The Canon Pixma G5020 ($249.99) is one of very few single-function bulk-ink printers available. Like Canon's other MegaTank brand models, it produces excellent output and is affordable to use. It also comes with thousands of pages worth of ink in the box and it supports several connectivity options, as well as a few voice-activation protocols. All these perks make it an excellent value for family, home-based, and small offices with relatively high-volume print requirements. It's our latest Editors' Choice for entry-level to midrange single-function color printers.
At 6.6 by 15.9 by 14.6 inches (HWD) and weighing 14.3 pounds, the G5020, unlike the much larger Editors' Choice Epson WorkForce Pro WF-C5290, takes up very little desk space. Even so, it's about twice as big and bulky as HP's Instant Ink-ready Tango X printer, as well as a few inches larger and about 5 pounds heftier than Canon's own Pixma G1200, another single-function MegaTank machine.Our Experts Have Tested 53 Products in the Printers Category in the Past YearSince 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. (See how we test.)
As a MegaTank printer, the G5020 gets its ink from internal reservoirs, with the three color inks (cyan, yellow, and magenta) on the right side of the chassis, as shown here. (The larger black ink tank is on the left-front side.)4.0Excellent $219.95See Itat Apple.comRead Our HP Tango X Review 4.0Excellent $329.99See It at AmazonRead Our Epson WorkForce Pro WF-C5290 Network Color Printer Review 3.5Good $149.00See Itat AdoramaRead Our Canon Pixma G1200 MegaTank Printer Review 4.0Excellent$279.00See Itat AmazonRead Our Canon Pixma G6020 MegaTank All-in-One Printer Review 4.5Outstanding $1,462.00See Itat AmazonRead Our Brother MFC-J6935DW Review 4.5Outstanding $379.99See Itat Office Depot® & OfficeMax®Read Our Brother MFC-J6945DW INKvestment Tank Color Inkjet All-In-One Printer Review 4.0Excellent $899.99 See Itat AmazonRead Our Canon Pixma TS9120 Wireless Inkjet All-in-One Review 4.0Excellent $349.99See Itat Dell TechnologiesRead Our Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 Wide-Format Inkjet Printer Review4.0Excellent $299.99See Itat AmazonRead Our Epson WorkForce Pro WF-M5299 Monochrome Printer Review
As a single-function machine, the G5020 doesn't require a fancy graphical touch-screen control panel. Instead, what you get is a two-line monochrome text readout-style LED display, navigable from a set of left and right arrow keys and an OK button. In addition to the navigation buttons, the control panel has five others: Power, Home, Settings, Back, and Cancel.
As with most Pixmas nowadays, the G5020 supports voice commands via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant or any other voice-activation system, such as Microsoft's Cortana, Apple's Siri, Samsung's Bixby, that supports IFTTT (If This Then That) scripting. You can, for example, download IFTTT scripts from IFTTT.com or several other voice-activation sites.
As for paper handling, the G5020 holds 350 sheets split between a 250-sheet main drawer up front and a 100-sheet tray that pulls up and out from the back. You can also load the rear tray with 20 sheets of 4-x-6-inch or 10 sheets of 5-x-7-inch photo paper.
The aforementioned WF-C5290, on the other hand, holds 330 sheets and is expandable to 850 with an optional 500-sheet drawer, and the HP Tango X holds only 50 sheets.
Canon rates the G5020's maximum monthly duty cycle at 5,000 pages and doesn't publish a recommended monthly print volume for this product. That's a lot of pages for this little machine, but it should quickly churn out several hundred prints each month without breaking much of a sweat. The WF-C5290, however, is rated at 45,000 pages maximum, and 2,500 pages recommended, and the Tango X's duty cycle is a meager 500 pages.
Standard connectivity interfaces consist of Ethernet up to 100 Base-T, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, connecting to a single PC via USB 2.0, and PictBridge and wireless PictBridge for connecting directly to specific Canon PictBridge-compliant digital cameras and video recorders. Mobile support includes Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, and Mopria Print Service.
Additional Canon mobile (Android and iOS) support consists of the Canon Print app, the Easy Photo Print Editor app, and Message in Print for concealing videos and other messages in printed photos that viewers can, in turn, reveal with the Message in Print app and their smartphone cameras.
