Canon PIXMA TR4520 Printer Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8.1
Reviewed May 19, 2020 at 07:56 am
Canon PIXMA TR4520 Picture
7.1
Family
4.4
Small/Home Office
5.1
Student
4.1
Black & White
7.6
Casual Photo
Type All in One
Technology Inkjet
Wireless Yes
Color Yes
SuperTank
No

The Canon PIXMA TR4520 is an okay family printer best suited for family use. This fairly small and compact printer uses a singular color ink cartridge and has great color accuracy for printing photos. However, it doesn't yield a lot of black and color pages before it runs out of ink, and it also prints very slowly. Its 2-line Full Dot Matrix LCD display can be frustrating for some as it can be hard to see it clearly if you're not at the right angle, and its interface can be hard to navigate.

Our Verdict

7.1 Family

The Canon PIXMA TR4520 is okay as a family printer. It has great photo color accuracy for saving your favorite family portraits and a flatbed scanner for digitizing family documents. Its cost-to-print for black and color is disappointing, though, especially because it doesn't yield a lot of pages of either cartridge and you may have to replace the cartridge more often.

Pros
  • Great photo printing quality.
  • Fairly compact size.
Cons
  • Very low page yield for both black and color documents.
  • Disappointing cost-to-print ratio for black and color cartridges.
  • Very slow printing speed for all items.
4.4 Small/Home Office

The Canon PIXMA TR4520 is poor for home office use. It runs out of black ink fairly quickly and you may have to replace the cartridge more often. It's also extremely slow printing off black text documents, which isn't great when you have a lot of pages that need printing. It has an automatic document feeder to streamline your scanning or copying but double-sided documents need to be done manually. It also has an integrated fax.

Pros
  • Great photo printing quality.
  • Fairly compact size.
Cons
  • Very low page yield for both black and color documents.
  • Disappointing cost-to-print ratio for black and color cartridges.
  • Very slow printing speed for all items.
5.1 Student

The Canon PIXMA TR4520 is poor for student use. It prints off a very low amount of black ink documents before you have to replace the cartridge and it prints documents very slowly. While the color cartridge allows you to add a splash of color to your assignments, it also suffers from the same high cost-to-print ratio and slow print-time as the black ink. On the upside, you can hook this printer up using Wi-Fi via your router or you can use the companion app, available on Android and iOS.

Pros
  • Great photo printing quality.
  • Fairly compact size.
Cons
  • Very low page yield for both black and color documents.
  • Disappointing cost-to-print ratio for black and color cartridges.
  • Very slow printing speed for all items.
4.1 Black & White

The Canon PIXMA TR4520 is poor for black and white printing. It runs out of black ink quickly so you won't get a lot of pages out of it before you have to replace the cartridge. It's also very slow when it comes to printing off black text documents, which isn't great when you're in a hurry. On the upside, there's an XL sized cartridge available if you want to cut down on buying ink.

Pros
  • Great photo printing quality.
  • Fairly compact size.
Cons
  • Very low page yield for both black and color documents.
  • Disappointing cost-to-print ratio for black and color cartridges.
  • Very slow printing speed for all items.
7.6 Casual Photo

The Canon PIXMA TR4520 is good for printing photos. The color accuracy is decent and the photo printing quality is impressive, as colors are vibrant and full of detail. Sadly, because of its low color page yield, it's costly to print over time if you print a lot of photos.

Pros
  • Great photo printing quality.
  • Fairly compact size.
Cons
  • Very low page yield for both black and color documents.
  • Disappointing cost-to-print ratio for black and color cartridges.
  • Very slow printing speed for all items.
  • 7.1 Family
  • 4.4 Small/Home Office
  • 5.1 Student
  • 4.1 Black & White
  • 7.6 Casual Photo
  1. Update 6/8/2020: Converted to Test Bench 0.8.1.

Check Price

Black pixma tr4520
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com
White PIXMA TR4520
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
5.5
Design
Build & Design Quality

The Canon PIXMA TR4520 has a disappointing build. While the scanner lid can slightly lift to accommodate thicker items like magazines, part of the lid is the output tray and papers can move around as you lift it. The paper input tray is also fairly small and if you want to keep paper inside the printer, it needs to be kept open. If you have a paper jam, you have to lift the back of the printer or lay it on its side to get at it. The ink cartridges are also accessible only when the printer is on and if you need to change it mid-way through a printing job, the output tray could get in the way if it has a lot of paper on it.

