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Canon PIXMA TR8520 Printer Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed May 11, 2020 at 11:57 am
Canon PIXMA TR8520 Picture
Mixed Usage
Family Printer
Home Office / Small Office
Black & White
Type All in One
Technology Inkjet
Wireless Yes
Color Yes

The Canon PIXMA TR8520 is a great printer for home use. It has excellent connectivity and scanning options that make this a versatile device suitable for printing everything from term papers to family photos from your camera. For those on a budget, its cost-to-print ratio is great too. On the downside, its slow print time might not be the best for those in a rush. People who print a lot of photos might also find the long wait time and mediocre color accuracy especially disappointing. However, this printer is well-suited for families or students who need the occasional file printed.

Our Verdict

7.1 Mixed Usage

Decent for mixed usage. The Canon PIXMA TR8520 has a great cost per print ratio for both black and colored ink. Those who like to print off photos will also appreciate the image quality it produces. Although this printer can be a little slow to print any kind of document or image, its multiple features more than make up for it. This printer's integrated flatbed and sheetfed scanner allow you easily scan your work, while automatic document feeding streamlines the process if you have a lot of papers to process.

8.0 Family Printer

Great for family printing. The Canon PIXMA TR8520 has excellent photo printing quality for all of your family photos. Its cost-to-print ratio is great for both black and color, making it an affordable option for whatever files you want to print off. Its integrated scanner also makes it easy for you to copy more sensitive or fragile documents such as old photographs. You can even print from your camera's SD card by plugging it directly into the printer.

5.7 Home Office / Small Office

Alright for home or small offices. While the Canon PIXMA TR8520 yields very low black text pages per cartridge, its cost per print ratio in black is great. Color also performs well, which is great if you like to add a pop of color to your work graphs. However, this printer is slow in printing off both black and color documents and it can be frustrating if you need to print off a lot of pages. Still, those working from home may appreciate this printer's automatic document feeding feature which makes it easy to process large amounts of documents. The fax feature is also a nice touch for a home office setup.

7.5 Student

Very good for students. The Canon PIXMA TR8520's cost-to-print ratio for black text documents is great. Those who like to add a splash of color to their text documents will also find the cost-to-print ratio for color ink to be quite affordable. However, this printer has a slow print time for both black and color documents. Still, other features like an integrated flatbed and sheetfed scanner can be great when you need to copy a friend's lab notes. Its Wi-Fi via router connection is also nice when your roommate needs to borrow your printer.

6.3 Black & White

Okay for black and white. The Canon PIXMA TR8520 has a great cost to print ratio for black ink, although you'll have to change the cartridge more often as it doesn't yield a lot of pages. You can purchase high yield cartridges if you want to reduce the amount of time between cartridge replacements though. This printer can also be slow to print, so if you're in a rush to print off 100 pages, prepare to be patient.

  • 7.1 Mixed Usage
  • 8.0 Family Printer
  • 5.7 Home Office / Small Office
  • 7.5 Student
  • 6.3 Black & White
  • Excellent cost-to-print ratio.
  • Exceptional connectivity options.
  • Automatic document feeding for easy scanning and copying.
  • Mediocre color accuracy.
  • Low black ink yield.
  • Slow black, color, and photo printing speed.

Check Price

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Build & Design Quality

The Canon PIXMA TR8520 is a decently designed printer. It has a solid plastic build, although some parts such as the input and output trays feel thin and flimsy. The scanner lid can be slightly raised to accommodate books. You can also conveniently reach the ink cartridges by lifting the scanner cover. Paper jams are also easy to reach as you can get to them by opening the scanner or rear cover. However, if you need to print off anything, the operation panel needs to be lifted first, which might not be intuitive to everyone.

Height 7.4" (18.9 cm)
Width 17.3" (43.9 cm)
Depth 13.8" (35.1 cm)
17.3 lbs (7.9 kg)

The Canon TR8520 is a relatively compact printer. While slightly heavier than the Canon PIXMA TS6320, its size makes it suitable for a home office or dorm table with limited space.

Display Screen
Display Screen Yes
Display Screen Size
4.2" (10.7 cm)
Touchscreen Yes

The TR8520 has an excellent display and its LCD touchscreen is easy to view in most angles. However, the screen can be unresponsive to your touch and is prone to double clicks. Still, the navigation menu is convenient and straightforward to use. It has several different display videos available should you need to troubleshoot without your manual including dealing with paper jams, putting in paper, and rear access.

