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Lifewire / Jeffrey Daniel Chadwick
Creates high-quality documents and photos
Snappy printing times
Great buy for the price
No document feeder for copying
The Canon Pixma TS9120 is a versatile printer and an excellent choice for casual users who occasionally need one or more of its various functions. It’s one of the best Airprint printers you can get for less than $200.
The Canon Pixma TS9120’s compact all-in-one design makes it an excellent choice for home and small office use. It makes good quality prints of documents and photos, and has scanning and copying tools that enable you to digitize physical documents and bring digital documents into the real world.
Canon does a good job at making this AirPrint printer compact and sleek. It’s discreet yet professional appearance works well with a broad palette of home and office decor, especially the design of our test model, sleek black trimmed with grey. If your workspace is a bit more colorful, you can also get it with red or gold trim.
The size and weight of this printer is one of its chief selling points. When assembled and closed, the printer measures a mere 14.7 x 14.2 x 5.6 inches. At just 14.6 pounds, it’s also relatively light. Any healthy adult should be able to lift, carry, and position this wireless printer with ease.
The Pixma TS9120 draws paper from two sources. The slide-out cassette on the bottom and the vertical paper tray on the back. Both hold a maximum of 100 sheets of paper. They take paper up to a maximum size of 8.5x14.
The control panel of this AirPrint printer is a spacious five-inch touch-screen. Its interface is colorful, bright and intuitive, and the touch display is consistently snappy and responsive. The menu flow doesn’t leave any guesswork—in many cases, you can start printing, copying, or scanning directly from the control panel without having to interact with another device.
One of the more distinct aspects of the Pixma TS9120 is that its front panel, which contains the touch screen controls, opens and tilts upward while it’s printing. This design technique is part of what makes it so compact. While the control panel is functional while it is in the open position, it’s awkward to use at that angle.
This printer uses six individual cartridges for each ink color rather than the combined tri-color cartridges. In addition to the traditional tri-color ink colors (cyan, yellow, and magenta), the Pixma TS9120 has two black cartridges and a special blue for photo printing.
The individual cartridges will potentially save you money on ink because you can replace the cartridges one by one. If you run out of magenta before yellow, you won’t have to choose between spending full price for a new tri-color cartridge or tolerating lower-quality color prints until the rest of the cartridge runs low.
One of the more nifty things you can do with the Pixma TS9120 is print optical disc labels. This might seem quaint, but it’s great for backup and photo discs. It’s also nice for home made DVDs and Blu-rays.
Canon markets the Pixma TS9120 as an all-in-one printer, but it lacks any fax capabilities. This isn’t a deal-breaker since the demand for fax machines and services have been on the decline for decades, but if you need an AirPrint printer with fax tools consider the HP OfficeJet 3830.
This AirPrint printer requires minimal assembly, mostly removing tape and inserting paper trays. Its Getting Started guide and display provide detailed, step-by-step instructions for connecting it with a computer or other device. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the ins and outs of printers and wireless connections, you should be able to set it up with few issues. When we tested the Pixma TS9120 it took about twenty five minutes from opening the box to printing out our first test page.
Once it’s set up and in place, the Pixma TS9120 looks solid. However, when you pick it up or open the lid or scanning bed it feels a bit fragile. During our testing period we felt like we needed to handle it with special care, lest we snap off or damage some of the components.
It was hard to find a defect in the print produced by the Pixma TS9210. We printed hundreds of pages of black and white text documents. The letters were well defined, strongly shaded, and never smudged or smeared. Formatting was true to the source file and consistent from page to page.
Color document printing was similarly excellent. We test printed several color documents including a school newsletter, invoices, color-coded spreadsheets, fiscal reports, and more. When we inspected the results, we could not find a single imperfection in the text or graphics. Colors were bright, deep, and full, and blacks were solid and dark. Solid colors were smooth but we noticed some ink lines when the cartridges started getting low.
Colors were bright, deep, and full, and blacks were solid and dark.
