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Customer Review

680 of 685 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Feature-rich, but wastes ink and some driver issues, October 21, 2011
This review is from: Canon PIXMA MG6220 Wireless Inkjet Photo All-in-One Printer (5292B002) (Office Product)
The MG6200 is a lot of printer (and scanner, and copier...) for the purchase price.

On features and quality, I'd give it 5 stars. The scan and print quality are excellent, and the included applications for scanning/printing are adequate. It can connect via USB, wired network, or wireless network (and I've tried all three).

There is no automatic document feeder (ADF), even as an optional accessory, so keep that in mind if you have lots of multi-page documents to scan. Paper handling is great, especially the automatic duplexing.

It also supports Apple Airprint flawlessly, so printing from iPhone and iPad is wireless and quick. I did have to download and upgrade the printer firmware to get this working, but I assume shipping units will come with the updated firmware very soon.

Now, for my big complaint, and why it gets 3 stars instead of 5. If you let this printer set for a day, then initiate a print, it automatically executes a cleaning cycle EVERY TIME. Not only does this process delay printing by a couple minutes (which seems like forever), it wastes a HUGE amount of ink. Like most every inkjet, the ink cartridges are small and expensive -- but this printer exacerbates that by wasting ink on unneeded cleaning cycles EVERY DAY. So even though I've used the printer VERY lightly over the last 3 weeks, and printed less than 50 pages (and only two photos) total, the ink cartridges are over half empty. That amounts to about $35 worth of ink for 50 pages! At 70 cents per page, this is one expensive printer.

My previous inkjet (Canon Pixma ip5000) only executed a cleaning cycle if it had been powered off, or if you manual requested it. I had to clean it perhaps once or twice per year -- not 365 times per year, which is essentially what the MG6220 is doing. At first I thought it might be due to the "auto power off" setting, but I set this to "Never" so the printer would never power itself off (and it is on a UPS, so no power interruptions). Nevertheless, it still executes a cleaning cycle at least once per day and I can hear the sound of a cash register every time it does so. (*** See 11/28/11 update, below ***)

The second gripe is driver support. For WindowsXP, the driver does not properly support network scanning via TWAIN/WIA interfaces. The included Canon scanning software works, but any third party software (like the check scanning service my bank offers) will only work if you plug the MG6220 directly into the USB port. And on Vista, while you can get TWAIN/WIA to function over network, it requires manual installation steps (buried in the user's manual) that should be automated by Canon's driver installer. I wish Canon would hire some driver developers from Brother, because the drivers with my Brother MFC-8890DW Laser supported all of this, including network scanning on XP, completely automatically on XP, Vista, and Windows7.

I guess I can forgive the driver issues on XP, because XP is getting pretty long in the tooth and I can accept that Canon doesn't want to spend the extra software development time. As well, the manual steps on Vista are pretty minor (although many consumers will have a hard time with it). But the effective cost-per-page, due to the daily cleaning cycle (***), will make cost-of-ownership for this printer unaffordable for many.

*** 11/28/11 Update ***
I have printed less than 50 pages (most black and white text), and the printer is complaining that two of the ink cartridges -- Cyan and Gray -- are almost empty. However, I did find a solution to the daily (or more) ink-wasting cleaning cycles mentioned above.

The automatic cleaning cycle appears to be triggered by either of two things: If the printer itself has lost power (not just turned off, but unplugged / power outage), *OR* if the USB-attached computer has been rebooted or power cycled. After either of those events, the printer will execute a cleaning cycle the next time a print job is sent to it.

I disconnected the USB cable and setup that computer to print via wireless network a few days ago. I haven't seen the automatic cleaning occur since. Hopefully this will slow the ink usage somewhat.

