Canon has revised its Pixma TR4000 line of all-in-one printers, replacing the TR4520 reviewed here in January 2019 with the $119.99 Pixma TR4720 Wireless All-in-One Printer. This inkjet printer/copier/scanner/fax, like its predecessor and the majority of Pixmas in its price range, prints effectively, with especially attractive images, and its standard automated document feeder (ADF) makes it a better bargain than a number of other entry-level family and home office machines. At this price point, there is a great deal of competition, and given the TR4720’s small paper tray and high cost per page, it is evident that it is intended for low-volume printing and copying environments. This Pixma should serve you and your family well if you do not exceed approximately 100 prints per month.
1. Miniature and Methodical
The new Pixma is similar to its predecessor. For example, both the new TR4720 and the old TR4520 measure 7.5 by 17.7 by 11.7 inches and weigh 12.7 pounds. Compared to various competitors, including the HP Envy 6455e, the Brother MFC-J805DW, and the Editors’ Choice-winning Epson Expression Premium XP-7100, this is compact and lightweight. But, there are even smaller and lighter inkjets, such as the HP Tango X.
As previously stated, many AIOs in this price range lack an automatic document feeder for copying or scanning multipage documents without the need to place each page individually on the scanning glass. The Pixma TR4720, like the previously stated printers with the exception of the Tango X, includes a 20-sheet ADF. (The Tango supports mobile device and smartphone scanning.)
Like with other entry-level inkjets, the Pixma does not separate the four typical process colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, or CMYK) into separate ink cartridges. Instead, it has only two ink tanks: one huge black ink tank and a multicolored cartridge containing cyan, magenta, and yellow.
The two-tank technique is possibly wasteful compared to printers with four or more ink cartridges: The tricolor cartridge must be replaced as soon as one of its colors runs out, even if the other two colors still have ample ink. Only the Brother MFC-J805DW (four cartridges) and Epson XP-7100 (five cartridges) do not have this problem.
Another drawback of the Pixma TR4720 is its 20th-century control panel, which comprises of many buttons for navigation, configuration, and starting copy and scan operations, as well as a numeric keypad for entering fax numbers and a two-line monochrome LCD in place of a color touch screen.
Obviously, any picture printer will benefit from a convenient touch screen that can display graphical representations of photos and documents, as well as menus with color icons and programmable settings. The TR4720’s control panel is not pretty, cool, or very nice, but with a little practice it will suffice for walk-up activities. However, Canon’s Print Inkjet/Selphy App on your Android or iOS device may be more convenient. (More on the included software and networking choices below.)
2. Software for Connectivity and Productivity
Typical connectivity choices include a USB 2.0 connector for connecting a single computer, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Wireless Direct (Wi-Fi Direct compatible). In addition to Wi-Fi Direct, the Canon Print Inkjet/Selphy app is another mobile option. In addition, you receive Canon’s Easy-PhotoPrint Editor for editing and enhancing photographs, as well as Creative Park for creating calendars, photo albums, and more.
There is no support for USB flash drives or SD card flash memory, however the Pixma TR8520 offers these features, along with five ink tanks and Ethernet. However, voice-activated operation via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant allows you to print, copy, and conduct a variety of other operations (e.g., “Google, print today’s calendar and to-do list”) without leaving the bathtub.
3. Slow Printing Rates, Satisfactory Quality
Canon estimates that the TR4720 can print 8.8 monochrome pages per minute (ppm) and 4.4 color pages per minute (ppm). This is not the slowest item in its category, but it is close. HP’s Envy 6455e is rated at up to 7ppm, while Epson’s XP-7100 is rated at an amazing 15.8ppm for black and 11ppm for color.
I conducted my tests over USB using our normal Intel Core i5 Windows 10 Pro testbed. The Pixma printed our usual 12-page test document in Microsoft Word at a rate printer 9ppm, which was somewhat faster than its rating. The HP Envy averaged 6.9ppm compared to the Brother MFC-10.1ppm, J805DW’s with the Epson XP-7100 being the fastest at 13.0ppm.
Next, I timed the TR4720 as it printed our assortment of colorful and complex business documents, including Adobe Acrobat PDFs with mixed text and graphics in various fonts and colors, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets with accompanying full-page charts and graphs, and PowerPoint handouts with colorful fonts and images. I averaged these values with those from our text document to arrive at a score of 4.9ppm.
This surpassed the 2019 Pixma by 0.4ppm and ranked in the top of the machines mentioned here. HP’s Tango X, for example, managed a lackluster 1.8ppm, while the Envy 6455e performed just marginally better at 2.8ppm. At 4.8ppm, the Brother is comparable to the Canon, whereas the Epson XP-7100 produces 6.3ppm.
Next, I timed the AIO while it printed some vivid and wonderfully detailed 4-by-6-inch photos. Each borderless snapshot took an average of 59 seconds to print at the highest quality level. This is a second slower than its predecessor, but six seconds faster than Canon.
If you begin with attractive, high-quality content, the Pixma TR4720 will not disappoint you with its output. Text was somewhat too black, but well-shaped and beautiful, with well-spaced lines and letters; it wasn’t laser-quality, but it was clean and highly readable.
The Canon did an excellent job with our full-page graphs and figures. There was minimal blotching or uneven ink distribution in the dark and gradient fills, and the colors were vivid and realistic. Canon and HP perform a decent job of producing good-looking photos with two-cartridge inkjet technology, although the results are less colorful and detailed than those from five- and six-ink machines. But, unless you are really particular, they are appealing enough for most situations.
In printing a large number of full-page, color-rich papers, I saw that the TR4720 devoured ink tanks at an alarming rate, indicating that this is not the best printer for creating stacks of colorful handouts.
There are numerous compact, entry-level inkjet all-in-one printers available, each of which prints well and offers a variety of functions. The TR4720, for example, has an automated document feeder, a feature that many budget AIOs lack. These printers are relegated to light duty due to their operating costs, but if you only need to print or copy a few hundred pages per month and want good-looking images, this Pixma is a reliable option.