We used this AirPrint printer to print dozens of 4x6 and three 8x10 photos. We printed a mixture of portraits, landscapes, skylines, shots of buildings, mountains, beaches, and people and found the color quality to be quite good. The prints were sharp and true to the original photos, and the colors were full, bright and rich without visible ink lines or smudges.
During our testing phase, we used this program to digitize various documents from old tax returns and vehicle registrations to hand-written journals and letters. Everything we scanned, so long as we positioned it correctly, came through quite well. All typed letters were defined and legible, and the handwriting was as sharp as on the original documents.
We also used the scanner to digitize printed photos taken with film and the image quality was excellent. The created image files looked identical to their physical counterparts, without pixelation or artifacts. The color was accurate and small details remained clear.
We tested the machine by copying a printed version of one of our reviews, and then made copies of the copies for ten cycles. The first three copies were identical to each other, but the fourth and fifth generations got a little warped and by the time we got to the tenth generation, the document wouldn’t be readable to anyone who hadn’t seen the original.
One annoying thing about the scanner is that it lacks a document feeder. This is fine so long as you don’t have more than a few pages of documents to copy, but for longer docs, manually scanning and copying individual sheets is very time consuming.
The Pixma TS9120 is a snappy printer, considering its size and price. We timed how long it took it to print a 100-page screenplay. The single-sided copy took about nine and a half minutes to complete, ten and a half pages per minute for a text-only, single-sided, black and white print job. That was the fastest print time we recorded amongst all the printers we tested.
Color documents are also printed relatively quickly. We printed 10-page color document a few times with this machine and in each instance it took precisely one minute. When we printed our test photos, it generally took between 25 to 45 seconds for any particular photo. This also represented the fastest times we recorded during our testing.
It produced the fastest print time we recorded amongst all the printers we tested.
This AirPrint Printer also offers auto-duplexing (printing on both sides of the paper). We printed the same screenplay with this option turned on and it ballooned the print time to 33 minutes.
This wireless printer is compatible with Apple’s AirPrint, meaning you can print from any device that runs iOS or macOS and is on the same Wi-Fi network as your printer. We printed documents and photos directly several Apple devices. There was no setting up a connection or downloading drivers—the devices simply detected the printer on the network and were able to print directly to it.
You don’t have to use a computer or a smartphone to print from the Pixma TS9120. You can use the control panel to connect your printer to platforms like Facebook, Google Drive, DropBox, and more. We connected an Instagram account to our test unit and found it a great tool for printing photos.
The TS9120 also packs an SD card slot on the front right of the machine, allowing you to print photos without using a computer or smartphone as a mediator. And while wireless is the name of the game with this printer, it sports wired options as well. Hidden in the back is an ethernet port you can use to directly connect your printer to a computer or network, but you’ll have to buy your own cable.
The two main software programs bundled with this printer are IJ Scan Utility Lite and Canon’s My Image Garden. IJ Scan has everything you need to digitize photos and documents easily, while My Image Garden lets you design photo collages, calendars, and more. It also offers organizational tools and many of the same scanning features found in IJ Scan Utility Lite. These programs work as intended, and they’re a great companion to other Canon branded programs such as the EOS Utility for their DSLR cameras.
The MSRP for the Canon Pixma TS9120 is $199; a fair price, considering what you get, but it’s also frequently available for less. At the time of this writing sites like Amazon and Walmart have the TS9120 available for around $100, at which price this printer is a steal.
We tested this Pixma mode alongside one of its sister products, the Pixma iX6820. The two are similarly priced, but much different in form and function. The iX6820 is a larger, heftier workhorse. It’s not an all-in-one model—it’s designed to print and nothing else. That focus pays off, however, as the iX6820 it yields consistently excellent, high quality results, though not as quickly as the TS9120. If you don’t mind sacrificing scanning, faxing, and copying in favor of that, the Pixma iX6820 is the way to go.
High quality, low price.
The Canon Pixma TS9120 is a great pick for a home or small office. It’s not a durable workhorse, but it delivers excellent quality photos and documents. It’s also very fast, especially when printing text-only black and white documents, though it slows way down in double sided printing jobs. The scanner and copier yielded flawless results. Getting a printer this good for $200 (or even less) is an outstanding value.