Canon’s latest colour laser printer, the LaserShot LBP-5000, is not an expensive purchase. At well under £200, it’s suitable for small office and home use, anywhere you need more colour print, less expensively than a typical ink-jet printer can provide. The printer is designed to be easy to maintain, with all-in-one colour cartridges.
About the same size as a free-standing, draining board dishwasher, this 8ppm colour laser is the epitome of simple design. Paper feeds from a 250-sheet paper tray at the bottom, past each of the four integral toner and drum cartridges inside the printer, to feed out at the top of the machine, towards the back. A top cover flips over to become the output paper support. It’s hard to see why you’d want to keep the output tray covered by folding its cover shut, but there may be some who use the LBP-5000 only occasionally.
A second paper tray can be fitted under the printer as an option and an Ethernet card can also be slotted in, to give the machine network functionality, alongside the USB 2.0 connection, supplied as standard.
The control panel at the front consists of eight LEDs, to indicate low toner and paper, error conditions such as a paper jam, and power. There's no LCD display and any detailed error messages are handled by the printer driver.
Getting the machine running is straightforward. Open up the front cover and slot in each of the four combined drum and toner cartridges. Each cartridge has a colour-coded strip across its front and the slots are similarly marked. As you close the front cover again, the drum covers fold back so their surfaces can make contact with the paper, as it feeds through.
The print driver is pretty well-featured, offering multiple pages per sheet, watermarks and different colour settings for general, presentation and photographic documents. There's no facility for duplex print or guidance for manual duplexing, but you can set a binding margin along the left or top of your pages.
Canon rates the LaserShot LBP-5000 as an 8ppm printer for both mono and colour print. As usual, we found this optimistic, but we did manage both our five page test prints in around 55 seconds. This gives a real world print speed of just over 5ppm, which isn't bad for a printer in this class. This is an in-line machine, which doesn't use a separate drum or belt as an intermediary between the laser engines and the paper. It means that printing a page in four colours takes no longer than printing a simple black page.