The Canon Pixma MG6821 is a decent printer, provided you don’t need every refinement offered by top wireless all-in-one printers like faxing or wired networking, like you'd find with our best all-in-one printer overall, the HP Officejet Pro. Missing features aside, it’s one of the best home inkjet printers we reviewed, with better-than-average document and photo printing that stands alongside the best printers we reviewed.
In our testing, the Pixma printed documents with clear, readable text that was mostly free of noticeable errors. We did see some ink spots but only under high magnification. Photo quality ranked among the best in our review. The only real problems with the Pixma’s printing are its average print speeds and print resolution, which is lower than other top-rated inkjet printers. Documents and images scanned with the Pixma’s flatbed scanner are of pretty good quality, but copy quality leaves a lot to be desired thanks to the lower print resolution.
Canon delivers that superb photo quality with a second black ink cartridge, a pigment black ink that is better suited to photos. This fifth cartridge joins the standard colors used in document printing (black, cyan, magenta and yellow), which all together average out to a cost of 18 cents per page when purchased at the manufacturer-suggested retail price. That’s not fantastic – the category average is 15 cents per page – but it may be worth it for the top-notch photo quality. Canon doesn’t offer any high-capacity cartridges for this printer model, so you’re stuck with standard sizes and prices. The printer’s 100-page paper tray is average for a home inkjet printer, and it also has a dedicated tray for photo paper, which holds up to 20 sheets.
The Pixma is missing a few key features, but if you don’t need them, the savings are worth it. First and foremost, there is no wired networking option, leaving you stuck with Wi-Fi only. Also, despite being sold as an all-in-one printer, there is no fax capability. These may not be essential functions for you, but their absence is notable when compared to other multifunction printers.
Another oversight is the lack of a USB port, which means you can’t print from a flash drive. Cameras with wireless PictBridge capability can connect to the printer but not wired cameras. It does, however, have integrated card slots for SD cards (including SD, SDHC and SDXC formats) and Sony’s Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick Pro Duo.
It does have good connectivity options for smartphones and tablets, thanks to Apple AirPrint for iPhones and iPads and Google Cloud Print for Android devices. You can also print wirelessly through Mopria-certified apps and Canon’s own app, Canon PRINT Inkjet/SELPHY.
The Canon Pixma MG6821 comes with a standard one-year warranty, which is comparable to other inkjet printers. The company offers both phone and email support, but there is no live chat option and no way to reach support personnel through social media. There are, however, plenty of support materials online, with a searchable manual, a troubleshooting guide, answers to frequently asked questions and dedicated support forums all available through the Canon website.
The Canon Pixma MG6821 impressed us in testing and is one of the best home wireless printers with its mix of excellent document and photo printing. Still, it would be nice to see a few more key features. Ink prices, while high, aren’t exorbitantly expensive for an inkjet. All in all, the Canon Pixma MG6821 has print quality to match the top-rated wireless printers in our review, and that’s worth considering even with its flaws.