If you can put up with slower-than-average printing speeds, the Canon Pixma TS3150 is a decent MFP for very little money
The multifunctional Canon Pixma TS3150 is cheap and mostly cheerful
CANON’S PIXMA TS3150 is a budget inkjet multifunction peripheral (MFP) for people who don’t print all that often. It’s about as no-frills as we’d expect for its sub-£40 asking price, but it does have support for wireless networking: you can connect it up and share it around all your home PCs and mobile devices. It’s small, light and looks inoffensive, and is available in black (the TS3150) or white (the TS3151).
At the back there’s a simple paper tray, and at the front there’s a similarly utilitarian output, which actually kept everything impressively tidy when printing. When not in use, the rear tray flips shut to act as a lid. Canon has sprinkled a few more buttons than we’d expect on top: you get the usual job cancel and black and mono start buttons, but there are also a few extra to help operate a small, mono LCD window, which shows simple status messages. In theory, it’s a step up from entry level controls, but in practice we found the extra functions largely unfathomable.
SETUP AND GO
Still, this is a simple MFP to install. Canon’s setup program can usually detect it wirelessly without any configuration on the user’s part, but if all else fails it falls back to a temporary USB connection to set up wireless access. Unlike more expensive Pixmas, the TS3150 sticks with one black ink cartridge, along with another containing cyan, magenta and yellow.
In theory this is more wasteful than having separate cartridges for each colour, and in practice it makes print costs a little high. Using the XL sizes, we calculated the colour component of an A4 page at a not unreasonable 5.4p, but the black component was an eye-watering 4.3p.
We don’t expect the cheapest devices to be superb all-rounders, and the TS3150’s weakness is its print speed: this peaked at 7.4 pages per minute (ppm) for black text, and dipped as low as 1.6ppm for colour graphics, the lowest we’ve recorded in some time. You’ll need two-and-ahalf minutes to print a colour photo at best quality, and you won’t be able to do it on A4; although the driver lets you create and send the job, the printer won’t print on A4 photo paper.
At 26 seconds in black and 57 seconds in colour, photocopies weren’t fast either, but scan speeds compared well to even mid-range devices. Connected over USB, it took us just 37 seconds to capture a 6x4in photo at 1,200 dots per inch (dpi).
Our scan and photocopy tests exhibited vertical lines throughout the length of the document, which is not something we’ve ever seen from a Canon scanner before. Unfortunately, our review unit had got wet in transit, and we’re confident ours was an isolated issue, probably related to that.
This hitch aside, prints and photocopies were excellent, with bold colours and fairly crisp, dark text. Scans were similarly impressive for such a cheap device.
The Pixma TS3150 isn’t ideal if you print particularly often: it’s slow and comparatively expensive to run, particularly on text jobs. However, if you just want a basic, competent multifunction for light home use, it’s a great choice, and wins our Recommended award.
Prints and photocopies were excellent, with bold colours and fairly crisp, dark text. Scans were similarly impressive for such a cheap device