Canon PIXMA MP495 inkjet multifunction printer

This $99 Canon PIXMA printer is good for occasional document and photo printing but don't expect excellent quality or speed

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Canon PIXMA MP495
  • Canon PIXMA MP495
  • Canon PIXMA MP495
  • Canon PIXMA MP495

Pros

  • Cheap initial price, inbuilt 802.11n Wi-Fi

Cons

  • High ongoing consumable costs, single-character LED display can be frustrating

Bottom Line

If your printing and scanning needs aren't very intensive, the Canon PIXMA MP495 has a low initial price and it has integrated Wi-Fi. Its reasonable print quality makes it a good choice for occasional use, but its inks are expensive.

Would you buy this?

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The Canon PIXMA MP495 is a budget inkjet multifunction printer that includes memory card slots and inbuilt 802.11n Wi-Fi networking. It's easy to set up and operate with or without a computer. Print quality is good but not spectacular for the price you pay, and inks are expensive if you buy them at Canon's recommended retail price.

Canon PIXMA MP495: Design and connectivity

The Canon PIXMA MP495 is a compact printer — measuring 450x335x153mm it is noticeably smaller than some of Canon's other PIXMA models. Its basic internals may have something to do with this: it uses only two ink cartridges, including a combined tri-colour tank. This has an upside, with set up taking less than 10 minutes including software installation.

As well as the requisite USB 2.0 connector, the Canon PIXMA MP495 has integrated 802.11n Wi-Fi networking. A Wi-Fi Protected Setup button makes it easy to connect the printer to your home network, but if you run into trouble there's no on-screen display to guide you through — so keep the manual handy.

We were pleased by the comprehensive interface and information provided by the screen on the Canon PIXMA MG5250, so to find the same LED display as the Canon PIXMA MP270 was disappointing. If you're doing all your printing via a PC you shouldn't need to rely on the printer's display, but direct printing via memory card is a bit tricky — especially given the sometimes-confusing labelling of the printer's buttons.

Canon PIXMA MP495: Performance

The Canon PIXMA MP495 has a maximum 4800x1200dpi print resolution, which puts it on par with Canon's other budget PIXMA models. It's rated at five colour A4 pages per minute, or 8.8 pages per minute if you're printing black and white. We managed 4.2 colour A4 pages and 8.6 monochrome A4 pages per minute in our testing, which is reasonably close to Canon's quoted figures. Printing a 6x4in photo takes just under a minute (52sec).

Document print quality is reasonable in Standard and High quality modes. If you're printing off school assignments, travel directions or other documents where print quality isn't critical, the Canon PIXMA MP495 does a fine job. If you're printing photos, we'd definitely opt for the High quality setting — and even then you can still notice a lack of fine image detail in A4 prints and some posterisation in colour gradients.

The PG-510 black and CL-511 tri-colour ink cartridges yield 220 and 244 pages respectively according to Canon, and retail at $29.50 and $33.50 each. This translates into an ongoing cost of 13.7c per colour A4 page and 13.4c per monochrome A4 page — significantly higher than printers like the Canon PIXMA MG5250 (which is admittedly more than twice the price). The PIXMA MP495 is also hamstrung by not having individual ink cartridges for its colours — if you run out of cyan ink, you'll have to replace the whole cartridge and waste the other colours.

Conclusion

The Canon PIXMA MP495 is a cheap printer that does basic tasks acceptably. The inclusion of 802.11n Wi-Fi at this price is definitely a good thing, and would suit a budget-conscious buyer with a wireless home network. Print quality is reasonable but ongoing ink costs are high.

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