In The Box

  • User manual
  • Installation CD
  • 4"x 6" Photo Paper Plus Glossy II sample pack (3 sheets)
  • Power cable
  • Fax/phone cable (otherwise known as a modular cable or RJ11 cable)
  • Functional earth connection kit (Canada only)
  • Canon PG1-280/CLI-281 starter cartridges
    • 1x PGI-280 Black
    • 1x CLI-281 Cyan
    • 1x CLI-281 Magenta
    • 1x CLI-281 Yellow
    • 1x CLI-281 Black

Photo Cartridge
Number Of Color Cartridges
Black Cartridge Model
Tested Black Page Yield
11.82 prints
Estimated Black Page Yield
224 prints
Color Cartridge Model
Tested Color Page Yield
20.01 prints
Estimated Color Page Yield
504 prints
Third Party Cartridge
High Yield Cartridge
XL and XXL
Drum Unit
No Drum Unit

The TR8520 has an okay inkjet cartridge system. Its color cartridges make it easy to replace only the color you've run out of, which is convenient. Although this printer doesn't yield a lot of black pages, its color cartridges perform much better: if you like printing out pictures for your scrapbook, then you should be able to get a lot printed before you run out of ink. There are also high-yield cartridges available if you want to increase your print yield.

This printer will accept third-party cartridges, but this could void its warranty, and special attention must be paid as this printer uses a combination of dye and pigment-based inks.

Scan Flatbed
Scan Sheetfed
Automatic Document Feeder
Duplex Scanning
Scan Resolution
600 DPI
Scan Color Depth
24 bit
Flatbed Scan Size
8.5" x 11"

This printer has impressive scanner features. It has two ways to scan your files, depending on your needs: flatbed, which is great for larger or more fragile objects like books, and sheetfed, which is useful for automatically scanning several papers at once. A nice feature of this scanner is that it's got a fax integrated into its design, making it easy to scan documents and send them to others. However, while the manufacturer advertises 1200 by 2400 DPI scan resolution, the software only offers a maximum of 600 DPI.

Cost Per Print
Black Cartridge Price
15.99 US$
Color Cartridge Price
39.99 US$
Black Only Printing
0.071 US$/print
Color Printing
0.079 US$/print
Photo Printing
0.209 US$/print
Ink Subscription

The Canon PIXMA TR8520's cost-per-print is excellent. It's fairly affordable to print in either black or color with this printer, which is great if you like to move back and forth printing essays and presentation portfolios. It's also affordable to print photos with this printer, especially compared to the cost of ink and the printer itself. While you can buy each ink cartridge separately, Canon offers bundle packs that could save you more in the long run.

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.

Printing Speed
Black Only Text Document
Color Document
Photo Printing Time
55.7 sec
First Page Out Time (Black Only)
18.2 sec
Duplex Printing
Input Tray Capacity
100 pages

The printing speed of this printer is mediocre. It takes its time printing off black-only text documents, which might be stressful when you're minutes away from handing in your final essay. Color documents are even slower. For photo printing, this printer takes almost a minute to produce one 4" x 6" photo.

Color Accuracy
Average Color dE

The PIXMA TR8520 has mediocre color accuracy. While this might not be a dealbreaker for those who just need a couple of documents in color here and there, those who want more precise color accuracy may be disappointed, especially when the result is compared to the original source file or document.

Photo Printing Quality
Borderless Printing

The PIXMA TR8520 has excellent photo printing quality. Colors are vibrant, although slightly oversaturated. Detail is clear and there's no banding on the grayscale palette.

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 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 PIXMA TR8520 has two adjustable paper trays: one in the front and one in the rear. It can also extend to support most popular paper formats and types, making it easy to have plain paper in one tray and photo paper in another.

Mobile App and Connectivity
Mobile App and Connectivity
USB Input To Computer
Wi-Fi via Router
Wi-Fi Direct
External Storage Support
Apple AirPrint
Mopria Print Service

This printer has exceptional connectivity options. For wireless, there are several connection options available including a Wi-Fi connection via your router. While you won't be able to use Wi-Fi Direct, you can connect via Bluetooth, although we could only get this connection to work using the Canon PRINT Inkjet/SELPHY app; it would otherwise not directly connect through the document printing option. If you're printing from your mobile, you can also use Apple AirPrint or Mopria for Android devices. However, if you prefer a more wired setup, you can physically wire it to your router using an ethernet cable, or you can use a USB plug to connect it directly to your computer. This printer also has SD and SDHC card slots on the front of the printer.

Mobile App and Connectivity
Mobile App Print
Mobile App Yes
App Name Canon Print Inkjet/Selphy
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Photo (JPEG, PNG)
Microsoft Office Files
Text Files (TXT)
Webpages (HTML)

The PIXMA TR8520 is compatible with Canon PRINT Inkjet/SELPHY. Available on both Android and iOS, you can print, scan, and copy directly from the app. PDFs, images, and HTML web pages can also be printed from the app and you can use the scan feature to see your scanned image directly on your device. You can order ink too, although Canon doesn't offer ink subscription.

Compared to other printers

The Canon PIXMA TR8520 is a great printer for family use. Like many Canon printers, its cost-to-print ratio is affordable however, the photo printing quality is much better on the TR8520. On top of this, this printer offers a variety of features such as an integrated sheetfed and flatbed scanner with fax capabilities, as well as several connectivity options. On the downside, its print speed in black and in color isn't the fastest, especially when compared with other printers such as the Brother MFC-J995DW or Brother HL-L2395DW. However, if you're looking for a printer for the home, whether you need to print off family photos or a final term paper, this printer is a decent choice among printers we've tested to date. 

Canon PIXMA TR8520 Price



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