Canon rates this printer at 20ppm for both black and colour print. Our five-page test jobs returned speeds of 10ppm, so only halfway there, but for longer documents of 20 pages the speed rises to 15.6ppm, over three quarters of the stated speed.
This machine has an internal duplexer, which only requires turning on in the driver. Our same 20-page document, when printed duplex, returned a speed of 8.6spm, or 4.3ppm, which is disappointingly slow. Ideally duplex speed should be high enough that it can be set as the default and only overridden when single-sided jobs are essential; cutting the print speed to less than half the headline figure make this an awkward choice.
Laser print is usually a strong point of Canon printers and there's certainly nothing wrong with the output from this one. Black text is sharp and clean, if not quite as black as from some other lasers we've looked at.
Colour graphics are bright and eye-catching, with very little sign of fill patterns and excellent registration of black text over coloured backgrounds. Colours are full and vibrant and you wouldn't be ashamed to hand full-colour documents printed on this machine to clients.
Our sample photo print is also well reproduced for a laser printer. There's almost no sign of banding and smooth colour fills are in evidence throughout. Foreground detail is sharp and precise and shows well in shadowed areas of the images well as in brightly lit ones.
Canon quotes a maximum noise level of 56dBA and we recorded 60dBA in peaks, when the machine was feeding paper. This makes it a reasonably quiet device, though not one you can forget about, if it's sitting on the desk next to you.
Cartridge prices are only currently available as SRPs, as the i-SENSYS LBP7200Cdn is a brand-new machine and not yet properly into the retail channel. As such, the prices quoted here are quite a bit higher than you would expect to see once consumables are available from the usual suspects.
Just as well, really, as we calculate an ISO black page cost of 4.86p and a colour one of 19.14p. As it stands, the colour figure is an exceptionally high print cost, making the machine unusable for anything other than very low runs. Given our experience with other Canon colour lasers we've tested, though, we would expect the price here to drop considerably within a few months.
The i-SENSYS LBP7200Cdn is a good mid-range colour laser printer, which is easy to maintain and produces high quality print for text, graphics and photos. Speed is fair but the purchase price is quite high and running costs at the moment are close to prohibitive. Once they drop to more realistic levels, this promises to be a good all-round colour device.