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Tired of buying ink cartridges? Canon’s G-series printers offer refillable tanks

For most printer owners, the process of buying and replacing ink cartridges is a hassle at best and a major headache at worst. Canon’s new Pixma G-series printers look to alleviate some of that pain by offering “MegaTank” refillable ink tanks, instead of cartridges. These are Canon’s first such printers to be sold in the United States. The tanks are easy to use, produce less waste, and promise to improve cost effectiveness.

Designed for small and home office use, the printers are compact and feature internal ink tanks, minimizing their overall footprints. Unlike other refillable-tank printers, the tanks in the G-series models are all located at the front of the machines, with transparent windows that allow users to directly see the level of ink remaining in each tank.

Each printer uses a four-color ink system with an extra large, 135 milliliter black ink tank. Up to 6,000 pages can be printed in black-and-white on a single tank, while up to 7,000 pages is possible when using all inks. The cyan, magenta, and yellow tanks hold a respectable 70ml of ink. Print speeds are up to 8.8 images per minute (IPM) in black-and-white and 5 IPM in color. Bottles of black ink go for $18, while those for cyan, magenta, and yellow are just $12.

The G-series printers are similar in concept to Epson’s EcoTank models that incorporate refillable ink tank chamber on the side of the unit, which extend the footprint. However, Canon designed its system to be inside the printers, making it more visually appealing than Epson’s approach.

While not intended for high volume professional photo printing, the G-series models can certainly handle producing the occasional hard copy of a family memory. It offers borderless printing and a maximum resolution of 4,800 x 1,200 dots per inch. A full-color 4 x 6 print takes as little as 60 seconds.

The new printers start with the Pixma G1200, a single-function unit that sells for $250. The Pixma G2200 adds scanning capabilities and at just $270 will likely be an easy upsell. The higher-end G3200 and G4200 add Wi-Fi and allow users to print from various online portfolio and cloud storage services, including Instagram, Dropbox, and many more. The G3200 and G4200 sell for $300 and $400, respectively. The $100 premium for the flagship model gets users an LCD display, fax capability, and an automatic document feeder to scan or copy multiple documents in a row.

All G-series printers are available today.


Updated December 27 to include pricing information on ink bottles.

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