Canon PIXMA TR8520 Printer Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8.1
Reviewed May 11, 2020 at 11:57 am
Canon PIXMA TR8520 Picture
8.4
Family
6.0
Small/Home Office
8.0
Student
6.3
Black & White
8.0
Casual Photo
Type All in One
Technology Inkjet
Wireless Yes
Color Yes
SuperTank
No

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 just decent color accuracy especially disappointing. However, this printer is well-suited for families or students who need the occasional file printed.

Our Verdict

8.4 Family

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.

Pros
  • Excellent cost-to-print ratio.
  • Exceptional connectivity options.
  • Automatic document feeding for easy scanning and copying.
Cons
  • Low black ink yield.
  • Slow black, color, and photo printing speed.
6.0 Small/Home Office

Mediocre 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.

Pros
  • Excellent cost-to-print ratio.
  • Exceptional connectivity options.
  • Automatic document feeding for easy scanning and copying.
Cons
  • Low black ink yield.
  • Slow black, color, and photo printing speed.
8.0 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.

Pros
  • Excellent cost-to-print ratio.
  • Exceptional connectivity options.
  • Automatic document feeding for easy scanning and copying.
Cons
  • Low black ink yield.
  • Slow black, color, and photo printing speed.
6.3 Black & White

Acceptable 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.

Pros
  • Excellent cost-to-print ratio.
  • Exceptional connectivity options.
  • Automatic document feeding for easy scanning and copying.
Cons
  • Low black ink yield.
  • Slow black, color, and photo printing speed.
8.0 Casual Photo

The Canon PIXMA TR8520 is great for printing photos. Even though the color accuracy is just decent, the photo printing quality is excellent, and colors look vibrant. The color page yield is good and the cartridges aren't very expensive either, so printing photos over time is cost-effective.

Pros
  • Excellent cost-to-print ratio.
  • Exceptional connectivity options.
  • Automatic document feeding for easy scanning and copying.
Cons
  • Low black ink yield.
  • Slow black, color, and photo printing speed.
  • 8.4 Family
  • 6.0 Small/Home Office
  • 8.0 Student
  • 6.3 Black & White
  • 8.0 Casual Photo
  1. Update 6/8/2020: Converted to Test Bench 0.8.1.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
7.0
Design
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.

Design
Dimensions
Height 7.4" (18.9 cm)
Width 17.3" (43.9 cm)
Depth 13.8" (35.1 cm)
Weight
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.

8.5
Design
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.

Design
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

6.6
Design
Cartridge
Photo Cartridge
Yes
Number Of Color Cartridges
4
Black Cartridge Model
PGI-280
Tested Black Page Yield
11.91 prints
Estimated Black Page Yield
226 prints
Color Cartridge Model
CLI-281
Tested Color Page Yield
19.99 prints
Estimated Color Page Yield
492 prints
Third Party Cartridge
Yes
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. However, if black page yield is important to you, check out the Epson WorkForce WF-2860. 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.

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 PIXMA TR8520 has great scanning 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. Unlike the Canon PIXMA TS9120, it also has fax integrated into its design, making it easy to scan documents and send them to others. 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
8.5
Printing
Cost Per Print
Black Cartridge Price
15.99 US$
Color Cartridge Price
39.99 US$
Black Only Printing
0.071 US$/print
Color Printing
0.081 US$/print
Photo Printing
0.208 US$/print
Ink Subscription
No

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. If cost-per-print is the only feature you're looking for with your printer, check out the Canon PIXMA iX6820 or Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestment Tank.

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.

6.3
Printing
Printing Speed
Black Only Text Document
9 PPM
Color Document
4 PPM
Photo Printing Time
55.7 sec
First Page Out Time (Black Only)
18.2 sec
Duplex Printing
Automatic
Input Tray Capacity
100 pages

The printing speed of the Canon PIXMA TR8520 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.

7.0
Printing
Color Accuracy
Average Color dE
9.95

The PIXMA TR8520 has decent 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. If you want a similar printer with slightly better color accuracy, the Canon PIXMA TR4520 is a good alternative.

8.7
Printing
Photo Printing Quality
Borderless Printing
Yes

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
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
9.0
Mobile App and Connectivity
Connectivity
Ethernet
Yes
USB Input To Computer
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi via Router
Yes
Wi-Fi Direct
No
External Storage Support
Yes
Apple AirPrint
Yes
Mopria Print Service
Yes

The Canon TR8520 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.

