In this review, we’re taking a look at the Canon TS6420a, alternatively called the TS6350a in UK or TS6360a in Australia. If you’re wondering what the ‘a’ stands for at the end of the model name, it means this model doesn’t have Bluetooth, but everything else in this review will be much the same for the TS6420 (USA), TS6350 (UK) and TS6360 (Australia).
Type: All-in-one printer
Print speed: 10ipm (colour), 15ipm (mono)
Connection type: Wi-Fi, USB
LCD preview screen: 1.44” OLED
Dimensions: 15 x 14 x 5.6 inches
Weight: 14 lbs
Warranty: 1 year (US), 2 years (UK)
The best all-in-one printers (opens in new tab) combine a printer with a built-in flatbed scanner for scanning and copying. They’ve become a popular choice for homes, schools and small office spaces bringing these commonly needed functions all under one roof. Canon hopes that its PIXMA TS6420a will stand out from its competition with its dual paper feeds, an automatic output tray, WiFi, five separate inks, automatic 2-sided printing and a 1.44” OLED display. Let’s get to testing to see how it stacks up and if you should buy one…
Canon’s PIXMA TS6420a: Features
As an all-in-one printer, Canon’s PIXMA TS6420a can print up to A4 size with a maximum resolution of 4800x1200dpi, it can also produce borderless 10x15cm prints, while its built-in scanner has a maximum resolution of 1200x2400dpi.
A five ink system is implemented with Magenta, Cyan, Yellow color inks, as well as standard Black and additional Pigment Black for rich, deep shadows and crisp, sharp text. Canon claims its prints are good for 100 years with its ChromaLife 100 hallmark. The cartridges also use Canon’s FINE technology which means the cartridges have the inkjet nozzle built-in to each ink cartridge so that you get a fresh one with each new cartridge and helps keep maintenance down.
With two paper trays you can load the front paper cassette with 100 sheets of plain A4 paper, you can also load the rear input tray with another 100 sheets of A4 paper, or 20 sheets of glossy photo paper. This is handy if you print regularly and use different paper types as you can fill both paper feeds with different media and then set it and forget it until you need to replenish either supply.
The TS6420a is capable of automatic double-sided printing which saves time and is more environmentally-friendly. Canon says that with the two-way paper feed you can experiment with new creative projects. It’s also compatible with iron-on transfers and double-sided matte paper.
Canon PIXMA TS6420a: Setup and usability
Setting up the Canon PIXMA TS6420a on your WiFi network is best done through the Canon PRINT Inkjet/SELPHY app for iOS and Android devices as it’s very easy to do and, when completed, you’ll be able to print to it from other Apple and Android devices connected to the same WiFi network without the need to download additional software.
Printing can be done wirelessly or via a USB-B type cable, though the latter isn’t included in the box. Some Canon printers feature a memory card reader so you can print directly from your camera but this has been left out.
Some budget printers don’t feature a screen and only have a simple LED light to indicate any issues, and in our experience these can be tricky to diagnose faults and troubleshoot. However the 1.44” OLED screen on the TS6420a is a joy to use, displaying helpful information which makes it much easier to troubleshoot problems. It’s too small to be used for viewing images so previewing images has to be done on a computer or smartphone but for providing information and helpful hints it’s perfect.
The TS6420a has two paper feeds. The front feed is a cassette that can hold up to 100 sheets of plain A4 paper, while the rear tray can also hold 100 sheets of A4 plain paper, or 20 sheets of photo paper. Automatic two-sided printing is a great time-saving feature if you plan to print lots of documents. It also features an output tray that automatically extends which feels very futuristic the first time you see it happen, though it is a bit of a gimmick. Auto paper width detection is also boasted.
Canon PIXMA TS6420a: Print quality
The print quality of the Canon PIXMA TS6420a was impressive with sharp and crisp text from the extra pigment black ink cartridge helping the text to appear sharp and even rivalling that of a laser printer.
We also tested printing photos on both Canon Matte Photo Paper and Canon Photo Paper Plus Glossy II and both delivered great results with the quality set to its highest setting. As you’d expect, colors looked more vibrant, with deeper blacks and sharper looking details on the glossy paper so this would be our preference for printing high quality photos. It is a bit of a shame that it can’t print A4 borderless photos as this would have been the icing on the cake, so A4 images have a thin white border around the edges.
