Canon Maxify GX7060 MegaTank printer
The GX7060 (and its lower-capacity sibling, the GX6060) will suit small-to-medium businesses and home-based business operators who require a more ecologically sound alternative to laser printers.
Offering print/copy/scan capabilities, they can deliver similar quality to laser printers when printing documents but have lower running costs.
Neither printer can deliver high-quality photo prints, although both are capable of printing photos at up to A4 size.
Announced on 28 April, Canon’s latest multi-function MegaTank printers – the Maxify GX7060 and Maxify GX6060 are designed primarily for business use, as distinct from the PIXMA range of photo-capable printers. Both models feature a four-colour (CMYK) pigment-based ink system, housed in a compact desktop design and are the first in the Maxify range to offer refillable MegaTank ink tank technology. We received the GX7060 model, which includes a fax function, auto-duplex scanning and a higher paper capacity, for this review.
Angled view of the Maxify GX7060MegaTank printer. (Source: Canon.)
We don’t normally review CMYK printers but we’ve made an exception for printers with refillable ink tanks because we see them as the way of the future. The Gillette marketing model – based on selling a device at near production cost and making money on selling consumables – is totally inappropriate in a 21st century world besieged by increasing plastic waste pollution. We’re keen to see the ink tank models replace cartridge-based printers across the entire range for both Canon and Epson – including for photo-quality printers.
Unlike Epson’s ET-8500 and ET-8550 models, which can produce acceptable photo prints for non-specialist users, Canon’s MAXIFY models are designed exclusively for fast, high-volume, laser-quality printing and include print, scan and copy functions. They’re not really suitable for printing photo at anything above the business document level, which includes copying colour leaflets and magazine pages.
They provide output resolution of 600 x 1200 dpi for printing and copying plus 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution for scanning. Other features shared by both models include:
- a 50-sheet auto document feeder with support for auto-duplex printing;
- user-replaceable maintenance cartridges, reducing the need to send the printer away for servicing;
- the ability to print on sheet papers up to A4 size and banners up to 1.2 metres in length;
- printing capacity of up to 14,000 A4 pages from a single set of colour ink bottles or up to 6,000 pages from a single bottle of black ink;
- a 2.7-inch colour LCD touch-screen interface that allows the device to be used as a stand-alone unit;
- users can create personalised letterheads, brochures, windowed envelopes, and banners up to 1.2m in length and also print on stickers with Canon Restickable Photo Paper and business cards with Canon Matte and Double-Sided Matte Paper;
- USB, Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity
The user-replaceable maintenance cartridge reduces downtime and avoids the need to send the printer away for servicing. (Source: Canon.)
The GX7060’s rear feed slot has adjustable guides for loading paper in portrait orientation with the print side facing up. The upper cassette has adjustable guides for loading 4 x 6 inch and 5 x 7 inch media, while the lower cassette is configured for A4 and Letter sized media. Sheets must be loaded in the cassettes with the printable side facing down.
Who’s it For?
The GX7060 (and its lower-capacity sibling, the GX6060) will suit small-to-medium businesses and home-based business operators who require a more ecologically sound alternative to laser printers. Offering print/copy/scan capabilities, they can deliver similar quality to laser printers when printing documents but have lower running costs. Neither printer can deliver high-quality photo prints, although both are capable of printing photos at up to A4 size.
Like most printers, the GX7060 comes in a cardboard carton, packed inside a large plastic bag and cradled in Styrofoam. Parts that might move during transit are secured by strips of orange sticky tape, which must be removed before the printer is connected to mains power.
Once removed from its plastic bag, the GX7060 is secured by strips of orange sticky tape (shown above), which must be removed before the printer is connected to mains power.
The next step is to connect the printer to the mains power via the supplied cord, which has a two-pin figure-eight connector that plugs into a socket on the lower left side of the rear panel. The printer can then be switched on via the button on the control panel.
This brings up a menu on the touch screen, which asks you to select the language, region and date/time settings. Tapping on OK completes this step and directs you to ‘pour’ the ink.
The scanner unit must be raised to provide access to the ink tanks, which are located beneath blue lift-up covers. The tank for the black ink is on the left side of the printer, while the three tanks for the colour inks are on the right. This setup allows you to load one of the colour inks at the same time as the black ink, as shown in the illustration below.
Pouring the inks into the tanks in the printer.
Each ink tank has a moulded top that only accepts the correct bottle and the tanks are colour coded for extra security. After uncapping an ink bottle it is upended onto the correct tank and its contents are allowed to flow out. When the bottle is empty (which can take a minute or two), it should be carefully removed, re-capped and stored for recycling.
Once all the inks are loaded, the scanner unit can be lowered and the printer is ready to test. The screen will instruct you to load a few sheets of A4 or Letter sized plain paper in the cassette and then tap OK to initiate the print head alignment process.
