- Excellent print quality,
- especially on photos.
- Supports Instagram 5-by-5-inch photo size.
- Light and compact.
- Uses two black inks for darker text and blacker blacks in photos.
- Two paper input trays.
- No automatic document feeder.
- Light on mobile connectivity features.
- High running costs.
- No SD card support.
The Canon Pixma TS6020 Wireless Inkjet All-in-One Printer prints terrific text and photos.
But because it lacks an automatic document feeder and its running costs are high, it’s best for home and family use.
Design and Features
At 5.5 by 14.7 by 12.5 inches with its trays closed, and weighing just 13.6 pounds, the TS6020 is fairly petite. Canon says that it’s 15 percent smaller than its Pixma MG5720 Wireless Inkjet All-in-One$44.95 at B&H Photo-Video-Pro Audio, the model it replaces. Perhaps, but with its rear input and front output trays extended, it is about 9 inches deeper and more than twice as high than with its trays closed. Even so, it’s still small enough to fit on the average desk. Like its Canon Pixma TS5020$89.00 at Amazon sibling, the TS6020 comes in three colors: black (our review unit), gray, and white.
The TS6020 pairs a 100-sheet paper cassette, which slides into the front of the chassis, with a 100-sheet rear paper tray that extends upward from the back. (The less-expensive TS5020 doesn’t have the rear tray, though the flagship Canon Pixma TS9020$179.99 at Amazon and the TS8020 do.) Both input sources are also rated at 20 sheets of premium photo paper, allowing you to load standard paper in one tray and photo paper in the other. The TS6020’s color touch screen is 3 inches in size; the TS9020’s is 5 inches, and the TS5020 has a 3-inch non-touch screen. In addition to the LCD, the TS6020’s control panel comprises six buttons: Power, Home, Back, Black and Color (or Start), and Stop (or Cancel). Of the four TS-series models, the TS6020 is the only one that doesn’t support SD memory cards.
Although the two higher-end TS-series all-in-ones (AIOs), the TS9020 and TS8020, can print labels on CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs, the TS6020 (like the TS5020) cannot. Like the others, though, it supports Instagram’s 5-by-5-inch square format, and Canon sells (separately, of course) the appropriate square media. As for maximum monthly duty cycle and recommended monthly print volume ratings, Canon publishes neither for any of the TS-series models (or for its new G-series Pixmas, such as the Canon Pixma G3200 Wireless MegaTank All-in-One Printer).
Connectivity features include Wi-Fi and USB, and several mobile connection options, including Google Cloud Print, Mopria, and AirPrint, as well as Canon’s own Wireless PictBridge for printing from several Canon digital cameras, Canon Print, and Pixma Cloud Link. Support for the two common peer-to-peer protocols, Wi-Fi Direct and NFC is missing, but Canon has provided more-than-adequate mobile device support.
Setup and Software
Few AIOs are easier to set up than consumer-grade Pixmas, and the TS6020 is no exception. Packing material was minimal, and getting the printer out of the box, loading paper in the front tray, installing the five ink cartridges, and printing and scanning a print head alignment sheet took less than 20 minutes.
The software bundle—print drivers, a scan utility, My Printer, Network Tool, My Image Garden, and Quick Menu—is standard for consumer-grade Pixmas. My Printer is a diagnosis, maintenance, and repair utility, and Network Tool allows you to display and modify the AIO’s network settings. My Image Garden is a collection of utilities, such as special effects, correction, and enhancement filters; Full HD Movie Prints, for isolating and printing frames from video shot with Canon digital cameras; and Creative Park Premium, an online collection of document templates (such as for calendars, greeting cards, and so on). Quick Menu, an assortment of always-visible icons, provides fast access to My Image Garden and the other features listed here.
Canon rates the TS6020 at 15 pages per minute (ppm) for monochrome pages and 10ppm for color. Like the other TS-series models, it fell a little short of its ratings. For example, it printed our lightly formatted monochrome Microsoft Word text document at 12.7ppm, which is 1.3ppm faster than the slightly more expensive TS8020, and 3.2ppm faster than the Epson Expression Premium XP-640 Small-in-One Printer$79.49 at Amazon, another five-ink consumer-grade photo printer.