*** 8/19/12 Update ***
Keeping the printer "powered" and on wireless reduces the cleaning cycles, but does not eliminate them. I have not pinned down the exact pattern, but it seems it throws in a cleaning cycle any time you haven't printed for a few days, and sometimes just seems to throw one in at random. It is possible these cycles are actually needed for print quality to get rid of partially dried ink on the head -- so I can't fault Canon for doing the cleanings, but they sure do use up the ink! Quality is still excellent, but cost-per-page is pretty high.
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Showing 1-10 of 55 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 29, 2011, 12:01:49 PM PDT
C says:
Good to know about the cleaning. I turn my printer off if I'm not going to use it for awhile, but knowing that it does the cleaning cycle each time you turn it on, I'm also going to disable the auto off function. I'll just remember to shut it down manually every night.

Posted on Nov 23, 2011, 11:36:03 AM PST
Kort says:
Strange, I haven't noticed the auto-cleaning feature running. My HP does that, but I've yet to be in the room at the same time as it was going on. I know my previous gen. Pixma didn't run a cleaning cycle every day.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2011, 3:24:14 PM PST
Scott W says:
Kort - My older Pixma (ip5000) only did it when it had lost power (i.e., physically unplugged or power outage, not just turned off), or when you manually executed a cleaning. This one seems to do it every day -- although I'm starting to suspect it may have something to do with a USB attached computer being power cycled that triggers it. Just today, I disconnected it from the USB and am running wireless only. I should know in a few days whether it made a difference!

Posted on Nov 26, 2011, 8:53:15 AM PST
Scott, thanks for the feedback, I hate wasting consumables. My current canon printer is great, but likewise blows through ink (sans auto print checks). Weighing value of AirPrint and canon quality vs. cost of ink.

Posted on Dec 12, 2011, 9:47:48 AM PST
If the last year's PIXMA MG printers are any guide--and these latest models appear to be clones, except for minor tweaks--then I'm sorry to tell you that a wireless setup will not solve the problem. I have the MG8120, which I've only run wirelessly--and I very rarely reboot my iMac--but the cleaning/maintenance cycles occur just the same as you describe. For reference: I put in a full set of fresh color cartridges in September. I have printed NOTHING in color since then. And currently, the magenta cartridge almost out, while cyan, yellow and gray ones are more than half-emptied.

The user who prints occasionally faces an astronomical ink cost per page with these printers when you figure in all the wasted ink. Readers here may think you're exaggerating when you quote 70 cents per page, but that seems about right to me, if not more. The one possible solution is to shut the printer off completely after each use. But then you have to wait for a full reboot and cleaning cycle to occur every time you want to print.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2011, 11:05:17 AM PST
Scott W says:
@charlesn - My fingers are crossed. So far, since I disconnected the USB cable and started using via Wireless only, the "daily cleaning" has stopped happening. I have observed it do a couple cleanings, not sure what triggered them, but it is definitely NOT doing it every day as it was originally. Somewhat frustrating to have no control over when it decides to clean itself... As you point out, frequent cleanings make the cost per page really shoot up, especially for the infrequent user.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2011, 7:44:59 AM PST
Andrew says:
use wireless or network instead of USB.
or else you have to turn off the power saving function on your PC on the USB port. Second thing is to turn off the 'Green' auto power off function on the printer. set it to never shutdown instead of default 240 minutes. Then it will only shut down if you want it it will save ink on the head cleaning.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2011, 10:01:47 AM PST
Scott W says:
@Andrew - The "power saving function on your PC USB port" isn't the issue. The issue (with USB connection) is that when the PC is power cycled or rebooted, the USB port is reset -- and the printer reacts to this with a daily cleaning cycle the next time it is used. The USB power save setting doesn't matter, this still happens at reboot or power cycle of the PC. Disconnecting from USB (and using network/wireless) does solve this, BUT Windows XP users won't be able to use Twain/WIA scanning since the Canon drivers don't support this on XP.

Posted on Feb 19, 2012, 11:32:11 AM PST
Garth says:
Thanks for the post. I've been researching all in one's and this is one that I was considering buying to replace my HP. I have since crossed this one off of my list. I don't like buying ink every month.

Posted on Mar 26, 2012, 1:37:15 PM PDT
JHD says:
Anxious to hear whether just using WiFi rather than USB is a real solution to the constant self-clean/ink waste issue. Scott, any update?
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