The printer will print a pattern on one double-sided sheet and then evaluate it while you wait. It will then prompt you to continue setup, which may include sending information to Canon. Finally, the control panel will be displayed and you can connect the printer to your computer or other devices.
We elected to connect the printer to our computer via a USB cable (not supplied) as it provides a wider range of adjustment options. Plugging the USB cable into the socket above the power socket on the rear panel connects the computer to the internet and enables it to download the printer driver – which is done seamlessly. You can also install the driver from the supplied optical disk or from the Canon website https://ij.start.canon.
To drive the GX7060 from a smart device (phone or tablet), you must install the Canon PRINT Inkjet/SELPHY app, which can be accessed via the printed QR code in the Getting Started manual supplied with the printer. The fax function can only be used once you have accessed the Fax Setup Guide, which is available from Canon’s website.
Build and Ergonomics
On the whole, the GX7060 is solidly built and, like most multi-function printers, box-shaped. The main point of vulnerability is the control panel, which is hinged onto the front panel. A metal plug on its rear fits into a socket on the printer to protect is when the printer is not in use.
Four media feeders are provided: a normal rear feeder slot, an automatic document feeder and two cassettes. The rear feed slot accepts papers up to 208 mm wide and 1200 mm long, the latter allowing banners to be printed. This feeder should be used for photo papers as it will accept weights up to 275 gsm.
Top view of the GX7060 printer in use for printing a banner. (Source: Canon.)
The automatic document feeder (ADF), which is located on top of the scanner lid, can accept up to 50 sheets of A4 or Letter-sized paper or up to 10 sheets of Legal (220 x 360 mm) as well as single sheets in other sizes. It also supports single pass duplexing.
Both cassettes have transparent windows that make it easy to check when multiple sheets of paper have been loaded and both will accept papers with weights between 64 and 105 gsm. Cassette 1 (the upper cassette) can accommodate A4, Letter, A4 and B5 sizes, while Cassette 2 is only for A4 and Letter papers. Up to 250 sheets can be loaded in each cassette.
A pull-out output tray is located above the two cassettes. When printing on longer media, it’s important to note that no extension pull-outs are included in this tray.
No card slot is provided, although there is a USB port above the output tray that can accept a thumb drive or other storage device.
While the LCD panel provides an adequate range of settings for business use, the printer driver provides a much wider range of settings, although it’s only accessible when you print through software via a computer. When printing from USB drive, you’re reliant on the LCD screen.
The two pages of the control panel are shown above. Selecting functions and moving between pages is controlled by standard touch gestures.
The Home menu consists of two pages, each with six icons. Swiping across the screen moves from one page to the other and users can rearrange the icons to make the most frequently-used icons appear on the first page when the printer starts up.
A Quick guide screen (accessed by tapping on the ‘I’ button on the Home page) provides details on how to use key functions.
An example of one of the sub-menu pages in the Quick guide.
Direct printing from a USB thumb drive or wirelessly-connected device will provide the options shown above.
Paper feed settings.
The screen is used for setting up functions like paper feed settings, assigning paper size and type to each feed option and controlling fax functions. It is also used for establishing a Canon ID that links with a range of services as well as to apply password protection to the printer to prevent unauthorised use.
The printer will keep track of usage data and can separately cover the number of sheets of paper used for printing, copying and faxing as well as those used for other functions.
Photo printing options are a bit limited, regardless of whether you print through the LCD screen controls or the printer driver. This is because the driver software provides the same settings the control panel. The default setting is for plain paper, but ‘canned’ profiles are provided for HR-101N (high-resolution document paper), Photo Paper Plus Glossy II (PP-301), Photo Paper Pro Luster (LU-101), Photo Paper Plus Semi Gloss (SG 201), Photo Paper Glossy (GP 701) and Matte Photo Paper (MP 101).
Canon didn’t provide any paper for our tests so we had to use paper from our reserves – which wasn’t Canon branded. When printing photos, the printer has some way of recognising whether you’ve loaded Canon paper and will post a warning flagging a paper mismatch.
You can over-ride this warning by returning to the settings menu and selecting the option that allows you to print on the paper that has been loaded. This works well as long as the papers are roughly similar to the original media selection. Both the LCD screen and the printer driver provide only two output quality settings: standard and high.
Business documents took only a second or two to print, regardless of whether they were B&W or colour. We measured the following average printing times for photos:
4×6 inch photo at standard quality – 40-42 seconds
4×6 inch photo at high quality – 54-58 seconds
A4 photo at standard quality – 1 minute 30 seconds
A4 photo at high quality – 2 minutes 1 seconds
Spooling times (the time taken to send data to the printer and for the printer to organise it prior to engaging the print head) ranged from barely measureable when a second print was made on the same media to roughly one minute when accounting for time spent addressing error messages.
