Canon Pixma G1220 review | PCMag
A long-awaited upgrade to the Canon Pixma G1200 that we reviewed four years ago, the Pixma G1220 MegaTank inkjet printer ($ 179.99) is a weird bird among the inkjet jets at single function or print only. Being a MegaTank bulk ink model – a Canon printer that, like Epson’s EcoTank machines, draws its ink not from cartridges but from reservoirs filled with bottles – makes it distinctive. What makes it attractive? Its running costs are among the lowest in the market, and it is priced about a third lower than the 2017 version. Compared to the avalanche of entry-level MFPs, the G1220 lacks features and churning. slow, so it’s not for everyone. But if all you need is to print lots of high-quality photos and business documents or occasional homework, over time this Pixma is one of the cheaper solutions.
Small and simple
A single-function printer is by design simple to use: although it supports multiple types and sizes of paper, it only prints. There is no scanner for making copies or scanning documents, so there is no need for an automatic document feeder (ADF), which reduces the size of the device compared to a machine all-in-one (AIO).
The Pixma G1220 measures 5.4 x 17.6 x 13 inches (HWD) with its trays closed, and it weighs 10.6 pounds. It’s the same size as, but about a pound lighter than its predecessor G1200, and much smaller and lighter than the award-winning Editors’ Choice HP Tango X semi-portable photo printer. Epson’s Expression HD Photo XP -15000 wide-format inkjet printer (another PCMag favorite), is much larger, as it can accommodate paper up to 13 x 19 inches.
Paper handling consists of a 100-sheet drawer that doubles as a 20-sheet premium photo paper drawer when needed. In comparison, HP’s Tango X only holds 50 sheets, and Epson’s XP-15000 holds up to 250.
Print-only machines also don’t require a lot of control panel. As you can see in the image below, the G1220 only has a handful of buttons and status indicators …
If you’ve noticed the lack of Wi-Fi or wireless network controls, it’s because the G1220 doesn’t support Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, NFC, or Bluetooth. In fact, its only connectivity option is USB (bring your own cable), which means you can connect a single Windows or macOS laptop or desktop, but no portable device.
Bundled software and specialized documents
The somewhat meager software bundle includes the Pixma G1220 driver, Canon’s Easy-PhotoPrint editor, and PosterArtist Lite. Easy-PhotoPrint Editor is, as you might guess, an image editing and enhancing program that helps you prepare photos for printing. You can do things like resize, crop, and apply correction and enhancement filters like sharpening or removing red eye. PosterArtist Lite is also exactly what it sounds like, an app for creating posters and other photo arrangements.
You can further beautify your images by printing them on specialty papers such as 5-square-inch glossy double-sided matte paper, Canon Magnetic and Recollable Photo Paper, or iron-on transfers. (These and other specialized media are available from the Canon online store.)
Slow document pages and fast snapshots
Canon rates the G1220 at 9.1 pages per minute (ppm) for black and 5 ppm for color. If you print a lot of long documents or large photos, these speeds quickly get tedious. It is also important to point out that this Pixma does not support automatic two-sided printing. To print double-sided pages, you will need to turn the stack manually. I performed my tests via USB connection from our Intel Core i5 PC running Windows 10 Pro. (Learn more about how we test printers.)
For our first test, I timed the Pixma while it was printing our 12 page Microsoft Word document. The G1220 averaged 8.9 ppm, just below its rated speed. This result is average among the printers mentioned here so far; Epson’s XP-15000, for example, managed 7.9 ppm while the HP Tango X won with 9.6 ppm.
Then I timed the G1220 as it printed our colorful and complex business documents consisting of Adobe Acrobat PDF files containing business graphics and fonts in various sizes and colors, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets with tables and assorted graphics and PowerPoint documents featuring colorful full-page business graphics. . Then I combined those results with the hours from the text document and got an average score of 5.2 ppm.
It’s also average for printers in this class, although the Tango lags behind with a paltry 1.8 ppm. To complete the testing, I timed the G1220 as it printed two of our colorful and detailed 4 x 6 inch snapshots. The average print time was 52 seconds per photo, which is not fast but respectable. (The Tango took 59 seconds.)
There are two things you can be sure of with most Canon Pixmas: they print well and they print slowly. The good news is that the release of the G1220 is worth the wait, especially the photos. Images are printed with more than acceptable detail and crisp, brilliant colors. The Canon can print borderless photos up to letter size (8.5 x 11 inches).
The G1220 also did a decent job with our business documents, although the full-page graphics were almost too much for that; he printed them very slowly too. But entry-level inkjets weren’t really designed to print stacks of full-page documents.
Pixmas generally prints readable, beautiful text with attractive spacing and well-formed characters, and this one is no exception. The G1220’s print quality almost makes up for its slowness – almost.
Printing for pennies
More than anything else, the main draw of the Pixma G1220 is its extremely low operating costs: around 0.3 cents per page for monochrome and 0.8 cents for color. And Canon sweetened the deal by adding two more 170ml black ink bottles, for a total of about 1,800 black pages in the box. According to Canon, the three 70ml color bottles (cyan, magenta and yellow) are good for 7,700 prints.
These numbers roughly match those of most Canon MegaTank, Epson EcoTank, and HP Smart Tank Plus printers (although EcoTank color pages cost 0.9 cents). But Epson offers two years of ink with some EcoTank machines, which is by far the best value for money.
Admittedly, print-only machines are rare, especially at the entry level, but if every month you print a few hundred photos and only an occasional document, the Pixma G1220 is relatively inexpensive to buy and use. When you run out of ink, a set of three 70ml color bottles costs just $ 12.99 and a black 170ml bottle costs $ 17.99. Overall, this is a simple machine that prints slowly but at an exceptionally low cost per page. The Pixma G1220 offers a smart way to print stacks of photos and other pages for you and your family, if you and yours can be patient.
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