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Canon MAXIFY GX70505 review: A cost-effective inkjet all-rounder for smaller offices

Want a single multifunction printer to do it all without breaking the bank? Canon’s MAXIFY GX7050 fits the bill

Price
£447 exc VAT
  • Every feature a small business needs
  • Very low cost of ownership
  • Versatile paper handling
  • Comparatively expensive to buy

Canon’s MAXIFY GX7050 is an inkjet multifunction peripheral (MFP) aimed at home offices, and at small offices and workgroups. On its front panel, clear windows give users a glance of its most important feature: refillable ink tanks that maximise service intervals and keep running costs to a minimum.

While Canon’s ‘Megatank’ system is the highlight, this MFP literally ticks all the boxes when it comes to features. Its paper handling is particularly impressive, with its two 250-sheet plain paper cassettes supplemented by a 100-sheet rear tray that supports a wide range of media. The printer, and the scanner’s 50-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF), both support duplex (double-sided) operation. You can, for example, make double-sided copies of a double-sided original.

Canon hasn’t overlooked connectivity, meanwhile, with both Wi-Fi and wired Ethernet support. A front-panel USB host port supports walk up scanning and printing, controlled by a reasonably clear and responsive colour touchscreen. Capable of prints, scans, copies and faxes, the GX7050 has the potential to be a perfect small office workhorse. Does it live up to it in practice?

Canon Maxify GX7050 review: Setting up

The key draw of ink tank printers is that they require less maintenance and cost less to run than an equivalent cartridge-based inkjet, or indeed most laser printers. The MAXIFY GX7050 arrives with enough ink for 6,000 black pages, or 14,000 in colour, which helps to explain its high initial purchase price.

The GX7050 is about 60% more expensive than a comparable colour laser MFP such as Xerox’s C235dw, but that arrives with 500-page inbox toners only. Buy the C235dw and enough toner to match the GX7050’s initial yield, and you’ll likely spend more than £1,000 on top of your initial outlay. And when the GX7050 has used all its supplied ink, its ongoing running costs should be less than 0.7p excluding VAT per full-colour page, not the 7-11p typical of competing lasers. 

If you’ve set up an ink tank printer before, you’ll know it’s a little more involved than simply shoving in a few cartridges. Our review sample had been used previously, so we didn’t have the pleasure of emptying the big bottles of supplied ink into its tanks, but the process usually takes a few minutes, and is followed by a one-off ink priming session that lasts several minutes more. Canon has refined its Megatank system, adding physical keying to prevent you accidentally mis-filling with the wrong colours. It’s better, but still seems a little less foolproof than Epson’s competing EcoTank design.

While bigger than a typical inkjet MFP, the GX7050 is on the compact side compared to the small colour laser MFPs that it’s gunning for. At 13kg it’s lighter, too. Its final advantage is that, with a peak power consumption of 27W, it’s likely to use less electricity and generate less heat than a laser equivalent.

Canon Maxify GX7050 review: Printing, scanning and copying

Of course, all this is for nought if the results are slow or poor, but happily Canon hasn’t dropped the ball. This is a swift text printer, delivering a first page in just eight seconds, and going on to complete a 25-page job at a rate of 21.4 pages per minute (ppm). Tested over a 50-page document, the GX7050 reached 25.4ppm - more than a match for many affordable laser devices. Speeds were almost identical in Economy mode, which Canon says uses 50% less ink.

Predictably, the GX7050 was much slower to print complex colour graphics, dropping to 6.1ppm on our 24-page test. While still rapid for an inkjet, here a laser would be much faster - the Xerox C235dw managed 13.1ppm on the same test. Using its rear tray, the GX7050 will print photos with borders on A4 or postcard sized paper. Each print took less than a minute, and the results were generally decent.

This printer’s pigment-based inks won’t deliver a high-gloss finish on photo papers, but they’re ideal for authoritative prints on plain paper. Sure enough, black text was suitably bold, and duplex prints had little bleed through on thinnish 80gsm media. Graphics were generally punchy, but in lighter shades it was surprisingly easy to pick out grain. We also noticed some subtle banding across large colour blocks.

The MAXIFY GX7050 packs a better scanner than you might expect for an office-focused device. Though limited to ‘only’ 1,200dpi, it proved adept at capturing a wide range of shade detail in both light and dark regions of an original. Impressively, duplex scanning via the ADF is achieved via two sensors - much faster and less prone to jamming than mechanically flipping each page over.

Connected via Wi-Fi, preview images took eight seconds, while a 150 dots per inch (dpi) A4 scan completed in 13 seconds. Upping the resolution to 300dpi meant a wait of 21 seconds. Where many office devices struggle to scan photos, the GX7050 was equally at home, completing a 600dpi scan of a 10x15cm print in 29 seconds. We appreciated the lip-less front edge of the scanner plate, which makes it easy to reclaim an original document without scrabbling against a raised plastic edge.

With no warm-up time, the MAXIFY GX7050 completed a single mono copy in 14 seconds, while colour copies took only a further second. Using the ADF we timed a 10-page copy at a minute in black only, and two minutes in colour. We made a colour duplex copy of a 10-page, 20-sided document in five minutes.

Canon Maxify GX7050 review: Verdict

While its colour print quality wasn’t perfect, it’s otherwise hard to fault the MAXIFY GX7050. It’s relatively compact, yet comes with a full array of features to automate and streamline common office tasks. These go beyond the basics, with assets like multiple paper inputs, a USB host port and duplex scanning enabling faster and more flexible work. Considering the target market, the only potential omissions we noticed were the lack of PostScript printing, or a hold print function - though you could always print confidential material directly from a USB stick.

The GX7050 won’t keep pace with a colour laser over colour print or copy jobs, and ultimately its prints lack the crispness of the best laser output. However, factor in running costs and it’s in a league of its own. If you’re not set on a laser, Canon’s MAXIFY GX7050 is a strong performing and flexible office MFP with brilliantly low running costs.

Canon Maxify GX7050 specifications

Technology

Thermal inkjet

Maximum Print Resolution

600x1,200dpi

Dimensions (Hxwxd)

399x410x314mm

Weight

13kg

Maximum Paper Size

A4/legal, custom length to 1,200mm

Warranty

Three years onsite exchange (requires registration)

Details

www.canon.co.uk

Part Code

4471C008AA

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