In addition to the G5020 wireless MegaTank single-function printer driver, you also get Easy PhotoPrint Editor for editing, enhancing, and printing photos, and PosterArtist Lite Software, a Windows poster layout and printing program. Additionally included are Master Setup, My Printer (Windows only), and Network Tool, a set of utilities for configuring the printer and its network connection. Finally, you get Quick Menu, a collection of one-click shortcuts that provide fast access to the various features and functionality available from the software and the printer itself
Canon rates the G5020 at 10.5 monochrome pages per minute (ppm) and 6.8ppm for color pages. During my tests, which I conducted over an Ethernet connection from our standard Intel Core i5 testbed PC running Windows 10 Professional, the G5020 met or exceeded those ratings. For example, when I printed our 12-page Microsoft Word text document, I clocked this Pixma at 13.2ppm, or almost 2ppm faster than Canon's ratings. That's 6.2ppm faster than the Canon G1200, 3.6ppm ahead of the HP Tango X, and 13.2ppm slower than the Epson WF-C5290.
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To continue testing, I clocked the G5020 as it churned out our collection of highly sophisticated and colorful Adobe Acrobat business documents, Excel spreadsheets and charts and graphs, and PowerPoint handouts containing various business graphics and typefaces at several different sizes and colors. I then combined the scores with those from printing the 12-page text document in the previous test and came up with a score of 5.6ppm for reproducing our entire suite of test documents. That score is 3.7ppm ahead of the Pixma G1200, 3.8ppm faster than the Tango X, and 11.5ppm slower than the WF-C5290.
To round off the testing regimen, and, since Pixmas typically print excellent quality photographs, I also clocked the G5020 as it churned out our highly detailed and colorful 4-by-6-inch snapshots several times and averaged the results. The G5020 churned out the test photos at an average speed of 32 seconds each. That's 12 seconds slower than the Pixma G1200, 26 seconds ahead of the Tango X, and 17 seconds behind the WF-C5290.
Like most Pixmas, the G5020 prints exceptionally well. Text is highly legible and well-shaped at all sizes down to about 6 points, which is plenty small enough for most family and small-business documents. The business graphics, including bar and line charts, gradient backgrounds and fills, dark backgrounds and fills, and hairlines (rules smaller than 1 point) I printed came out streak-less, well-defined, and well-delineated. I'd have no qualms about using the G5020's output for both in-house and outside applications, such as marketing materials.
Pixmas have a reputation for churning out good-looking photographs, and the G5020 is no exception. The borderless snapshot and 8-by-10-inch glossy images I printed came out with vibrant, accurate colors and excellent detail, well beyond drugstore developer quality. I suspect that most families would have no problem using the G5020's image output for their keeper photos, and real estate agents and other businesses should find this little Pixma's photo output more than acceptable for promotional purposes.
MegaTank Pixmas are among the least-expensive-to-use printers available. The G5020 comes with three bottles of black ink containing up to 6,000 pages each, for a total of 18,000 monochrome pages, and a set of color ink bottles good for up to 7,700 color pages. When it comes time to buy replacement bottles, the cost per page for monochrome output will run you about 0.2 cents and color pages about 0.7 cents.
These numbers are a fraction of a cent lower than Epson's EcoTank printers. The HP Tango X above is an Instant Ink-ready machine with running costs of about 3.5 cents per page. Without question, the Pixma G5020 provides the best value when it comes to ongoing running costs.
For more on the various low-cost ink programs currently available, check out our full guide.
If your family, home-based office, or small business prints up to a thousand or so pages each month, and print quality and ongoing running costs are key concerns, the Pixma G5020 is a terrific value. Not only is it inexpensive to use long-term, but it also comes with a huge amount of ink in the box. Add to that its robust feature set, and it earns our Editors' Choice for entry-level to midrange single-function color printers.4.0Editors' ChoiceSee It$229.99 at AmazonMSRP $249.99View More
The Canon Pixma G5020 is a single-function bulk-ink printer that produces excellent output, is packed with handy productivity features, and delivers very low running costs.
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