The Canon PIXMA G5020 is one of their latest megatank printers for home use. It combines low operating costs with the high quality of the Canon Pixma line. If color printing costs are getting out of hand from your inkjet cartridge printer, this printer is worth checking out.
It can handle descent volume of printing and has abundant connection: Wifi, Pictbridge, ethernet, and USB. No copy, scan, or fax functions are included. Unlike Canon’s other printer only Pixma Megatank, the G1220, auto duplex is built in to this one. If you just print color images or documents and don’t have a need for scanning this printer would be a good fit.
Other printers in this segment include the Epson EcoTank ET-2760 and Brother MFC-J995DW. There are key differences but they are close enough in price and scope to compare. The Canon and Brother are rated for 5,000 pages per month. Print volume for the Epson is a little lower at 3,000 ppm.
The Canon, Brother, and Epson are all great printers. Any would be a good purchase. Reviewing the differences could help decide which would be the best fit for your needs.
Setting up the Canon Pixma G5020 is easy. I removed some packing tape and add ink. The ink bottles have keyed slots to keep ink from being added to the wrong tank. I didn’t need to squeeze them, ink flows by gravity. There’s an auto shut off valve so the tank won’t overflew. After the printer finishes priming itself it’s ready to connect.
Canon’s network utility is fairly plain but does the job. In my experience the utility is able to find the printer almost all of the time. Issues are rare and usually fixed by rebooting everything. I’ve used the setup utility to fix existing printers that lose the connection and refuse to reconnect.
Canon’s utility may not walk you through the setup process step by step like some do. At least there’s a link to instructions. Besides, it’s so automated you only need to set a few bits of info, hit update, and you’re done.
Once setup, I tested the weight and proportions. I used a standard scale and ruler. The scale revealed my Canon Pixma G5020 weighs 14.4 lbs. My measurements discovered a printer 16.1 inches wide, 14.5 inches deep, and 6.7 inches high. An above average size but average weight for an inkjet printer.
The To test the print speed I printed pictures of cats and dogs. Less coverage than ISO/IEC 19798 and 24711 standard color test pages but they served my purposes. My B&W test pages were just emails, so much less coverage than a standard ISQ/IEC 19752 B&W test page.
My color test pages clocked in at 6.5 pages per minute. Just average for an inkjet printer but the print quality was excellent for a 4 color printer. My B&W test pages clocked those pages in at 13.3 ppm. Faster but just typical for inkjet printers.
While the Brother MFC-J995DW is slightly slower for B&W it’s a few ppm faster for color. The Epson EcoTank ET-2760 is a few pages per minute slower than the Canon for any color. A few pages per minute difference in speed isn’t going to be noticeable. Any segment one printer just isn’t that fast. This may be an acceptable trade for the savings in printing costs.
Canon’s main tray holds 250 sheets of paper. The Epson and Brother only hold 150 sheets in their main tray. 20 sheets will load in the rear tray for the Canon and Brother while Epson’s secondary tray is single sheet feed.
Auto duplex is built in for printing with the Canon and Brother while it isn’t for the Epson. The Brother has a document feeder while the Canon has no scan capabilities. If scanning is a must, the Canon Pixma G7020 comes with a document feeder. The lack of scan capability does make the initial price lower for the G5020.
Canon’s display gets an upgrade from the other models. Its only adds 1 more line to make it a 2 line LED but it’s something. Since all the G5020 does is print, a 2 line LED is actually not bad. You can see the ink levels so out of paper or printer offline messages will show up fine on a 2 line LED.
The Canon included apps are helpful for basic touch ups. Although this is pigment based ink and not necessarily for professional photos. If printing photos is your thing check out this 6 color Canon megatank printer, this Epson, or this Canon. For business color, photo inserts, or greeting cards the quality of the Canon PIXMA G5020 is more than acceptable.
Canon’s print drivers cover the basics of printing fairly well. It has some page setup options for size and layout. There are some basic color adjustments and matching settings. Though toggling print options, like disabling the ICM or enabling print data loss, work better than manually adjusting the colors in my experience.
The Canon PIXMA G5020 operating costs are less than a penny a page for color or B&W. Epson is also less than a penny a page. Technically the Canon is slightly less than the Epson, around .002 cents. But only because Canon’s ink bottles are a few dollars cheaper. Once the expenses get under a penny a page those slight differences only show after tens of thousands of pages.
The operating costs of supertank printers are significantly lower than the traditional black and tri color ink cartridges. Supertank printers haven’t overtaken the tri color cartridge system yet but there is little justification for not opting for one. Whether it’s for the office, home use, printing photos, or even a low cost printer under $200, there’s a supertank printer equivalent to a tri color cartridge system.
Bottles of ink for most supertank printers are less than $20. Many ink cartridges run from $12 to $60, though there are a few over $100. There are roughly the equivalent of 30 or 40 cartridges of ink included in the purchase price. Which amounts to $600 worth of ink. Depending on how much printing you do this printer may never need ink.
Wasting ink on cleaning cycles matters less when you’re buying it by the bottle too. The chances of a print head drying out on a megatank is no different than a tri color cartridge. A bottle has thousands of pages of ink as compared with a cartridge which has only hundreds. Instead of changing cartridges, about a dollars worth of ink will get it unclogged and back in business.
The Canon PIXMA G5020 is a cost effective way to save money on color printing. It doesn’t necessarily have to be for high volume printing either. They work fine doing 100 pages or up to 5,000 pages per month. It may be a printer only but many cases that’s all that’s needed. For what it does and costs it’s a great buy.
A supertank printer represents the lowest operating costs for inkjet printers. The operating expenses are much lower than HP’s ink program or Brother’s replaceable tank system.
The Epson, Brother, and Canon have about the same initial cost. They have key differences which may make one or the other more appealing. If you need a printer only the Canon Pixma G5020 is a great choice.
The Copier Guy, aka Dave. I’ve worked on scanners, printers, copiers, and faxes over 23 years. When I’m not fixing them I’m writing about them. Although, I’m probably better at fixing them. I have certificates from Canon, Xerox, Ricoh, Kyocera, Lexmark, HP, and Konica Minolta. My experience includes other brands as well as several types of processes. If it uses paper I’ve probably worked on one.