Canon’s claims of 10 images per minute for color or 15 images per minute for mono were quickly dispelled - perhaps the images were smaller or set to lower quality in Canon’s testing. However, we still found print times to be respectable. A full color A4 image on matte paper at the highest quality took 1:15 mins, while the same image also set to best print quality took 1:50 mins on glossy paper. An A4 document consisting of text was set to the best quality and also took 55 secs, while a double-sided newsletter with a mixture of words and pictures set to best quality took just over two minutes to print.
Canon PIXMA TS6420a: Price and warranty
At the time of writing, the TS6420a had an RRP of $159.99 but was on offer at Amazon for $69 (opens in new tab). It comes with a one-year warranty from Canon in the USA, or a two-year warranty in the UK.
It uses five separate ink cartridges for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black as well as a Pigment Black for crisp text and deep shadows. Canon’s standard C, M, Y, BK 581 inks cost $15.99 and are said to last for about 99 images, making it about $0.16 per photo print. The standard PGBK pigment black cartridge is mostly used for documents producing crisp text, it’s a bigger cartridge that costs a little more at $17 though is said to last for about 200 pages, working out at $0.09 per page.
There are also XXL inks available, these cost $30 for each of the standard inks, and claim to last for 322 pages, making it $0.09 per photo print. The XXL version of the PGBK cartridge costs $30 and is said to last for 600 pages, working out at around $0.05 per print. So the XXL cartridges tend to work out a little bit better value if you can afford them. Though it’s worth noting that your mileage may vary, especially if you don’t print frequently and need to use lots of ink to clean the ink nozzles if they become clogged.
You can also find XL cartridges which sit in the middle of the standard and XXL cartridges, providing better value than the standard inks, but not as great a yield as the XXL options.
We found the best photos were printed using Canon’s Photo Paper Plus Glossy II with razor sharp details and punchy colours. However, you pay a premium for this top quality product as a 20 pack costs $16 - making it $0.80 per page for the paper alone.
Canon PIXMA TS6420a: User reviews
We searched for online reviews to see what customers who bought this printer had to say about it. Reviews were on the whole very very positive for the Canon PIXMA TS6420a, receiving 4.2 stars on Argos with 86% of customers saying that they would recommend it.
“Bought this printer when my previous trusty Canon MP560 refused to print more than one page at a time and then pretty badly. Set up was simple, although it did take me some time to figure out the workings of Canon's Smart Phone app. Speaking of which, once I got my head around it, printing photos is effortless. In fact I don't even bother logging onto my PC to print photos anymore. I can do it with a couple of click on my iPhone! The starter ink cartridges which came with the printer are still going strong over a month since my purchase. There are also plenty of alternative cheaper ink cartridge suppliers out there that make in-life costs of running this printer very reasonable indeed. Overall, one of the best buys I've made this year. Well recommended.” 3-star review, Argos
Over on Canon’s UK store reviews were once again very positive, with a total of 225 customers giving it on average 4.3 stars. While negative complaints were in the overwhelming minority. When we looked at the negative comments we found users found the printer difficult to set up.
“Bought this printer to replace an HP which had “clogged up”after 7 years of otherwise problem free usage. Found this Canon relatively difficult to set up and comparatively slow to print compared to the HP. However, seems a great printer and no other problems.” - 3-star review, Canon Store UK
Should you buy the Canon PIXMA TS6420a?
As you’d expect from an all-in-one printer, Canon’s PIXMA TS6420a can do it all - delivering crisp text, fantastic photos with a scan and copy function as well as a whole raft of other desirable features including automatic double sided printing, an OLED LCD display and a user-friendly app that is a pleasure to use.
One slight downside is that the build does feel a little flimsy in places such as the rear input tray and the front loading paper cassette. That said, for the price, it is very budget-friendly so it’s a small compromise we’d be happy to make.
Print times were modest, but more impressive was the quality of the documents and images that we produced. Text was super sharp, almost rivalling that of a laser printer, while photographs looked vibrant and super sharp with a fantastic range of depth and colors, particularly when using Canon’s proprietary glossy paper which is a bit pricey but worth it for the end result.
One issue with inkjet printers (that isn’t exclusive to the TS6420a) is that you need to use them regularly to avoid the print heads from clogging. A blockage can affect print quality and also use up lots of expensive ink to try and flush it out. However if you do plan on printing both lots of documents for school, university or work, or photos for family albums or your photography portfolio then the TS6420a would be a great option.
All-in-all there’s a lot to love about Canon’s PIXMA TS6420a, from its intuitive and easy-to-use app to the extensive range of features all squeezed into a compact unit, with top text and photo printing to boot!