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Canon Pixma G6020 MegaTank review

Impressive quality and performance at an entry-level price make this office printer a standout

Canon Pixma G6020 MegaTank review
(Image: © Canon)

Our Verdict

The Canon Pixma G6020 MegaTank's low price, really low ink costs, and top-of-the-line print, copy and scan quality deliver a whole lot of value.

For

  • Ink tanks deliver very low ink costs
  • Duplexer for two-sided printing/copying
  • Fast scanning
  • Two paper trays
  • Fast black-and-white copying
  • Two extra black ink bottles in the box

Against

  • No document feeder
  • Small monochrome LCD
  • Two-sided printing is slow

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Canon Pixma G6020 MegaTank's low price, really low ink costs, and top-of-the-line print, copy and scan quality deliver a whole lot of value.

Pros

  • + Ink tanks deliver very low ink costs
  • + Duplexer for two-sided printing/copying
  • + Fast scanning
  • + Two paper trays
  • + Fast black-and-white copying
  • + Two extra black ink bottles in the box

Cons

  • - No document feeder
  • - Small monochrome LCD
  • - Two-sided printing is slow

Canon's Pixma G6020 MegaTank ($270) is a great value and a solid performer. With a recommended monthly duty cycle of up to 3,300 pages, the G6020 built for a heavy workload. It prints, scans and copies, but does not offer fax capability.

Outfitted with four refillable ink tanks, the Pixma G6020 uses a pigment black and three dye-based colors: cyan, magenta and yellow. The refillable ink tanks keep printing costs extremely low. In the box, you get two extra bottles of black ink. These are valued at $18 each and will print an estimated 12,000 pages in total. Given the already low purchase price, this really adds to this all-in-one's value. We liked it so much, we named it one of the best printers in our 2021 Tom's Guide Awards, as well as one of the best all-in-one printers.

Canon Pixma G6020 MegaTank review: Design

The G6020 has a compact body and is well suited for a home office. It offers a duplexer for making two-sided prints, although it lacks an automatic document feeder (ADF) for multi-page copying and scanning.

For standalone operation, the control panel has a handful of physical buttons for selecting operations and navigating settings menus. There are dedicated buttons for copying/scanning in black-and-white and in color, for example. At the center of the panel is a small monochrome LCD. The two-line display lacks backlighting, which can make it difficult to read in poorly lit areas or due to reflections off the glass. The control panel angles upward 90 degrees.

The G6020 measures 15.9 x 14.6 x 7.7 inches, which is compact for a model with ink tanks. Because there's no ADF atop the scanner lid, it's a couple inches shorter than the similarly sized Epson ET-4760 with its ADF folded out for operation. The G6020 weighs 17.8 pounds.

There are two paper trays, with a total capacity of 350 sheets. The main paper cassette holds 250 sheets, while the rear paper tray can hold 100 sheets.

Canon Pixma G6020 MegaTank review: Print speed

The G6020 printed a five-page text document at roughly average speed, doing so in 33.5 seconds, or at 9 ppm. The category average is 9.1 ppm. The G6020 printed a six-page PDF of mixed text and color graphics in 2 minutes, 46 seconds, or 2.2 ppm, which was a little slower than the average of 2.6 ppm. By comparison, the more expensive Epson EcoTank ET-4760 was faster in both tests, printing text documents at 11.1 ppm and color documents at 3.9 ppm. The HP SmartTank Plus 651 was slightly slower, at 8.5 ppm and 1.7 ppm, respectively.

The G6020's two-sided print speed for text documents was roughly the same as its print speed for one-sided color documents. It printed two-sided text documents at 2.3 ppm, pausing roughly 14 seconds before printing the second side of each sheet. It printed two-sided color documents at 1.8 ppm, pausing about 18 seconds between sides. Again, the Epson ET-4760 was markedly faster, printing two-sided text documents at a brisk 6.5 ppm, and two-sided color documents at 3.2 ppm.

Canon Pixma G6020 MegaTank review

(Image credit: Canon)

In black-and-white, the G6020 made a copy in 11.3 seconds, and a color copy in 31.2 seconds. The Epson ET-4760 was a little slower to copy a page of text, doing so in 12.8 seconds, but slightly faster at copying a color page, making the facsimile in 30.1 seconds. By contrast, the HP SmartTank 651 was agonizingly slow at copying, taking 2 minutes and 12 seconds to copy a page of text, and almost three-and-a-half minutes to copy a color page.

The G6020 scans quickly. It made a 300 dpi PDF in black-and-white in 8.4 seconds, which was much faster than the average of 11.6 seconds. By contrast, the Epson ET-4760 took 12.4 seconds to make the same scan. The HP Smart Tank was quick on this test, making the same black-and-white scan in 8.3 seconds.

Canon Pixma G6020 MegaTank review

(Image credit: Canon)

The G6020 made a 600 dpi color scan to JPEG format in 1 minute, 5 seconds. This was 4 seconds faster than the average. By comparison, the Epson ET-4760 took 1 minute, 49 seconds to make the same scan. The HP Smart Tank was even slower, at 2 minutes and 16 seconds.

Canon Pixma G6020 MegaTank review: Print quality

The G6020 prints attractive text documents. In our tests, letterforms were dark, with sharp edges. There was only a little bit of errant spray and some slightly lumpy edges. In duplex prints, text looked just as dark and sharp as in one-sided prints. By comparison the letterforms printed by the HP Smart Tank 651 were a little sleeker, with slightly sharper edges.

The G6020 printed color graphics with lots of fine details, attractive textures overall and natural-looking, well-saturated colors. Some mild banding was visible, however, and upon close examination there was slight pixelation in otherwise smooth-looking textures. Two-sided prints of color graphics were equally impressive – something that the Epson ET-4760 did not do, producing two-sided prints that looked lighter and less sharp than single-sided prints. The HP Smart Tank (which only makes single-sided prints) printed color graphics of comparable quality to the G6020, but without the banding that was distracting in the Canon’s prints.

