How to choose the Canon printer that suits your needs

What do you need a printer to do? Find the ideal printer for your requirements, whether that’s general use, home office work or crafting, with our helpful guide.
A woman sits at a home office desk on which is a laptop, a monitor and a Canon MegaTank printer plus four ink bottles.

If you have a large family who enjoy trips together, buying a two-seater sports car wouldn't be very practical. It's the same with printers. Which printer is right for you will vary according to your printing needs.

Many people mainly need to print colour or mono documents – from children's homework or student projects to business documents for the home office. Some people might want the ability to produce glossy photo prints at home, or paper products for crafting and other hobbies. You might want to print only occasionally or need a printer capable of a high-volume workflow. And, for ease of use, wireless connectivity is increasingly important for many.

There's a wide choice on the market, from affordable single-function inkjet printers to high-yield multi-function laser printers. Here we'll look at the range of Canon inkjet printers suited for the most common printing needs. In each category, models with conventional ink cartridges will make life easier in some scenarios, whereas MegaTank printers with high-capacity refillable ink tanks and low running costs might be a better fit for others.

Read on to find which Canon printers could be the best choice for you.

Best printer for general home printing

A dark grey printer sits on a table, seen from above. It is surrounded by a variety of prints, and a hand holds a smartphone and is printing a webpage from it.

The entry-level Canon PIXMA TS3450 Series is an affordable all-rounder for the home. It includes a built-in scanner for added versatility, a neat interface on a 3.8cm LCD screen and Wi-Fi connectivity, so you can print from your mobile device anywhere within your home network.

A versatile printer for children, students and general family life needs to be affordable and easy to run. Starting simple, the Canon PIXMA TS3450 Series printer is extremely easy to set up and use, utilising just two FINE ink cartridges (black and tri-colour), with an option of high-capacity cartridges for even greater cost-effectiveness.

The PIXMA TS3450 Series is a compact and lightweight printer but has a built-in scanner for scanning and copying. As well as high-quality documents, it can output borderless 6x4-inch, 5x5-inch and 7x5-inch photo prints. It also has built-in one-touch Wi-Fi connectivity, so you can print from anywhere around the home, using your computer, smartphone or tablet.

A person sits working at a wooden desk with a monitor, keyboard and Canon printer on it. Stuck on the wall above the desk are various small sheets of paper with notes written on them.

With super-low running costs making for a particularly low total cost of ownership, the Canon PIXMA G2470 range includes four models. The Canon PIXMA G3470 Series shown here features a scanner and Wi-Fi connectivity. All are easy to use and maintain, with fast document printing speeds and high page yield from MegaTank refillable ink tanks, meaning they are great for everything from all-round family use to the home office.

If you’re someone who does a lot of printing from home, there's a time-efficient and money-saving alternative to buying and replacing ink cartridges. Canon's range of MegaTank refillable inkjet printers feature large-capacity ink tanks instead of cartridges, which hold enough ink for up to 6,000 mono A4 sheets or up to 7,700 colour pages.1

They're a bit more expensive upfront than some cartridge-based printers, but running costs are much lower, potentially reducing the total cost of ownership by as much as 80%. As and when you need to refill the ink tanks, it's quick, easy and mess-free. Ink is fed from the bottles by gravity with no squeezing involved, and the bottles have key-type nozzles to eliminate the risk of putting the wrong colour into the wrong tank.

Canon PIXMA G2470 range printers are speedy too, outputting pages at 11ipm (images per minute) for mono and 6ipm for colour. The Canon PIXMA G1430 is a single-function printer, while the Canon PIXMA G2470 adds a built-in scanner and the Canon PIXMA G3470 Series features both a scanner and Wi-Fi connectivity. The Canon PIXMA G4470 also adds a 35-sheet auto document feeder and direct fax facility.

Best printer for home and small office workers

A Canon MegaTank printer on a wooden desk in a small office. In the background, several people can be seen working.

