Canon Pixma MG5320 Printer

The Canon Pixma MG5320 Wireless Inkjet Photo All-In-One Printer costs a reasonable $150 (as of August 5, 2011), hitting the pricing sweet spot at the consumer-oriented end of the category. It also manages to lift itself above the crowd a bit by adding CD/DVD printing capability, plus some other improvements.

The ability to print on specially coated CDs or DVDs is still pretty rare. The Pixma MG5320 comes with a caddy that inserts into a slot above the output area; also included is an adapter for 3.15-inch discs. Canon offers no on-machine storage for the caddy, which is inconvenient. And the disc-printing process involves a specific sequence of steps that is confusingly covered in two places: under the loading/unloading media discussion in the Printing section of the documentation, and under the layout and printing explanation in the documentation for the bundled Easy-PhotoPrint EX software. The printer also takes a few minutes to prepare itself to print on a disc.

Paper handling is generous for an MFP in this price range. The MG5320 has a bottom drawer for holding up to 150 sheets of letter-size plain paper; a rear, 150-sheet vertical tray takes everything else. Duplex (two-sided) printing is automatic. The 50-sheet output tray is adequately sized, and it opens automatically when you send a print job. Other features include both USB and wireless connectivity, a USB/PictBridge port, and slots for MultiMedia Card, Memory Stick, and SD Card.

The scanner lid incorporates the control panel, which includes a 3-inch, tiltable color LCD. Navigation is a little more complicated than usual: A scrollwheel moves through menus, and an 'OK' button chooses an item. Canon also adds three function buttons for selecting items that show at the bottom of the display. The overall setup feels like a few too many buttons--but as with many things, once you get used to the arrangement, it's workable.

In our tests, we saw impressively fast photo-printing speeds from the Canon Pixma MG5320, rating it good or very good. Snapshot-size photos printed on letter-size paper flew out at a rate of 3.3 pages per minute. Text speed was comfortably above average at 7.7 ppm. Monochrome copy speed was good.

Output quality was mostly good. At the default settings we use for testing, text appeared fairly crisp and black. Test photos that seemed orangey and overly bright on plain paper mellowed to realistic tones on Canon's own photo paper. Scans of color photos tended to look dark, but monochrome scans and copies were sharp.