IT Pro Verdict
Cheap running costs
Built in fax capabilities
Plenty of features
Expensive compared to rivals
Canon’s Pixma G7050 Is another example of the increasingly popular tank-based style of inkjet MFP, where the ink supply comes not in the form of disposable cartridges, but as separate bottles. However, while some printers in this category are relatively stripped back in terms of capabilities, this monster adds in just about every feature you could ever need from an MFP, right up to fax functions.
Consequently, this printer is absolutely massive, dwarfing smaller rivals like the Epson EcoTank ET-3850, and weighing in at a decidedly chunky 9.6kg. Despite its bulk, however, there's barely an inch of free space, and packing in all those features also results in a printer that looks busy. The fax capabilities in particular mean that the control panel needs an entire number keypad built into it so you can dial out to send them.
This function, along with every other one, is controlled using a two-line text-only LCD screen, which sounds woefully inadequate compared to the technicolour marvel of the Canon Pixma TS8350’s screen. Surprisingly though, the display is actually okay in use. A snazzy touchscreen would certainly make life easier than scrolling through one text option at a time as on this model, but at least this tilts up nicely, meaning you can operate it from seated or standing - although you'll be far better off operating the G7050 via an external connection. To that end, this printer supports ethernet, Wi-Fi and USB connections, as well as a range of mobile and cloud printing options.
There are other benefits to buying this larger Canon “MegaTank” printer rather than smaller and cheaper options like the Epson EcoTank ET-2710. For instance it has a 250-sheet plain paper tray built into the base, meaning that you can keep this main tray stocked with plain paper and also print onto speciality media using the rear feeder. There’s also an automatic sheet feeder on the top that can rattle through copying or faxing a 35-page document.
Just don’t expect improvements in printing quality. Its mono prints are solid and dependable, and the colour prints are reasonable – especially when you consider how much they cost, with mono pages working out at 0.2p, and colour sheets at 0.4p. Photos didn’t come out as strong as we’d expect from a Canon printer in our tests, but some compromise is acceptable, given that a full ink refill costs just over £40 after tax.
None of the tank-based printers are particularly fast when compared to other printers in the same bracket, and the Pixma G7050 follows the same path, usually sitting somewhere between the middle and the bottom of the speed charts.
If you need fax capabilities, the G7050 is a great choice; if you don’t, you should consider the Pixma TS6250 for around £70– or the Pixma G5050, which doesn’t include a scanner but is something of a bargain at less than £200.
Canon Pixma G7050 specifications
|1,200 x 2,400dpi A4 inkjet MFP, 1,200 x 2,400dpi colour flatbed A4 scanner
|250-sheet input tray, 100-sheet rear feed
|403 x 369 x 234mm