Canon Pixma G6020 MegaTank review

(Image credit: Canon)

Glossy photo prints were very attractive, with plenty of fine detail and well-saturated colors. The Epson ET-4760’s glossy photo prints set themselves apart with warm reds and yellows that looked a little darker and richer than in the Canon’s prints. However, the Epson’s shadows were also darker, which caused some fine details to get lost amidst the increased contrast. The HP SmartTank’s glossy prints were also very attractive and detailed, with slightly less brightness in the reds and yellows, which arguably is more natural-looking but offers less “pop” than the Canon and Epson prints.

The Canon G6020 reproduced text accurately in its copies, and graphics retained their details and color accuracy. There was, however, some very mild banding in copies of both color and grayscale graphics, though this was not pronounced. By comparison, the HP SmartTank’s color copies looked a little muddy, lacking the brightness and mid-tone details of the G6020’s brighter color copies.

Scans also proved to be faithful reproductions. Sharp details and accurate textures were in both grayscale and color scans. Colors looked accurate in photo scans, and details were retained in shadow areas (something the Epson ET-4760 had difficulty with, producing blocked-up shadows lacking details).

Canon Pixma G6020 MegaTank review: Ink cost and yield

The Pixma G6020 keeps printing costs extremely low by using refillable ink tanks. At just 0.2 cent for text and 0.8 cent for color pages, this Canon keeps ink costs very budget-friendly. A bottle of pigment black ink sells for $17.99 and lasts an estimated 6,000 pages. The three color inks cost  $11.99 per bottle, and print an estimated 7,700 pages. There is a CMY three-pack, but it will only save you two cents, priced at $35.95. The $450 HP SmartTank Plus 651 offers the same low costs per page; the Epson ET-4760 differs only slightly on color pages, at 0.9 cent.

Canon Pixma G6020 MegaTank review

(Image credit: Canon)

By comparison, the $129 Brother INKvestment MFC-J805DW (which does not have ink tanks, but uses larger-than-average cartridges) delivers costs per page of 1 cent (text) and 6.2 cents (color) when using its highest yield cartridges.

Canon Pixma G6020 MegaTank review: Setup and software

The startup guide directs you to go online, where pictures and videos step you through the setup. After removing a few pieces of packaging tape, you install the two printheads and fill the ink tanks. This is an easy process, with almost no risk of spilling ink and making a mess. With the G6020, as with all other refillable ink tank models we’ve reviewed, I’ve never spilled a single drop of ink during this process. The ink bottle nozzles fit securely into the ink tank valve, and you let gravity do its work.

Then you perform the printhead alignment. After printing a page of patterns, the G6020 draws each page back into the unit. You do not need to select which block of finely spaced lines is most properly aligned, as is necessary with the Epson ET-4760.

Setting up wireless was easy. The G6020 offers WPS method, which you select in the on-screen menu. After doing so, pressing the WPS button on my wireless router established the connection.

Printing and scanning from a Windows PC is smooth sailing. And, with the dedicated black-and-white and color buttons on the control panel, standalone copying is simple as well. But customizing settings  in standalone mode is not the G6020's strong suit. Navigating menus with the two-line monochrome LCD is not nearly as elegant as a large, responsive touchscreen. That said, it's also not nearly as frustrating as an unresponsive, kludgy touchscreen, or one that's too small to navigate efficiently.

Canon Pixma G6020 MegaTank review

(Image credit: Canon)

Setting up my phone with the G6020 was no hassle. After downloading the Canon Print app to my iPhone, the app found the G6020, and the wireless connection was made.

The G6020 offers digital assistant compatibility, supporting integration with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT (If This Then That).

Startup time is very fast. The G6020 offered its menu screen in just 3 seconds. When choosing immediately to make a black-and-white copy, the G6020 produced the copy in a total of 30 seconds from when the power button was pressed.

Canon Pixma G6020 MegaTank review: Verdict

The Canon Pixma G6020 MegaTank offers a lot for the money—extremely low ink costs, attractive two-sided prints, and a high duty cycle for cranking out a high volume of prints. With an attractively low initial cost of $269—plus lots of extra black ink in the box—this office-worthy unit has a lot to offer, including high image quality across the board, and two paper trays.

The G6020 doesn't, however, offer every office feature. For example, if copying multipage documents is a critical feature for you, you might wish the G6020 had an ADF for feeding those documents (like the Epson EcoTank ET-4760 does). Also, two-sided printing is on the slow side and may not be up to par for a busy workgroup wanting to regularly make duplex prints. The Epson ET-4760, by comparison, is demonstrably faster at duplex printing, while the HP SmartTank 651 offers only single-sided printing. Also, the G6020 doesn't send faxes, like the ET-4760.

Nonetheless, if you don't need an ADF and two-sided printing doesn't need to be lightning-fast, this low of a price for an all-in-one with refillable ink tanks is impossible to ignore. With two extra bottles of black ink in the box, the Canon Pixma G6020 MegaTank's really low ink costs and top-of-the-line print, copy and scan quality deliver a whole lot of value for the money.

Eric Butterfield is a freelance writer and musician from California. His work has appeared in PC World magazine, CNET, Taproot, and Alter Action — plus Tom's Guide, of course — while his music has appeared in more than 260 TV show episodes for major networks such as NBC, Hulu, BBC America, and more. You can check out his work on Spotify.

  • kep55
    Interesting. Question. Does anyone make printers any more? I don't need a scanner/copier/ printer (AIO). Just a decent printer. Besides, if one component goes belly up the entire device is dead.
    Reply