Setup, cartridges and performance
Unlike the more expensive Pixma models, the TS3150 uses just two ink cartridges: one for black and the other containing cyan, magenta and yellow. It’s more wasteful than having separate cartridges for each colour, because you have to replace the entire cartridge when you run out of just one colour, which makes print costs higher than average. Using the XL cartridge sizes, we calculated the colour component of an A4 page at a reasonable 5.4p, but the black component was very pricey at 4.3p.
We don’t expect brilliant across-the-board performance from such a cheap device, and the TS3150’S weakness is its print speed, which peaked at 7.4ppm (pages per minute) for black text, and dipped as low as 1.6ppm for colour – the slowest we’ve recorded in some time. You need to wait an agonising 2.5 minutes to print a colour photo at best quality and you won’t be able to do it on A4: the driver lets you create and send the job, but the printer refuses to print on A4 photo paper.
At 26 seconds for black and 57 seconds for colour, copies weren’t fast either, but scan speeds compared well to mid-range devices – over USB, it took us just 37 seconds to capture a 6 x 4in photo at 1,200dpi (dots per inch).
Prints and copies looked great, with bold colours and crisp, dark text. Scans were similarly impressive for such a cheap device.