Canon rates the i-SENSYS LBP3010 at 14ppm, which is a very reasonable speed for this class of personal printer. What is more reasonable, and pretty unusual, is that we got close to that figure under test. Our five-page text document completed in 29 seconds, giving a speed of 10.5ppm. Toner-save mode, the nearest the Canon offers to a draft mode, took the same time, but the five-page text and graphics print was marginally faster, at 26 seconds, or 11.5ppm.
The 20-page text document, however, reached 12.1ppm and we can believe, when printing longer documents, the machine could approach 14ppm. A 15 x 10cm photo on an A4 sheet took a speedy nine seconds. This is due to the almost instant-on fuser, meaning there's very little time to wait before pages start to print.
You might not expect much in the way of print quality from a machine costing a little over £70, but the i-SENSYS LBP3010 produces very acceptable prints. Black text is dense, sharp, and as good as lasers costing twice the price. Toner-save print is rather dotty, but is still readable for draft documents.
Greyscale graphics are reasonable, though there are some obvious dither patterns and a limited range of greyscales. The business graphics we print as a test piece, with four distinct colours to its elements, reproduced in only two shades of grey.
Our photo test piece is above average, and there's a fair amount of detail in the hard-to-reproduce shadows, but an area of sky in the photo was marred by obvious dithering and some details were lost.
There's just a single, 1,500-page consumable in the form of an integrated drum and toner cartridge. This makes it hard to buy the wrong thing, but also gives limited scope for savings. At the best price we could find, the cost per page comes out at 4.1p, including 0.7p for paper.
This is a higher-than-average cost, even for this class of machine, though the Dell 1130 is higher still, at 4.3p. There is a definite trade-off between initial purchase price and running costs in mono laser printers and this is an example.
The i-SENSYS BP3010 is a great little personal laser printer from Canon - just the job for banging out home office correspondence, school reports or college dissertations. For very little initial outlay, it provides good quality print in a neatly engineered box. It's a bit more expensive than some to run, but the cost per page depends on how good a deal you can strike for the single consumable.