Canon's MG2150 is the entry-level model in the company's line-up of multi-function printers.
It costs just £42, but on the downside it uses a combined colour ink cartridge and lacks the Wi-Fi and duplex support of the MG3150 -- the next model up in the range.
So is the MG2150 still worthy of consideration if you're looking for a budget inkjet model?
Design and build
Like all the printers in Canon's MG line-up, this one has a low profile design and stands just 152mm tall. However, it's fairly wide at 449mm, so it'll still take up quite a lot of room on a home office desk or shelf.
The styling is attractive enough, thanks to its rounded corners. The matte black finish looks business-like and doesn't show up finger smudges like the glossy styling of some models.
This printer only has a single flip-down paper tray at the bottom that holds 100 sheets. Unsurprisingly at this price, it doesn't have a dedicated photo paper area so you'll have to remove your A4 sheets every time you want to print a snap. Printed results are fed into another flip-out tray just above the input tray. Both of these are made from plastic and feel fairly flimsy.
As with the MG3150, this model doesn't have a proper screen. Instead, it relies on a single-digit numerical display. Next to this is a plus button to increase the number of copies when you're using it as a photocopier. There's no minus button -- you just press the Cancel button to return to the default setting of a single copy.
Below this you'll find the paper selection button, which cycles through three default paper types -- standard A4, photo A4 and 10x15cm photo paper.
There's also a 'Fit to paper' button for the copying feature, along with dedicated colour and black and white copying buttons. You can change some of the printer's settings via the Tools button, but the single-digit display makes this a cryptic process as you have to refer to the manual to find out which function each symbol or letter on the screen corresponds to. As a result, it's best to use the My Printer software on your computer to change settings.
The MG2150 comes with a poster-sized set-up sheet that has step-by-step instructions so getting this model up and running won't take you very long. All you have to do is place the two ink cartridges into the easy-to-reach holders concealed behind a plastic flap at the front, then install the software on your PC.
This model doesn't have Wi-Fi or Ethernet, so you can only connect it directly to your PC via USB.
Scanning and copying
The flatbed scanner has an optical resolution of 2,400dpi, but it's far from the fastest scanner we've used. Nevertheless, the results are of an acceptable level for a multi-function model in this price bracket. That said, if you start using the higher quality setting, you will start to see a significant amount of image noise creeping in.
Copy quality is fairly good but it wasn't all that speedy when it came to producing a copy of our single-page test document. It took a leisurely 22 seconds to complete the job. Other budget models we've tested have managed to finish this task in around 18 seconds.
Print speed and quality
Where the MG2150 excels is in the quality of its output. Text is neatly formed with none of the feathering you sometimes get on budget models. Colours in our business presentation and graphics tests were also impressively bold and strong, with only a slight hint of banding in large blocks of colour.
With photos, it didn't perform as well as you could expect from Canon's higher-end models that use five and six ink cartridges. Nevertheless, the images produced were impressive by budget standards.
The high print quality seems to come at the cost of print speed. This is not a particularly fast model. It was slow at text printing, taking a sluggish 1 minute and 45 seconds to complete our 10-page text document. It also struggled for pace with colour printing. Our business presentation test took 4 minutes and 12 seconds, while the graphics test took 4 minutes and 47 seconds. Both of these are slow compared to similarly-priced competitors.
It's a faster performer when it comes to photo printing though. It completed our 4x6-inch snap in 48 seconds, which is speedy.
As with the MG3150, this model uses only two cartridges -- a combined colour one and a black one. Combined colour cartridges aren't very economical as once one colour runs down, you have to replace the whole cartridge.
Nevertheless, costs per page print are quite reasonable. A black and white page costs around 3.5p and a colour page will set you back 4.7p. Both of these prices include 0.7p for paper.
The MG2150 produces impressive print-outs, both for text and graphics, and it's not that expensive to run either.
However, print speeds are quite slow. Spending just £10 more for the MG3250 will get you the Wi-Fi and duplex printing support that this model lacks. As such, we don't think the MG2150 represents great value for money.