Near the bottom of the pecking order in Canon’s TS series of consumer-grade Pixma photo printers, the Pixma TS5320 Wireless All-in-One ($99.99) is an upgrade to the TS5120 reviewed here in March 2018. Like most of Canon’s photo-centric TS all-in-ones (print, copy, and scan), the TS5320 is relatively slow but prints quite well, especially photos. Another thing it shares with most TS series Pixmas is a steep consumables cost per page, making it best as a low-volume print and copy solution for family and home office use.
Choosing the Right Pixma
Without counting previous versions, the TS series consists of one single-function (print-only) machine, the Pixma TS702, and a handful of multifunction models with built-in scanners for making copies and scanning documents and photos. Located just above the Pixma TS3320 in price and features, today’s budget-oriented TS5320 is one of the more basic of the bunch, with the wide-format, scrapbook- and crafting-oriented TS9521c flagship leading the pack.
That last one is, along with its Editors’ Choice Pixma TS9520 sibling, the most feature-rich and fastest. Both, for instance, have automatic document feeders (ADFs) for sending multipage documents to the scanner, whereas the other TS models have only flatbed scanners capable of capturing just one page at a time.
Two of the higher-end, letter-size (8.5 by 11-inch) Pixmas, the TS9120 and TS8320, boast six ink cartridges: They deploy not only the familiar four CMYK colors but a Photo Black ink for darkening text and enriching black areas in photos and a Photo Blue that increases the printer’s color range and augments blue regions of pictures such as bodies of water and skies.
The TS5320 seen here and TS3320 are at the opposite end of the spectrum, literally: Not only do they stick to the basic four-color model, but they utilize only two tanks, one holding black ink and the other containing the red, green, and blue inks. This configuration, also found in HP’s DeskJet 3755 and several other entry-level inkjets, wastes ink and increases running costs because when one of the three color reservoirs empties, the entire cartridge must be replaced.
The Pixma TS5320 comes in four colors—black, white, pink, and green, as shown above. Also, while several higher-end TS series models provide color touch screens for configuring and executing walkup functions such as copying, the TS5320’s control panel consists of a 1.4-inch non-touch color OLED display and an LED status bar, surrounded by a handful of buttons that include navigation arrows and an OK button as well as Start and Stop buttons for making copies.
The TS5320 measures 5.9 by 16.8 by 12.5 inches (HWD) and weighs 13.8 pounds, which is similar to its predecessor and close in size to the TS3320, though the former weighs about five pounds more. It’s also a close match for Epson’s somewhat more robust Expression Premium XP-6100 Small-in-One and a little smaller and lighter than Brother’s more business-oriented MFC-J497DW.
Unlike the TS3320, with its single 60-sheet paper tray, this Canon holds up to 200 sheets in two 100-sheet trays, one up front and one that pulls out and up from the rear. The rear feeder can also hold up to 20 sheets of letter-size photo paper, which is a lot of capacity for a budget inkjet all-in-one. The TS5320 also has an auto-duplexer for two-sided printing, which the TS3320 lacks, and can print borderless photos up to letter size instead of stopping at 5 by 7 inches. You also get support for Instagram’s 3.5- and 5-inch square photo media formats.
Connectivity, Voice Activation, and Software
Standard connectivity consists of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE (Low Energy), plugging into a single PC via USB 2.0, and PictBridge Wireless for printing from compatible Canon cameras. Mobile device support includes Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Mopria, and the Canon Print app.
Like many consumer AIOs nowadays, the TS5320 supports voice-activated printing and scanning via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant smart speakers or a smartphone app. You can also deploy other platforms, including Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana, that support IFTTT (If This Then That) scripting technology using scripts from IFTTT.com and other sites.
The software bundle includes Scan Utility (a robust, easy-to-use scanner interface for Windows and Mac), Scan Utility Lite (a scaled-down macOS-only version), and Easy PhotoPrint Editor Software (for touching up photos). You can also download the mobile version of Easy PhotoPrint Editor, which lets you make enhancements and corrections to shots you take with your handheld device without having to move them to your PC.