Design
Dimensions
Height 7.4" (18.7 cm)
Width 17.1" (43.5 cm)
Depth 11.6" (29.5 cm)
Weight
14.5 lbs (6.6 kg)

The Canon PIXMA TR4520 is relatively compact and shouldn't take up too much space on your desk, which is good for small offices or dorms.

4.0
Design
Display Screen
Display Screen Yes
Display Screen Size
2.4" (6.2 cm)
Touchscreen No

The Canon PIXMA TR4520 has a poor display screen. It uses what Canon calls a 2-line Full Dot Matrix LCD display which gives it a retro, calculator-like feel. However, it has bad viewing angles, and to read it clearly you have to be standing and looking down at it. The display console itself doesn't tilt or swivel, so you can't improve the angle, and the interface menu is very difficult to navigate.

Design
In The Box

  • Canon PIXMA TR4520 printer
  • User manual
  • 4"x6" Photo Paper Glossy sample pack
  • Setup CD-ROM
  • Power cable
  • PG-243 Black FINE cartridge
  • CL-244 Color FINE cartridge
  • Modular cable

3.6
Design
Cartridge
Photo Cartridge
No
Number Of Color Cartridges
1
Black Cartridge Model
PG-243 Black
Tested Black Page Yield
4.67 prints
Estimated Black Page Yield
88 prints
Color Cartridge Model
CL-244 Color
Tested Color Page Yield
5.95 prints
Estimated Color Page Yield
126 prints
Third Party Cartridge
Yes
High Yield Cartridge
XL
Drum Unit
No Drum Unit

The Canon PIXMA TR4520 has a poor cartridge system. It uses one black and one combined color cartridge. However, this printer doesn't produce a lot of black ink pages, which isn't great when you need to print off a lot of essays or documents. While it yields slightly more color pages, you may have to change the color cartridge more often to compensate. If you need even more ink, Canon does sell a slightly larger version. This printer can also accept third-party cartridges, but this could void its warranty. If you want a printer with a much higher page yield with black and white documents, check out the Canon PIXMA MG3620.

If you want a printer with a better cartridge system, check out the Epson Expression Home XP-4100.

8.1
Design
Scanner
Scanner
Yes
Scan Flatbed
Yes
Scan Sheetfed
Yes
Automatic Document Feeder
Yes
Duplex Scanning
No
Scan Resolution
1200 DPI
Scan Color Depth
24 bit
Flatbed Scan Size
8.5" x 11"
Fax
Yes
Copy
Yes

Update 05/28/2020: We originally reported that this printer’s software limits its max resolution to 600 DPI. However, you can raise it to 1200 DPI depending on which Canon software you’re using. The review has been updated to reflect this.

The Canon TR4520 has great scanning features. This printer has a flatbed scanner, which is great for more delicate or slightly bulkier items, as well as a sheetfed scanner, which is better suited for processing a lot of pages in one go. It also has an integrated fax, which is a nice touch. However, if you want to copy or scan double-sided documents, you have to flip each side manually. While the DPI limit may seem to be 600 at first glance, if you look under the "drivers" tab, you can do an advance scan with Canon’s My Image Garden software at a higher resolution. If you’re using the Canon IJ Scan Utility app, these settings can be found under the “scangear” tab. Note, if the document you’re scanning exceeds over 100mb then you need to turn off “thumbnail preview mode” (located on the left top corner of “scan advanced” settings page) to reach 1200 DPI.

Printing
5.7
Printing
Cost Per Print
Black Cartridge Price
15.99 US$
Color Cartridge Price
20.99 US$
Black Only Printing
0.182 US$/print
Color Printing
0.167 US$/print
Photo Printing
0.447 US$/print
Ink Subscription
No

The cost-per-print of the Canon TR4520 is disappointing. While the cartridges are reasonably priced, the black ink cartridge can run out fairly quickly and if you're always replacing it, it can add up in the long term. The color cartridge is slightly more cost-efficient but because it includes all colors in one unit, when you run out of one color, you have to replace the entire cartridge, which can also become costly in the long term. Canon also doesn't offer an ink subscription.

Keep in mind that even if you print only in black, most inkjet printers continue using the color cartridge for servicing tasks, so you'll likely still need to replace it eventually.

5.1
Printing
Printing Speed
Black Only Text Document
4 PPM
Color Document
2 PPM
Photo Printing Time
78.8 sec
First Page Out Time (Black Only)
18.3 sec
Duplex Printing
Automatic
Input Tray Capacity
100 pages

The printing speed of the Canon TR4520 is disappointing. It prints black-only text documents very slowly and color documents are even slower. Printing one 4" x 6" photo also takes over a minute to finish.

