desk, so you can easily reach the output tray or view messages on the control panel’s two-line LCD display. It weighs 19.8 pounds and measures just 13.1 x 15.8 x 25.2 inches (HWD) with the input and output trays fully extended. It’s also easy to share, thanks to connection choices that include Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct, as well as USB. For my performance tests, I connected via Ethernet.

The physical setup and software installation was straightforward. After removing the packing material, pouring the bottled ink into the reservoirs, installing the paper, and plugging in the power cord, the instructions send you to the Canon website to download and install the driver setup routine . After downloading, the rest of the configuration is largely automated, including the alignment step. The only potential snag is that to connect via Ethernet you should be aware that you must first enable the feature via the front panel.

Refilling the yellow ink tank of the Canon Maxify GX5020 printer

For mobile printing, the Canon app lets you print documents or photos from your phone or tablet, and easily print from cloud sites. It even adds what you might think of as a minimal copy feature, letting you take a photo of a document on your phone and print it out in one step. Note that if you connect the printer to your PC via Ethernet, you must connect your mobile device via the same network rather than using Wi-Fi Direct to connect directly to the printer.


Maxify GX5020 review: Reasonable speed, sterling output

Canon rates the GX5020 at 24ppm for monochrome black pages and 15.5ppm for color. In our performance tests, using our standard benchmark, ratings were a little slow, hitting 20.6ppm (32 seconds) for our 12-page Word text file, not including the first page. For comparison, this is basically tied to the Canon Maxify iB4120, but a few seconds slower than the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-7310, which managed 23.6 ppm (28 seconds), or the Lexmark C3426dw, which came in at 26 .4 ppm (25 seconds). ). Note that these three printers are also rated at 24ppm or 25ppm for monochrome printing and the C3426dw is a color laser. The iB4120 and WF-7310 are both inkjet.

Sure, even a few seconds of difference every few pages can add up for long documents, but that only matters if you’re actually printing long documents. These numbers also leave out the time to first page, which has a big effect on overall speed when printing just a few pages. The GX5020 has the edge for one- or two-page files, with a first page out (FPO) time in our tests of 7 seconds. The C3426dw and iB4120 both came in with an FPO of 10 seconds, while the WF-7310 took 12 seconds.

The Canon Maxify GX5020 printer control panel

On our pro suite, which adds files including graphics and color, the GX5020 took 3 minutes and 26 seconds (7.3ppm), essentially tying the iB4120 for slowest of this bunch. The WF-7310 was a little faster, at 2:54 (8.6ppm), while the C3426dw was fast enough to notice, at 2:13 (11.3ppm). In our photo suite, the GX5020 took an average of 48 seconds for a 4 x 6-inch photo.

Text quality in our tests ranked first among inkjet printers. Character edges were just below the sharpness of a laser printer, and almost all fonts in our tests likely to be used in standard business documents were well-formed and very legible at 4 points. The only two exceptions were easily readable at 5 points. One of the heavily styled fonts, with thick strokes, was very legible and well-formed at 8 points, which is what most lasers do. Another was readable at 8 points, but loops tended to fill out. Unless you’re using small fonts, you won’t see a problem.

Top (with rear paper feed), front and left side of the Canon Maxify GX5020 printer

Graphics with the default quality setting had subtle banding in dark color fills and more obvious banding for gray and black fills. But the colors were vibrant and well saturated; the edges were sharp; and fine lines, including a single-pixel-wide line on a black background, held up well. Photos on the recommended Canon Glossy II Photo Paper were at the cutting edge of drugstore quality, with neutral colors, good color saturation, and no visible banding.

Last point: our waterproof tests, which consist of putting a few drops of water on a printed output at least 24 hours earlier and wiping it gently. On plain paper, color ink and black ink are only lightly smudged, but dry to show obvious water spots in graphics. On Canon’s recommended photo paper, the color ink offered good water resistance, but the black ink showed obvious smearing. Very positive, black and color ink on plain paper held up to highlighter without smudging.


High-level inkjet output quality, low running cost

The Canon Maxify GX5020 combines class-leading inkjet output quality, especially for text, with a running cost that Canon claims is less than 2 cents per page (or per “page image”, if you print on both sides). But Canon is conservative here. The actual cost of ink, on which most running expense claims are based, is 0.5 cents per monochrome black page and 0.7 cents per color page. And that’s before you consider the full-size ink bottles that come with the printer.

As always, though, keep in mind that low running costs don’t necessarily save money. What you need to look at is the total cost of ownership, which is the cost to operate over the life of the printer plus the initial cost. (See How to save money on your next printer for how to estimate total cost of ownership.)

If you’re not printing enough for the Maxify GX5020’s low cost per page to lower the total cost, consider the Maxify iB4120 instead, which is our top pick for lighter printing in a micro or home office. It offers a higher cost of operation over time, but a lower initial purchase price. The Lexmark C3426dw is also a good alternative, with the benefits of laser-sharp output for text and faster speed. And if you need to print on tabloid-size paper, also consider the WF-7310, which is our top pick for tabloid-size printing in a micro or home office.

That said, some people will print enough that the low cost of ink will pay off in the long run. For them, the GX5020’s combination of speed, output quality and paper handling makes it an editors’ easy choice for a single-function color printer for intensive home office printing.

The essential

A powerful single-function printer, the Canon Maxify GX5020 stands out for its low cost per page, combined with print speeds and paper capacities that allow you to take full advantage of potential savings.

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