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This Compact Canon Is the Truly No-Hassle Printer I’ve Been Hunting For

My history with printers consists mostly of bad memories. In college there was the cheapo printer that tended to jam or malfunction at the very minute I needed it to spit out the term paper I had just finished (late again for class). Or the one at my parents’ house, which took ages to boot up, sputtering its way through a job. And gone but not forgotten: the industrial-size printer at the office that required you to play Operation to find the paper jam somewhere within its 15 different compartments. 

I was forced to consider printers yet again last spring when I realized how many return labels and reports I might need to print over a year or so of working from home. A text from a friend a few streets away let me know I wasn’t the only one. “Did you ever end up getting that printer? I just need to get a couple pages….” For a while I frequented a print-and-ship store in my neighborhood until the inconvenience started to wear on me and I had to look into buying one. 

Being a shopping editor, I did my research. I asked for recommendations from friends and colleagues. I also pored over reviews for printers from Brother, HP, and more. Some were too bulky for my space, others too expensive. And for every 50 glowing reviews, the ones detailing exorbitant cartridge fees, buggy wireless setup, and other glitches gave me pause. Thankfully, late last year my indecisiveness was resolved by an email from Canon asking me if I wanted to test out the newish, well-reviewed Pixma TR150 printer. I’m so glad I took them up on it. 

At about 12″x7,” the Canon Pixma TR150 is one of the smallest printers you’ll find on the market. It’s slightly bigger and more advanced than the ones used exclusively for photos, black-and-white documents, and shipping labels but still slim enough that I have plenty of elbow room on my standing desk. It’s very similar in size and capabilities to the HP OfficeJet 200: Both print documents and photos with a 4800 x 1200 dpi resolution and have a crisp display screen for toggling between print settings. Both have the option of printing on the go with a rechargeable battery pack, though the Canon itself is about $100 cheaper since the battery pack is sold separately.

If you’re the kind of person who carries their printer around (not me, though I would have appreciated this feature in college), you may want to weigh your options. But I actually appreciate how efficient, low-maintenance, and no-frills the Canon is, ideal for someone who only needs to print here and there and wants to minimize costs. 

This printer has become the one tech item I own that genuinely delights me every time I use it because of how easy it is to boot up, with no hiccups in the process—jaded as I am by printers from my past. This one sets up out of the box in less than 10 minutes, and just requires scanning a QR code, then following easy step-by-step instructions on the screen to calibrate the printer. It connects to WiFi very easily, and once I need to print something, I am good to go in the seconds it takes to power on the machine, find my print job on my cellphone, load paper in the tray, and fire away. Everything prints evenly, quietly, and quickly (though if it’s still too loud, there’s a “quiet mode” just for you). Color printing is a dream too, with no fading or streaking. 

Your own mileage will vary, but since I use this only as needed (about three to six pages a month), my ink levels are still high despite months of use. According to Canon, the average output is about 160 pages per color cartridge and around 200 mixed text and graphic pages per black ink cartridge, so I still have a ways to go. Plus with cartridge replacements ranging from $15 to $18 for black ink and color cartridges (on par with printers of this size), I’m really not doing much damage.

At just under $200, this Canon is an excellent deal for the person with a tiny office who doesn’t need a heavy-duty printer, just something with a small footprint that works seamlessly every single time. To all the printers I’ve cursed before: You’ve been replaced. 

Canon Pixma TR150 Wireless Mobile Printer

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