7.2
Printing
Color Accuracy
Average Color dE
9.79

The Canon PIXMA TR4520 has decent color accuracy. While it shouldn't be a dealbreaker for those printing off occasional documents with a splash of color, users who need more precise color accuracy may find the results disappointing, especially when compared to their source file.

If color accuracy is important to you, then check out the HP ENVY 5055.

8.3
Printing
Photo Printing Quality
Borderless Printing
Yes

The Canon PIXMA TR4520 has impressive photo printing quality. Although there's a little bit of banding on the grayscale, colors are still vibrant and detail is clear.

These results are based on the actual physical photo, not the scanned image provided for reference above, which may not be representative of the printer's photo print quality.

Printing
Printing Size
Letter (8.5" x 11") Yes
Legal (8.5" x 14") Yes
Tabloid (11" x 17") No
A6 (105mm x 148mm) No
A5 (148mm x 210mm) Yes
A4 (210mm x 297mm) Yes
Photo (2" x 3") No
Photo (4" x 6") Yes
Photo (5" x 7") Yes

The Canon PIXMA TR4520 has one input tray. It doesn't have a cassette but it has a slider to adjust for most popular paper formats. However, you won't be able to close the input tray if there's paper loaded inside it. There's also one output tray that has an extender.

Mobile App and Connectivity
7.0
Mobile App and Connectivity
Connectivity
Ethernet
Yes
USB Input To Computer
Yes
Bluetooth
No
Wi-Fi via Router
Yes
Wi-Fi Direct
No
External Storage Support
No
Apple AirPrint
Yes
Mopria Print Service
Yes

The Canon PIXMA TR4520 has decent connectivity features. If you want to use it wirelessly, you can hook it up to your Wi-Fi via your router or if you're on a mobile device, you can use Apple AirPrint or Mopria Print Service. This printer can also use an ethernet cable, which is nice if you prefer a wired connection. However, it can't connect via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi Direct, and it can't print off anything directly from an external storage device such as a memory card.

If you want Bluetooth support, check out the Canon PIXMA TS5320.

9.5
Mobile App and Connectivity
Mobile App Print
Mobile App Yes
App Name Canon Print Inkjet/Selphy
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Photo (JPEG, PNG)
Yes
PDF
Yes
Microsoft Office Files
Yes
Text Files (TXT)
No
Webpages (HTML)
Yes

The Canon TR4520 is compatible with the Canon PRINT Inkjet/SELPHY app. Available on both Android and iOS, you can print, scan, and copy from the app as well as see items you scan directly on your device. You can also order ink if you need it, but Canon doesn't offer an ink subscription feature.

Compared to other printers

The Canon PIXMA TR4520 is a disappointing printer overall, and there are better options available. Even though it has decent color accuracy and impressive photo printing quality, the low page yield means you'll have to buy new cartridges often. Also see our recommendations for the best home printers, the best printers for students, and the best Canon printers.

Canon PIXMA MG3620
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

For the most part, the Canon PIXMA TR4520 is a better printer overall than the Canon PIXMA MG3620. The TR4520 has a sheetfed scanner, it can be used as a fax, and the color accuracy and the photo printing quality are each better on this printer. However, the MG3620 has a much higher page yield, so printing is more cost-effective over time.

Canon PIXMA TR8520
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Canon PIXMA TR8520 is much better overall than the Canon PIXMA TR4520. The TR8520 is better-built, it has a touchscreen display, and the color and black page yield are both much higher, so the cost-per-print is lower. The TR8520 also has more connectivity options and it prints faster. However, the TR4520 has slightly better color accuracy.

Brother MFC-J497DW
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Brother MFC-J497DW is a better printer than the Canon PIXMA TR4520. The Brother is much better built, it has a bit higher page yield, and it prints faster. The cartridges for each printer are about the same price, but the cost-per-print is much cheaper on the Brother. However, the Canon has better color accuracy and much better photo printing quality.

Brother HL-L2390DW
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Canon PIXMA TR4520 and the Brother HL-L2390DW are two very different printers. The Canon is an inkjet printer that prints in color, making it a better choice for home use. It has decent color accuracy, impressive photo printing quality, and it has a sheetfed scanner too. On the other hand, the Brother is a monochrome laser printer that has an excellent black page yield, making it ideal for office use.

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