Also downloadable from Google Play Store or the Apple Store is Canon’s Message In Print app, which allows you to embed hidden messages—text, music, animations, video links, and more—inside printed images. After installing the app, family, friends, or coworkers can see the messages or open the links by holding their mobile devices’ cameras over the image.
Passable Print Speeds
Canon rates the TS5320 at 13 pages per minute (ppm). When I clocked its print speed over a USB 2.0 connection from our standard Intel Core i5 testbed running Windows 10 Pro, the AIO churned out our standard 12-page Microsoft Word text document at the rate of 12.7ppm. That’s just over twice as fast as the Pixma TS3320, ahead of the Brother MFC-J497DW by 1.7ppm, and 3ppm behind the Epson XP-6100.
I continued my testing by printing our collection of Adobe Acrobat business documents, Excel spreadsheets and charts, and PowerPoint handouts containing numerous business graphics and colored text at varying sizes. I combined those results with the Word figure for a score of 4.4ppm. That, again, doubled the speed of the TS3320, tied the Brother, and trailed the Epson by 2.2ppm.
To finish up, I averaged the TS5320’s time at 32 seconds as it churned out our colorful and detailed 4 by 6-inch photos. Once again, the Pixma TS3320 took about twice as long to print the same images, while the MFC-J497DW was comparable and the XP-6100 about 8 seconds quicker.
Good-Looking Output Overall
Canon’s photo-centric Pixmas typically deliver excellent output, with dark, well-shaped, easy-to-read text and well-delineated charts and graphs with evenly flowing gradients and solid, mostly streak-free fills. As with several other color printers we’ve tested, I did see some mild banding in one full-page PowerPoint gradient that flows from dark green to black.
As a TS series Pixma, though, photos are the TS5320’s specialty, and it printed our sample images quite well for an under-$100, four-ink AIO. Colors were accurate, bright, and well saturated, and detail was as good as I’ve come to expect from Canon imaging devices. Of course this printer can’t match the accuracy and detail of its deluxe five- and six-ink siblings, but its photo output definitely surpasses drugstore quality.
Achilles’-Heel Running Costs
Since Canon doesn’t publish page-yield estimates for this AIO’s ink tanks, it’s difficult to calculate accurate running costs. If, however, we rely on the estimates of the TS5320’s predecessors and those of the next model down in the pecking order, the TS3320, it’s relatively safe to assume that you’ll spend about 7 cents per monochrome and 15 cents per color page. That’s not too far from estimates for Brother’s MFC-J497DW (6 cents black and 16.5 cents color) and Epson’s five-ink XP-6100 (5 cents black and 15 to 20 cents color).
These days, however, there are alternatives to spending that much money on ink. Several of HP’s Envy Photo models support that company’s Instant Ink program, which when you opt for the highest monthly subscription of 300 prints for $9.99 cuts your running costs to as little as 3.5 cents per page—for all pages, whether they contain 5 percent or 100 percent ink coverage. Instant Ink is an excellent deal if you print lots of photos.
Another option, if you don’t mind spending more (sometimes a lot more) at initial purchase, are Canon’s MegaTank and Epson’s EcoTank machines with their jumbo ink reservoirs. Epson’s EcoTank ET-2760 All-In-One Supertank Printer and the Editors’ Choice Canon Pixma G6020 MegaTank All-In-One come to mind, as they print black and color pages for less than a penny apiece.
But keep in mind that these and most other bulk-ink AIOs cost three to five times more than their cartridge-based counterparts, and they’re good values only if you print several hundred or a thousand-plus pages and photos per month. The more you print, the better the bargain.
A Low-Volume Print and Copy Solution
If an easy-to-use, low-volume (say, 100 to 200 pages per month) AIO with excellent output quality is what you’re looking for, the Canon Pixma TS5320 isn’t a bad choice—especially if you find it online, as I did, for about half its $99.99 list price. Granted, it’s costly to use, but that matters more if you plan to print or copy a lot of photos and documents each month. Otherwise, this Pixma prints, copies, and scans well, and it comes with the mobile connectivity and productivity utilities that most households need, making it an economically sensible choice for many family and home-based offices.