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 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. Also see our recommendations for the best photo printers, the best home printers, and the best printers for small businesses.

Canon PIXMA TS8220
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Overall, the Canon PIXMA TR8520 performs significantly better than the Canon PIXMA TS8220. The TR8520 is better-built, it has an automatic document feeder, and it prints much better photos. The TR8520 prints out black documents faster, but the TS8220 is significantly faster at printing color documents and photos.

HP ENVY Photo 7855/7858
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Canon PIXMA TR8520 is better than the HP ENVY Photo 7855/7858. The Canon is better built and it has four color cartridges that offer a much higher color page yield. Even though the cartridges are more expensive, the cost-per-print over time is cheaper. However, the HP has better color accuracy, it prints faster, and it has a bit more connectivity options.

Canon PIXMA TS8320
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

Overall, the Canon TR8520 is much better than the Canon PIXMA TS8320. The TR8520 has a sheetfed scanner, it prints higher quality photos, and it's more cost-effective due to its higher page yield and cheaper replacement ink. However, the TS8320 prints faster, especially when printing color documents and photos.

Canon PIXMA TS6320
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

The Canon PIXMA TR8520 is better than the Canon PIXMA TS6320 for most uses. They use the same cartridges, so they deliver similar page yields, but the TR8520 has a sheetfed scanner with an Automatic Document Feeder, and the color accuracy is a bit better. However, the TS6320 is better built and it's more compact.

Canon PIXMA TR4520
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.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.

Canon PIXMA TS9120
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Canon PIXMA TR8520 is a slightly better printer for family use than the Canon PIXMA TS9120. The TR8520 feels a bit better built, it has an automatic document feeder for processing multi-page documents quickly, and its cost-per-print is slightly more affordable too, particularly for color and photo printing. It also has better photo printing quality. In comparison, the TS9120 is slightly quicker at printing black-text documents as well as photos. It also supports Wi-Fi Direct.

Canon PIXMA TR7520
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Canon PIXMA TR7520 and the Canon PIXMA TR8520 are very similar in terms of design and features, but the TR8520 performs significantly better for most uses. The TR8520 has a better display screen, it yields more black and color pages, and it prints higher quality photos. The TR8520 also has more connectivity options and its cost-per-print is lower, but the TR7520 prints faster, especially when printing photos.

Brother MFC-J995DW
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Brother MFC-J995DW is much better overall than the Canon PIXMA TR8520. The Brother has a significantly higher color and black page yield, so it's also a more cost-effective printer over time. However, the Canon has better color accuracy, the photo quality is better, and it has more connectivity options.

Canon PIXMA iX6820
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

The Canon PIXMA TR8520 is a better printer than the Canon PIXMA iX6820. The TR8520 has a slightly better photo printing quality and color accuracy, it includes a scanner and has a much better build. It is less wide than the iX6820, so it should fit on your desk or workspace easier. It also has better connectivity options including external storage support and Mopria Print Services.

Canon PIXMA TS5320
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

For most uses, the Canon PIXMA TR8520 is significantly better than the Canon PIXMA TS5320. The TR8520 has a better display screen, it yields more black and color pages, and it has a sheetfed scanner to process multi-page documents. Additionally, the TR8520's cost-per-print is much lower, it prints faster, and it prints higher quality photos.

HP OfficeJet 5255/5258
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Canon PIXMA TR8520 is much better than the HP OfficeJet 5255/5258. The Canon has a much higher page yield, whether it be with color or black pages, so it has a much lower cost-per-print. It has better photo printing quality, although the HP has better color accuracy. The HP also has a better overall build quality.

Epson WorkForce WF-2860
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Canon PIXMA TR8520 is better than the Epson WorkForce WF-2860 for the most part. The Canon has a much higher color page yield, allowing you to print a lot more pages from a single cartridge. It also has better color accuracy and the photo quality is a lot better. However, the Epson has better black page yield, so it's a better choice for small offices.

Brother MFC-J895DW
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Overall, the Canon PIXMA TR8520 is better than the Brother MFC-J895DW. The Canon yields more black and color pages, and it's significantly more cost-effective in the long run. The Canon also has better color accuracy and photo printing quality, but the Brother prints faster and has a larger input tray.

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