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Canon Pixma G4511: Basic multi-printer with cheap ink

Canon Pixma G4511: Basic multi-printer with cheap ink

Tested product: Canon Pixma G4511
Award: From SEK 3,599 at Prisjakt.

When it comes to printers in the home or the office of the small and self-employed, not much has happened in the development of technology in recent years. The most interesting thing has been two things: More and more convenient ways to print from mobile devices, and new systems for inkjet printing that make them more competitive in printing cost compared to laser printers.

The trend started with the Epson Ecotank and in 2018 we tested the challenger from HP who had launched their own Smart Tank printers with the same concept. What it comes down to are printers with ink tanks that you refill with bottles and separate, longer-lasting print heads, instead of minimal ink cartridges with built-in print heads.

Many different options

Now it’s the turn of Canon and the Pixma G, a series of inkjet printers that work in the same way. Here we have tested the Pixma G4511, the most feature-rich and most expensive model, with multi-sheet document feeder, built-in fax, connection with both WiFi, fixed network and USB and a price of around SEK 4,500.

Canon Pixma G4511
We have to flip the printer all the way up to access the ink tanks.

But the prices of this kind of product can vary quite a lot in the trade, so it is not impossible to find a bargain at a lower price. There are also simpler models, for example without a scanner, for at least SEK 2,200.

The Pixma G4511 is thus a multifunction inkjet printer for the home or a small office that only needs to print single pages at a time, perhaps a handful of times a day.

It is primarily intended for paper printing, but like all inkjet printers, you also have the option of feeding in photo paper and getting beautiful, high-resolution photo prints. There are better printers for that purpose though, photo prints with the G4511 give us some obvious dot artefacts and a little low color saturation compared to printers made for photos.

Canon Pixma G4511
Ink is filled straight into the tank with a hole behind a rubber cap.

Best looking in black and white

Paper prints, however, spit it out without a problem, a single black and white printout can take as little as seven seconds from when we press the button on the computer until we have a document in our hands. If we are lucky. The printer has a tendency to start flushing the print heads or ink channels just when we are about to print. Then you may have to wait between half and a full minute for your printout.

By contrast, a standard-quality, full-coverage color printout takes about 48 seconds. And yes, it can print A4 completely borderless, if you want.

The print quality is acceptable but we have seen better. If we print a web page or pdf, we get a slight red dot in image elements. However, clean color surfaces look nice and even, even if the black in both graphics and photo elements is quite pale. Pure black and white text documents look best, with good precision for fine print and just the right amount of weight in the black.

Takes up a lot of space

The printer is a hefty piece, It takes up 44 x 33 cm of table space, but you also need an extra decimeter backwards and two forwards when you fold out trays for input and output of paper. A paper magazine on the underside would have been welcome for such a sturdy device. However, the input tray holds 100 sheets, which can be considered perfectly fine

At the top, it has a flatbed scanner in A4 format, as well as a document feeder on the top where you can stack 20 pages for quick scanning. You can save these as pdfs to a USB stick directly from the printer or to a pre-configured shared folder on your local network if you are connected to it.

Canon Pixma G4511
Most of the control panel is taken up by buttons that are used only for faxing. Canon should have been able to make better use of these. As well as throwing in a nicer screen.

Of course, it also works as a simple copier, and gives us good results if we adjust the brightness of the copies down slightly from the standard setting. Doing that, or scanning to usb from the printer is a rather messy story, as the interface on the Pixma G4511 consists of a cramped little two-line LCD screen and four navigation buttons underneath.

However, the big thing about the Pixma G is, as I said, the ink handling and the printing costs. The printer has three large tanks for cyan, magenta and yellow in one corner at the front, and then an extra large tank for black on the other side. We get a full set of ink, as well as an extra refill of the black tank. A full tank of each color is estimated to be enough for around 7000 prints.

We also get two separate print heads for black and color that need to be fitted. These are quite tricky to get in place. The ink is easier to refill, but there is a significant risk of spillage. For example, newer models of the Epson Ecotank solve this better, with spill-proof bottles that empty into the tank automatically.

Printing cost and review

Price for prints

The printing cost roughly matches the competitors with under three cents per page for black and white prints and under ten cents for full color, if you stick to modest color coverage of around 20 percent of the page, or 40 percent when printing in color. It roughly corresponds to a normal A4 with text or a pdf or web page with mixed text and images.

Canon Pixma G4511 ink
The ink comes in containers of 70 and 135 milliliters respectively. That’s exactly what comes to mind.

The other thing that printers have become good at in recent years is smooth connection to mobile phones. Pixma G4511 supports a wide range of services available for it. Above all, it is compatible with both Apple Airprint, Google Cloud Print and the popular third-party service Mopria for Android. It is possible to connect with Wifi Direct from a mobile, if the printer is not shared in the local network.

On a PC, during installation you get the option to choose a handful of extra programs, for example a plugin for extra easy printing from Internet Explorer, the photo management program My Image Garden and a quick pop-up menu. It gives you easier access to a bunch of basic settings, extra printing functions for example collage, scanning function, other Canon programs you chose to install and direct link to order more ink.

There are just so many extras, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But none of these are a must. You can choose to just install a driver instead.

Canon Pixma G4511 software
Canon Quick Menu provides quick access to lots of functions and appears as a small widget in the corner when we activate it.

Opinion
The Pixma G does not add anything unique or new to the printer industry, but shows that even Canon can make print-saving and handy inkjet printers that are also suitable for slightly more active use without ruining the user. In future models, we especially want to see more convenient ink refilling and a better interface for scanning and copying in the control panel.

Facts Canon Pixma G4511

Tested: April 2019
Manufacturer: Canon
Feature: Multifunction printer
Printing technology: Inkjet, cmyk
Resolution, printer: 4800×1200 dpi
Resolution, scanner: 600×1200 dpi
Paper format: Up to A4
Paper tray: 100 sheets A4
Document feeder: 20 sheets
Connections: Usb 2.0, lan, telephone for fax
Wireless: 802.11n (Wifi 4), 2.4 GHz
Mobile printing: Pixma Cloud Link, Apple Airprint, Google Cloud Print, Wireless Direct, Mopria
Print speed, single page: approx. 8 sec b/w, approx. 40 sec colour
Print speed, more pages: about 9/min b/w, about 2/min color
Printing economy (according to ISO 24711/243712): 2.7 öre b/w, 9.6 öre colour
Sound level: 0-47 dBa
Power usage: 4 W standby, 15 W when printing
Size, folded: 44.5 x 33 x 19.7 cm
Size, including paper tray: 44.5 x 52 x 24.2
Rec. Award: about SEK 4,500
Award: From SEK 3,599 at Prisjakt.

plus

Large ink tanks and good printing economy
Good text prints
Many connectivity options

minus

Faded color prints
Takes up a lot of space
Busy to scan and copy

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