This all-in-one Canon printer is small, simple, and surprisi…

Canon's Pixma TS6420a handles two-sided document printing reliably.

canon pixma ts6420a

MSRP $130.00

“The Canon Pixma TS6420A is a great personal printer with scan and copy capabilities, but ink costs will add up quickly if you print frequently.”

Pros

  • nice photo print

  • Fast for a budget printer

  • very compact and lightweight

  • low upfront costs

  • easy setup

Shortcoming

  • black ink is expensive

  • Tricolor cartridge wastes ink

The Canon Pixma TS6420a is a low-cost all-in-one printer that could be a perfect fit for your home. In addition to the favorable price, it’s small and lightweight, making it easy to set up and move around if you decide to reorganize your workspace.

With each new printer, you need to take some time to consider how well it fits your needs. A busy office will want a robust, high-volume business printer, while this Canon Pixma TS6420a seems to be a better personal printer. The main thing is quality and value, so let’s see how well Canon’s budget printer performs and how quickly ink costs add up.

design

Canon's Pixma TS6420a is a compact and good-looking printer.
Canon’s Pixma TS6420a is a compact and good-looking printer. Alan Trulli/

The Canon Pixma TS6420a might be the smallest printer I’ve tested so far, measuring just 6 inches long. The main paper tray and output bin are placed in the front, and with its 14-inch depth, the printer is usable on a deep shelf. Weight is only 13.8 pounds.

The rear tray lifts up for photo prints, heavy paper, and envelopes, increasing the printer’s height to 11.25 inches. If you plan to keep it on a shelf or under a cabinet, you’ll need at least 16.25 inches of vertical space to open the top lid of this all-in-one printer’s flatbed scanner. The width is 16 inches, making it a small printer overall.

Canon has given the Pixma TS6420a an attractive two-tone shading and it is available in two color options. I tested a grey-on-black printer. Canon also sells a white-on-light gray style, so you can choose the color that best matches your decor.

The black-and-white display is small at 1.4 inches, but it’s easy to see because the control panel is tilted upward. The menu layout is easy to understand and navigate, with large, clearly labeled buttons on either side of the display.

The Canon Pixma TS6420a's control panel is easy to understand.
The Canon Pixma TS6420a’s control panel is easy to understand. Alan Trulli/

The main paper tray is located at the bottom of the front and can hold 100 sheets. The rear tray also has a 100-sheet capacity, so unless you switch to another type of paper, you won’t need to reload frequently.

The main tray comes out completely, which is a good thing. I had to remove a small cover to insert the paper. This isn’t a problem, but replacing the cover requires aligning the edges, which is a bit of a hassle. If the design includes a hinge, adding paper will be much easier.

printing performance

Canon's Pixma TS6420a is a great photo printer.
Canon’s Pixma TS6420a is a great photo printer. Tracy Trulli/

The Canon Pixma TS6420a has excellent print quality for a low-cost all-in-one printer. Photos are bright and clear with accurate colors, while text is clear and easy to read.

With budget inkjet, lighter colors are often added to images. The Pixma TS6420a has good color fidelity when using glossy or matte photo paper. Photo prints have good detail and vibrant colors in the right places, making it one of the best four-color printers I’ve tried.

Borderless printing works as expected, and a variety of media are supported. However, the Pixma TS6420a doesn’t capture photos well on plain paper, so choose matte or glossy photo paper.

For better photos, you need to get a printer designed for photographic prints. The best photo printers use five or more ink colors to provide more moderate detail and smoother gradations.

Print speeds are good for an entry-level printer. Monochrome printing outputs up to 13 pages per minute, so you can receive long documents or run copies quickly. Depending on how sparse or dense the pages are, you’ll be able to print about seven color documents per minute. And 4×6 photo prints are also fast, finishing in about 43 seconds.

Alan Trulli tests the envelope printing capabilities of the Pixma TS6420a.
Alan Trulli tests the envelope-printing capabilities of the Pixma TS6420a. Tracy Trulli/

Load envelopes, 4×6 photo paper, and heavy paper into the rear tray and print well. Printing envelopes from a mobile device is often frustrating, but the Canon Pixma TS6420a accomplished the task without any hassle. Double-sided (duplex) printing also worked reliably.

special features

Alan Trulli scanned some photos with the Pixma TS6420a.
Tracy Trulli/

The Canon Pixma TS6420a is an all-in-one printer that can copy, scan, and print. Copying from the device is quick and easy using the control panel buttons and display. In about 17 seconds, a page full of photos comes up that look almost as good as the original.

The scanning resolution on the computer is up to 600 dots per inch, but I could only scan at 300 dpi when using the mobile app. Still, the scan quality looked good and it was fast.

The Pixma TS6420a does not include an automatic document feeder for scanning or copying multiple pages at once. If this is important to you, check out our list of the best all-in-one printers to find a model.

budget value trade-off

Alan literally checks the ink levels on the Pixma TS6420a.
Alan literally checks the ink levels on the Pixma TS6420a. Tracy Trulli/

The Canon Pixma TS6420a costs $130, but you can get it for less than $100. Where you really pay is in long-term ink costs. This is a well-known compromise when you buy a cheap printer.

Canon sells a value pack containing color and black cartridges for $40. The average ink cost for each page when ordering this bundle is about 10 cents. The high-capacity value pack costs more (about $55), but has significantly more ink, so it’s worth a few cents more. At most, you’ll average around 7.5 cents per page.

However, value packs are only saving money if you run out of black and color cartridges at the same time. Essentially, you have to order a black or tri-color cartridge separately.

The higher capacity cartridges (PG260 XL and CL261 XL) last for about 400 black and 300 color pages, respectively. Canon doesn’t list the yield of the standard cartridges, but I used the amount of ink compared to the XL cartridges to estimate 210 black pages and 204 color pages.

The cost per page for individual black cartridges is 8 to 9 cents per page, and each color document costs 10 to 12 cents. This is expensive, especially for black ink. The tri-color cartridge is a wasteful design because it is unlikely that you will have cyan, magenta, and yellow finished at the same time.

Is this the printer for you?

The Canon Pixma TS6420a has excellent print quality, relatively fast performance, and ease of use. Photos are surprisingly clear, with brilliant color for a four-color printer. Scanning and copying is fast, and the paper trays are well designed.

The small footprint and light weight make it a good choice for a personal printer for home or school, where you may want to carry it around.

The ink is my only complaint about this all-in-one printer. Black ink is more expensive than others, and the color cartridge is a three-in-one that’s almost guaranteed to waste some ink.

If you’re not sure about the Canon Pixma TS6420a, you may want to check out our list of other top printers.

This means it is a good printer for personal use in small quantities. When you need to frequently print black-and-white, as well as many photos, ink costs will add up quickly.

If you print only a few photos a month, as well as a few letters, documents and labels, Canon’s budget printer may be perfect. The Pixma TS6420a is a great photo printer and a good, reliable all-in-one.






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