We compared photo prints from the GX7060 with those from the Epson ET-8500 using same image files and printing on the same papers. Prints from the ET-8500 had better contrast and saturation levels and looked slightly sharper than those from the GX7060. The higher output resolution of the ET-8500 and its additional grey ink would account for much of its better performance.
Comparisons of GX7060 photo prints made with the standard and high quality settings showed the high quality prints to be visibly sharper and more contrasty and with livelier colour reproduction.
Scanning and Copying
The GX7060 has similar scanning and copying functions to other multi-function printers, although the only copy option is to plain paper. While it performs well when copying B&W documents, it falls a little short when copying pages containing offset-printed photos.
It does a reasonably good job when copying colour documents, particularly those with coloured graphics. But while it can also be used for copying photo prints, because resolution is relatively low, it can’t match the quality of original photo prints. The quality of copied colour documents is also reliant on the quality of the paper on which they are reproduced.
It can’t be used for scanning original images on film because it lacks the necessary film holders, light sources and resolution settings. Its resolution is also too low to make it worthwhile using.
When copying documents, an A4 copy takes between 20 and 25 seconds to produce. Magazine pages and brochures containing images take a little longer and we found copies were often a little darker than the originals.
The auto document feeder worked well for copying documents and you can load up to 35 sheets of A4 or Letter-sized plain paper at a time. If using Legal-sized paper, a maximum of only five sheets can be loaded at a time. For all other originals only one sheet at a time can be loaded. Originals must not be creased or torn, free from holes, fasteners, glue or correction fluid as well as completely dry.
It’s difficult to gauge ink usage with printers like the GX7060 because the status monitor graphic is relatively crude. The ink tanks have translucent panels that provide a visual check but they still only permit a rough estimation of the amount of ink remaining.
Canon claims a bottle of black ink should provide enough ink to cover approximately 6,000 sheets or A4 paper, while the colour inks should cover roughly 14,000 sheets – representing a total of 20,000 sheets per ink set. At an RRP of AU$196 for a set of inks, per-page costs for printing documents work out at roughly one cent/page .
Note that this is based on print yield figures using the international test method ISO/IEC 24711, which we covered in our review of the Epson ET-8500.
As is usual, some of the supplied ink is used up during the setting-up process, so yields calculated with subsequent sets of ink should be higher. Yields will also vary, depending on the types of documents printed and whether the printer is used in the standard (default) or economy mode.
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Printer type: Multi-function thermal inkjet printer/scanner/copier
Ink system: 4 refillable ink tanks (GI66 series)
Inks: GI66BK, GI66C, GI66M, GI66Y (~140 mL per bottle)
Ink yield (ISO/IEC 24711 standard): Black ink Standard quality – approx. 6000 sheets, economy – approx. 9000 sheets, colour ink Standard quality – approx. 14,000 sheets, economy – approx. 21,000 sheets
Nozzle configuration: 1280 nozzles for Black; 1024 nozzles each for cyan, magenta and yellow
Max. Resolution: 600 dpi x 1,200 dpi
Print speed: Colour document – approx., B&W document – approx. 24 ipm; copy speed approx. 12.7 ipm
Paper sizes: A4, A5, A6, B5, LTR, LGL, B-Oficio, M-Oficio, Foolscap, FS, Executive, #10 Envelope, DL Envelope, C5 Envelope, Monarch Envelope, 4 x 6 inch, 5 x 7 inch, 7 x 10 inch, 8 x 10 inch, Square (127 mm x 127 mm), Custom sizes (width: 89 mm – 216 mm, length: 127 mm – 1,200 mm)
Media handling: Rear Paper Tray (100 sheet), Paper Cassette (250 sheet), Lower Paper Cassette (250 sheet); Auto document feeder, auto duplexing for printing and scanning
Scanner: Max resolution 1,200 dpi x 1,200 dpi; colour & greyscale 8-bit & 16-bit; Flatbed: A4 / LTR (216 mm x 297 mm), ADF: A4 / LTR / LGL
Interfaces: Hi-Speed USB (2.0), Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n), Ethernet
Display: 2.7-inch colour LCD touch screen
Power consumption: Off – approx. 0.2W, standby – approx. 0.9W to 1.5W, copying/printing with PC connection – 21-23W
Acoustic noise: Approx. 49.0 dB(A)
Dimensions (wxhxd): 399 x 410 x 314 mm
Weight: 13 kg
Distributor: Canon Australia; 1800 021 167
RRP: AU$1249; US$899.99
- Build: 8.8
- Features: 8.9
- Print quality: 8.5
- Print speed: 9.0