When I combined the times from the above text document with those from printing our Acrobat, Excel, and PowerPoint documents containing color, graphics, and photos, the TS6020’s print speed registered as 4.5ppm. This is in line with its TS-series siblings; all four came in between 4 and 5ppm. The Epson XP-640, on the other hand, managed only 3.2ppm when printing the same collection of documents.
Where this and the other TS-series Pixmas excelled, though, is in printing photographs. Like the TS8020, the TS6020 printed our sample 4-by-6-inch snapshots in an average of 20 seconds, compared with the XP-640’s 25 seconds. Considering the TS6020’s photo output quality (see the next section), 20 seconds is quite fast.
Like the TS5020, the TS6020 adds a fifth ink, a dye-based black ink, to the standard cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK) process colors. The TS8020 and TS9020, on the other hand, both come with a sixth ink, gray, that aids primarily in the printing of grayscale photos (but Canon says that it can also improve color images). The second black ink on all four models helps make text darker and the blacks in photos deeper, or blacker. As I saw with the TS5020, the TS6020’s text was dark and well delineated down to the smallest I could see without magnification (about 5 or 6 points). But where these two Pixmas really shone was in printing photographs on premium paper—what they’re designed for. In my tests, colors, vibrancy, and details were comparable to what we saw from the six-ink TS Pixmas, from earlier MG-Series Pixmas, and from several of Epson’s consumer-grade photo printers, including the XP-640.
Most of our test graphics printed well, too, but as with the TS5020, I saw some banding in some of the TS6020’s dark fills, gradients, and backgrounds in Excel charts and PowerPoint handouts. Stepping up to a higher-grade paper helped, and the TS6020’s graphics output was hardly unacceptable. But overall I can’t recommend this Pixma for printing business graphics and other artwork destined for external consumption, such as potential clients. Since the TS6020 and the other TS models aren’t really business-centric AIOs anyway, this shouldn’t pose much of a problem for most users.
Consumer-grade photo printers are somewhat infamous for high per-page ink costs, and the TS6020 is no different. Even without the fifth ink, it has high running costs compared with more business-oriented models (such as the Brother MFC-J985DW$169.99 at Amazon), so it’s not viable for printing documents in any real volume. Since there’s no way to tell when it kicks in and how much ink is used when it does, the fifth ink also makes coming up with a precise cost per page impossible. That said, using Canon’s advertised prices and yield sizes for the TS6020’s highest-yield standard CMYK ink cartridges, the running costs come to 4.1 cents for monochrome pages and 12.7 cents for color. But keep in mind that with the second black ink, the per-page cost is even higher.
Even so, the TS6020’s running costs are not the worst we’ve seen. With its close competitor, the Epson XP-640, you’d pay 4.7 cents for monochrome and 13.7 cents for color, and it, too, comes with a fifth ink (“Photo Black”) that adds to the cost of printing certain documents and photos. As I pointed out in my review of the TS5020, though, you can get quality photo output without paying such a premium for ink—enter Canon’s own MegaTank G-Series Pixmas, such as the G3200 mentioned earlier. Its features are similar to the TS6020’s (minus the second paper tray), and in testing it printed photos with little to no quality difference from all four of the TS-series models. But it and other G-Series printers (as well as Epson’s EcoTank models, including the Epson Expression ET-3600 EcoTank All-in-One Supertank Printer$399.99 at Amazon, another similarly featured AIO) print both monochrome and color pages for less than 1 cent. (The drawback is that both of these Canon MegaTank and Epson EcoTank printers list for $150 to $250 more than the TS6020.)
If you’re looking for a consumer-grade photo printer, the Canon Pixma TS5020, TS6020, and TS8020 print terrific photos. (For some reason, we didn’t get as stellar output from the TS9020.) Considering what you give up for the $30 list price difference between it and the TS8020—SD card support, five inks instead of six, NFC—the TS6020 isn’t that impressive. But the TS6020 can be found on Canon’s site and many other places online for $99.99, or from $50 to $80 less than its six-ink sibling, making the TS6020 a far better value. If a more business-oriented AIO with an ADF and lower running costs is what you’re looking for, you should consider the Brother MFC-J985DW, though you will have to give up the TS6020’s stellar photo quality. But if you need a photo printer that can occasionally make copies and print documents, the TS6020 is a solid choice.