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After a cost-friendly and easy-to-use printer? The Canon Pixma TS205 might be the best fit for your everyday use.
Cost-efficient, easy to use, and does the job for personal use.
Canon has been in the printer business for decades, making high-quality printers and copiers for the office and home, alongside its range of digital cameras and camcorders.
The Canon Pixma TS205 is one of the cheapest home printers Canon’s produced and has been going strong since 2018. Very much a budget device designed for buyers who only want the bare necessities, the TS205 is still on sale now.
Unlike a lot of entry-level home printers, which feature built-in scanner beds and photocopiers, the Pixma TS205 is a straightforward colour inkjet printer, which connects to desktop and laptop computers via a USB cable. A simple plug-and-play printer, no Wi-Fi passwords or network configuration is required here.
Using just two cartridges, the Canon Pixma TS205 is as easy to refill as it is to use and is capable of printing on high-quality glossy photo paper as well as plain old A4.
In our full review, we look beyond the RRP and running costs to see if there’s more to the Canon Pixma TS205 than an attractive price and if it remains a bargain three years down the line.
The Canon Pixma TS205 is a USB colour inkjet printed priced at the extremely affordable £35 mark.
Very much a budget printer, the Canon Pixma TS205 is aimed squarely at people who only need to print a few documents and photos from their laptop or desktop every so often and aren’t fussed about scanning and copying.
As it’s not a wireless printer – you can’t connect to it via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth – you can’t print anything directly from your phone. This is a super-basic, no-frills, cheap-as-chips printer.
Like the Canon Pixma TS7450, the TS205 uses two cartridges, one black ink and another with colour inks (cyan, magenta, and yellow). While the standard-sized cartridges don’t have an especially high yield, for a bit more money, you can pick up bigger XL cartridges, which are much better value.
As well as being cheap to buy and reasonably cheap to run, the Canon Pixma TS205 is capable of printing on both plain office paper and glossy photo paper, so you can run off boarding passes and then print out your holiday snaps in high definition when you get back.
The Canon Pixma TS205 is an inexpensive colour printer that has the following key features and specifications:
Canon sells the TS205 for £35.49.
The Canon Pixma TS205 is quick enough if you’re printing off a couple of sheets at a time, but it’s by no means a fast printer – something you’ll notice when you come to print off big documents with 20+ pages. That said, it’s quick to pick up print requests, with jobs beginning a couple of seconds or so after the request was sent.
Given that it’s intended to be a printer for personal home use and not a home office printer, this is fine. Just be warned that if you need to print off a presentation, or multiple copies of a single-page document, you could be waiting a while – put the kettle on before you start printing.
When printing off a series of test documents and images, we recorded the following speeds:
|Pages||Text only||Text & graphics||Graphics only|
|1 page||5.82 seconds (10.30 pages per minute)||14.04 seconds (4.27 pages per minute)||28.74 seconds (2.08 pages per minute)|
|5 pages||36.64 seconds (8.18 pages per minute)||1m 16.84 (3.90 pages per minute)||1m 42.95 seconds (2.91 pages per minute)|
|20 pages||2m 32.84 seconds (7.85 pages per minute)||5m 14.15 (3.81 pages per minute)||8m 46.11 seconds (2.28 pages per minute)|
|1 colour photo printed on plain A4:||48.93 seconds|
|1 colour photo printed on glossy A4:||4m 04.11 seconds|
|1 colour photo printed on glossy 10 x 50mm:||1m 14.41 seconds|
Document text printed by the Pixma TS205 looks nice and well-defined, better than you might expect from a £35 printer – but be warned that the ink takes a few seconds to dry. Documents are very prone to smudging as they emerge from the printer. If you so much as brush a paragraph with your thumb, you’ll ruin a perfectly good printout.
Graphics are less nice-looking, with solid blocks of colour on pie charts and graphs looking grainy and having that stratified look you sometimes get with inkjet printers.
Thankfully, while photos don’t look great printed on plain paper, they look excellent on glossy photo paper. We printed the same test image on Canon’s GP-501 4 x 6 (10 x 15) photo paper and the PP-201 A4-sized photo paper and got some nice results, on par with what we saw produced by the Canon Pixma TS7450 and Epson EcoTank ET-2750.
The Canon Pixma TS205 costs about the same to run as most inkjet printers. You’ll be looking to pay about £15-£20 per cartridge, and you get the same sort of mileage as you would out of the cartridges used by printers like the TS7450.
While the standard-sized cartridges promise you around 180 pages’ worth of ink, if you want to make a saving, your best bet is to go for the XL cartridges, which promise 300-400 pages’ worth.
The prices listed below are the standard RRP taken from Canon’s UK site. Note that Canon sometimes bundles cartridges together, so you can make savings there, as well as shopping around on Cartridge People and Ryman.
|Canon PG-545 (black ink)||Canon CL-546 (colour inks)||Canon PG-545XL (black ink)||Canon CL-546XL (colour inks)|
|Cost per page||£9p||£11p||£5p||£7p|
The Canon Pixma TS205 is small and lightweight, weighing just 2.5kg and measuring 131 x 426 x 255mm. Not only does it not take up much desk room at all, but it’s also very easy to shift around.
Everything feels pretty solid, too, with the exception of the cartridge cradle. Not only is it quite hard to slot the 545/546 cartridges into place, but the cradle itself also doesn’t feel terribly robust. While the TS205 is quite light overall, it looks quite premium. The cartridge cradle is the only thing that really feels ‘cheap’.
Setting up the Canon Pixma TS205 is relatively easy. Windows users can make use of the supplied CD or download drivers from Canon’s site. Mac users can follow the same link – the page will detect which operating system and which version you’re using and offer the relevant files to download. Downloading and installing everything should take between 5-15 minutes, depending on your internet connection speed.
Controls on the device are very limited – there’s no LED display – but despite that, the TS205 is easy to operate. There’s an on/off switch, a control for running a quick print levels/head alignment test, and a control that lets you manually switch print settings if you’re using different sized paper. Nine times out of ten during testing, the Canon Pixma TS205 would automatically detect when we were using different sized paper and adjust settings anyway.
The only other thing to note is that no USB cable is supplied with the TS205, so it’s not ready to go out of the box. Luckily, the kind of USB cable you’ll need – one with the squarish Type-B USB connection – is cheap and easy to come by.
The Canon Pixma TS205 is easy to use, is reasonably cost-effective to run, and produces better results than you might expect from a £35 printer.
That said, it’s not without its flaws, namely that freshly-printed documents are prone to smudging and that its graphics are of so-so quality. For personal use, this will likely not matter, but for professional-grade results, you’ll need a professional-grade printer.