Print Speed and Quality Tests
The Pixma MG5320 specifications page on Canon’s website states that the MG5320 is able to print up to 12.5 ipm in black and 9.3 ipm in color. These advertised speeds appear to be correct. We did notice, however, that the print head takes as long as 2 minutes and 25 seconds to be aligned properly.
While testing the default black and white print speeds, we clocked an average first page out time (without having to deal with the print head alignment) of 10 seconds and an average of 11 pages per minute. It took the printer 4 minutes and 20 seconds to print 40 black pages on the default setting. These speeds are about on par for a consumer Pixma photo printer.
While testing the times for color printing under the default settings, we clocked a first page out time 18 seconds and an average of 8 pages per minute. These times are not that off from the advertised print speeds on Canon’s website. The overall print time for 40 color pages was 4 minutes and 55 seconds; this was a bit longer than I had anticipated, but it’s still not unreasonable.
We tested the printer for its draft (or fast) black and white speeds as well. The MG5320 was able to pull a first page out time of 15 seconds, an average (and maximum) ppm of 12 pages. The overall print time for 40 pages was a speedy 3 minutes and 9 seconds.
As far as photo printing in standard quality goes, we clocked a 4 x 6 first page out time of 52 seconds, for an equivalency of one 4 x 6 pages per minute. The 8.5 x 11 photo printing took 1 minute and 38 seconds to complete under the standard quality setting. Surprisingly, it only took the printer 1 minute and 59 seconds to complete the 8.5 x 11 photo printing under the high quality setting; usually it takes mcuh longer.
Overall, the print speeds are about average–but the draft printing is very fast and the photo printing is a bit above average. We are pleased with the overall results. The only thing to complain about is the initial print head alignment–it shouldn’t take any modern printer 2 and a half minutes to get warmed up and ready for printing.
The photo printing quality follows in the quality standards footsteps for the Pixma lineup, meaning that it’s very good. Images are bright, have great contrast, and are crisp and clear. The photo printing is so good that whomever receives your photos will probably not believe that a printer produced them. The scanned images below won’t do the photos justice since it’s been scanned in at a lower resolution.
The 4 x 6 photos seem to look even better than the 8.5 x 11 photos. Overall, the only complaint I have about the photo printing is that it doesn’t seem as though the high quality photo printing is much better than the standard quality photo printing. That’s not to say it’s bad, but save yourself the time and don’t bother with it.
Ink Control Tests
During our ink control tests we “exhaust” the ink cartridges that come shipped with the device, meaning we print until the ink runs out completely. We define exhaustion as “unable to print another quality document.” The test is done by printing at a ratio of three pages of black text to one full page of color (the color image we used is pictured above). We decided on this ratio because we know the average user is more likely to print text pages more often than color pages.
We were able to print 372 quality black text pages before the PGI-225 black ink tank began to visibly lessen in quality. The magenta was next to go; it ran out completely on page 473, and then my computer gave me the “replace your magenta ink cartridge to continue printing” message. The yellow tank was next to go; that same error message popped up on page 500. Cyan followed shortly after. The last cartridge, the dye-based CLI-226 black ink tank, did not run out during out tests.
The printer did not jam, misfeed, or misalign during any of our tests, giving it five stars for reliability.