Canon PIXMA MX515 

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Recently I have been spending time picking up printed documents from the floor. To find out more about the device forcing me to carry out this task, read on.

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With its lacquered black casing, the Canon PIXMA MX515 is an All-in-One device that offers print, scan, fax and copy facilities with an ADF feature that has a 30-page capacity.  There is a choice of standalone USB or either wired or wireless network connectivity.  With rounded corners and a sloping plinth top, the unit has dimensions of 458 x 385 x 200mm.

The top-mounted plinth is actually the scanner lid and combines the ADF feature with the unit’s control panel.  This panel features a 6.2cm TFT colour LCD screen that provides feedback and status information.  On the left of the LCD are buttons for power, menu and the four main tasks of copy, fax, scan and photo print.  A four-way navigation arrangement with an OK button sits just to the right of the screen and to the left of a telephonic keypad which is illuminated when the fax option is selected.  In addition there are buttons to switch between monochrome and colour output.

A drop-down panel at the front of the unit reveals the paper input tray with a capacity of 100 sheets plus an extendable support tray for the paper output.  Unfortunately, even when fully extended, the output tray often failed to stop printed documents from being scattered over the floor.  This flap must be lower before the printer will accept data for printing.

A PictBridge/USB port and memory card slot (SD, MMC and Memory Stick formats) are located to the left of the paper input/output.  A compartment for the inkjet print cartridges is on the right side.  To gain access to this compartment for inserting the two cartridges (black and colour), you do have to open both the paper output cover and a flap concealing the compartment.  Following the opening and closing of this compartment, the printer will run though an automatic maintenance routine.

At the start of the software installation for this product, you will be guided through the connectivity set-up process.  You can select from the USB standalone or a network connection using either a wired or wireless option.  Both the USB and Ethernet connections are located at the rear of the unit on the left hand side of the unit.  As well as guiding you through the chosen process, you can also select which of the provided features will form part of the installation.  These items include drivers, an on-screen manual, MP Navigator EX, Speed Dial utility, Easy PhotoPrint EX and Easy WebPrint which reported a compatibility problem with my version of Internet Explorer.

The Canon print driver gives you a choice of Fast, Standard or High print quality.  I ran my usual tests using a 102-word document in monochrome before adding some colour elements and then repeating the tests.  The results can be seen in the table below.

Canon PIXMA MX515
Fast (Draft) 18.5ppm 10ppm
Standard 14ppm 6ppm
High 6ppm 2ppm

It was noticeable that the drop in speed, especially with regards to High quality, brought about a decrease in the print noise level.  That is not to say the other modes were particularly noisy, just not as quiet as the High quality print mode.  Using the ADF feature, which feeds pages through the scanner before passing them on to the printer, took 92 seconds to copy an 8-page document.  A single A4 colour photocopy was produced in 26 seconds. Print quality was fine in all modes although you might prefer not to use Fast mode for really important documents.

Switching to photo printing, using the Canon software, produced a borderless 10 x 15cm print in 45 seconds.  A single A4 image required 1 minute 50 seconds to complete.  When combining four different images on A4 photo paper, the print time was increased slightly to 1 minute 55 seconds.  In all cases I was happy with the print quality produced using both glossy and matte photo paper.  When using the scanner you have the choice of scanning to the computer for further work or direct to the printer in photocopy mode.

The Fax facility supports mono and colour transmissions with rates of three seconds and one minute per page respectively.  Up to 50 pages can be stored in the Fax memory.  Features such as redial, dual access and group dialling are all supported.

The PIXMA MX515 is supplied with a colour and black cartridge that are both rated at 180 pages.  Replacement cartridges are available from various sources with pricing them at £12.72 for black and £10.94 for colour.  At the time of writing, Amazon was advertising the Canon PIXMA MX515 at £83.98.

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