Ideally suited to both small offices and home offices, the Canon MAXIFY GX4040 features a 6.9cm touchscreen, Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity, and a 35-sheet auto document feeder and three-way paper feed system, so you can have different trays ready for different outputs. Its auto duplex facility also makes double-sided printing effortless.

Many people are working from home at least some of the time and need a more business-focused printer capable of multi-tasking different jobs. Canon's MAXIFY range, designed for fast, high-quality document printing, is the ideal fit, and also a great choice for a small office. Like the Canon PIXMA G2470 range, Canon's MAXIFY GX range of printers are MegaTank models, with even lower running costs due to the higher colour page yield.

The Canon MAXIFY GX3040 is a smart, budget-friendly choice. It's a speedy 3-in-1 printer that's ideal for office documents, outputting mono pages at up to 19ipm and colour pages at up to 13ipm. You can keep an eye on print job progress, carry out standalone copying tasks and check on printer status with a 3.4cm LCD screen and simple push-button interface. It has a 250-sheet input cassette at the front, an additional 100-sheet feeder at the rear, and a flat tray for thicker media. It also features auto duplex printing and Wi-Fi connectivity.

The Canon MAXIFY GX4040 has all this and more, adding a 6.9cm colour touchscreen plus 35-sheet auto document feeder for easily scanning and copying multi-page documents. It also features full standalone fax facilities and has Ethernet connectivity for easy networking in addition to Wi-Fi and USB.

A computer monitor and office printer sit on an office desk, with a chair in front of the monitor.

For high-volume, business-quality documents, the Canon MAXIFY GX7040 takes everything in its stride. A full set of ink tanks is good for up to 6,000 mono pages or up to 14,000 colour pages,2 rising to up to 9,000 and 21,000 respectively in economy mode.3 First print out time is just seven seconds, and it has a 50-sheet auto document feeder and twin 250-sheet input trays, plus a 100-sheet tray at the rear. Its capability to scan double-sided documents in a single pass can be a real time-saver.

If your job requires high-quality printing and lots of it, then a premium option such as the Canon MAXIFY GX6040 or MAXIFY GX7040 is a great choice. Both models keep things simple for printing, scanning and photocopying, with 6.9cm tiltable colour touchscreens, as well as 50-sheet auto document feeders. The MAXIFY GX7040 also boasts an additional input tray, giving it a total input capacity of 600 sheets, as well as direct fax facilities and two-sided scanning.

Best printer for families and students

A man sits at a table working at a laptop. Next to it is a Canon printer with a sheet of paper in the output tray.

The Canon PIXMA TR4650 Series printer is ideal for busy families with school-age children, as well as students. It offers a full range of features including a scanner plus auto document feeder, as well as standalone fax facilities and auto duplex printing.

If you have children of school age in the family, then you'll want a printer that's easy to use for regular assignment printouts, but also offers an array of creative options. For students and younger children, plus the rest of the family, a built-in scanner will make it easy to copy documents and artwork, as well as upload them to mobile devices or the cloud when required.

The affordable Canon PIXMA TR4650 Series comes complete with a 20-sheet auto document feeder to simplify scanning and copying, and it has an auto duplex facility for double-sided printing. It's compatible with money-saving XL high-yield cartridges – ideal for students on a budget who need to print in bulk, for example when printing their dissertation.

To further reduce running costs, the premium Canon PIXMA G3460 and the Canon PIXMA G2470 range give you the advantages of Canon's MegaTank refillable ink tank system, including long-lasting ink capacity for efficient printing and less downtime.

Best printer for photo prints

A Canon PIXMA printer and various colour printouts on a wooden table.

With a pigment black ink and five dye-based inks for rich colour rendition, the Canon PIXMA TS8350a Series produces documents with immaculate text and graphics, plus outstanding quality photo prints. It's a brilliant all-rounder and very intuitive to use, with a 10.8cm colour touchscreen.

If you are a photography student or a keen photo enthusiast, there's nothing better than seeing your photographs in print rather than just on-screen. Photo prints preserve special occasions and memories in a lasting form, and also make great gifts for friends and loved ones. Even if you want to print photos only occasionally, having a printer capable of creating glossy photo prints gives you more immediate results than ordering prints online, along with more creative control over the process.

The stylish, Wi-Fi-enabled Canon PIXMA TS8350a Series 3-in-1 printer uses six individual inks to produce colourful, high-quality photo prints, as well as great quality mono and colour documents, making it a good all-rounder. It can produce high-quality borderless images in sizes up to A4, so you can really appreciate all the details.

A top-down view of a Canon printer and camera surrounded by a montage of colourful landscape, travel and portrait prints.

An ideal printer for high-volume photo printing at page sizes up to borderless A4, the Canon PIXMA G640 is a MegaTank printer with refillable ink tanks. The six dye-based inks include cyan, magenta, yellow and black, plus red and grey inks to extend the colour gamut and enable superior black and white photo printing.

A Canon printer and monitor on a wooden desk. On the wall above are 11 colourful framed prints featuring food.

With unsurpassed photo quality on glossy and lustre photo papers, the Canon PIXMA PRO-200 is a photographer's dream. It features eight different dye-based inks for really immaculate colour reproduction and excellent tonal range, as well as producing dramatic black and white photo prints.

For a MegaTank advantage, greatly reducing the total costs of photo printing, the 3-in-1 Canon PIXMA G640 uses an extended range of six dye-based inks for enhanced colour and tonal range. A set of inks is sufficient for up to 3,800 6x4-inch colour photo lab-quality photo prints, with borderless photos at sizes up to A4. For document printing, a set of inks is enough for up to 3,700 mono or up to 8,000 colour A4 pages.2

If you want to go large on your photo printing, creating A3+ (33x43cm) borderless output for showing and selling your prints at fairs and galleries, the Canon PIXMA PRO-200 delivers unrivalled photo print quality on glossy and lustre photo papers, thanks to its eight dye-based inks. For matte photo paper and fine-art media, the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300 is a class-leading, professional A3+ photo printer that uses 10 pigment-based inks for the ultimate in colour intensity and fidelity. Both of these photo printers can also create banners and panoramic prints of up to 99cm in length.

Best printer for arts and crafting

A printer sits on a desk printing a stylised picture of a butterfly, with hands ready to pick it up from the tray. Next to it are several packs of printer paper and colourful butterfly cut-outs.

Make the most of magnetic paper and double-sided matte photo paper with the Canon PIXMA TS5350a Series. It's a powerful printer for crafting projects, giving full reign to creatives of all ages.

There's a feast of creative fun to be had for all ages with a Canon printer, from children's projects to custom greetings cards, party invitations, thank-you notes and more. In Canon's Creative Park app, you'll find free-to-download colouring pages, mazes and other printable activities in the Kids section. You can even add a personal touch to your printables by using the editing function to customise the templates.

For extra excitement, there's a wide range of printable games on the Canon Creative Park website, including bingo, ring toss and your very own chess set. These are easy to print at home and just as much fun to make as they are to play. There's also a great selection of papercrafts and 3D models available to print, including toys and animals.

The Canon PIXMA TS5350a Series and the Canon PIXMA TS7450 Series are both ideal for artistic projects, with options to print on a range of media from magnetic paper to double-sided matte photo paper.

As a premium option, the Canon PIXMA G640 with its six dye-based inks and MegaTank refillable tank system is every bit as suitable for arts and crafting as it is for top-quality photo prints.

There's something for everyone in Canon's range of inkjet printers. Whether you're young or young at heart, a student, a dedicated parent or a busy professional, you'll find a Canon printer that's just right for your needs.

For more guidance on which printers might suit your needs, also try the Canon printer selector.

Written by Matthew Richards and Alex Summersby

  1. Page Yield is the estimated value based on Canon individual test method using the ISO/IEC 29103 chart and continuous printing simulation with the replacement after initial setup.
  2. Page Yield is the estimated value based on Canon individual test method using the ISO/IEC 24712 chart and continuous printing simulation with the replacement after initial setup.
  3. The economy mode reduces the ink consumption by lowering the density; 50% more pages than the standard mode can be printed.

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