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Canon i-SENSYS LBP5050 Colour Laser review

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Canon i-SENSYS LBP5050 Colour Laser
  • Canon i-SENSYS LBP5050 Colour Laser
  • Canon i-SENSYS LBP5050 Colour Laser
  • Canon i-SENSYS LBP5050 Colour Laser
  • Canon i-SENSYS LBP5050 Colour Laser
  • Canon i-SENSYS LBP5050 Colour Laser
  • Canon i-SENSYS LBP5050 Colour Laser
  • i-SENSYS 5050 Laser Printer - Colour - Photo Print - Desktop (12 ppm Mono - 8 ppm Color - 9600 x 600 dpi - 16 MB - 150 sheets Input Capacity - USB - PC, Mac)

Summary

Our Score:

8

A colour laser printer for under £150 is still unusual and when it comes from a company with a good track record, like Canon, it's certainly worth a look. It's also worth another look because it uses the same, Canon-designed, laser engine as the HP LaserJet CP1515n - so how do the two very similarly-priced printers compare?

The i-SENSYS LBP5050 is intended as a home machine. We know because its single paper tray takes just 150 sheets of paper. This is little more than the average for an inkjet printer and half what the twin trays of many of Canon's PIXMA inkjet range offer. If you print regularly, you're going to be stuffing paper into this one every few days.

The top surface of the machine has the control panel with eight LEDs set into it, for indicating low toner in the four colour cartridges, as well as paper jams, out of paper and other error conditions. Paper feeds to an inset in the top cover, next to this panel and there's a purely cosmetic baffle just above the paper exit slot, which is full of oddly-distributed holes.

At the front, above the paper input tray, is a single-sheet feed slot and at the back are sockets for mains power and USB 2.0, the only connection provided. There's a networkable version of this printer available, but no options to upgrade this one.

Setup is very straightforward, as the four toner cartridges are all provided in situ and all you have to do is pull the rings at the left-hand ends of them to remove the sealing tapes. There are a couple of spacers that need removing from the feed mechanism at the rear and of course you need to install the software drivers, but the whole process can be completed in under 15 minutes.

The in-line print mechanism is claimed by Canon to produce a quick first print, but under test it was still taking around 22 seconds before paper started to feed for the first page of a print. This isn't particularly quick, though we did produce a speed of 6.38ppm overall from the machine with our 5-page black text print test. On the 20-page test, this speed climbed to 9.91ppm. Given that Canon claims 12ppm for the i-SENSYS LBP5050, this is quite a respectable result, marginally quicker than the HP LaserJet CP1515n.

Canon's spec sheet also says you'll get 8ppm when printing in colour, but our five-page text and colour graphics print only produced 4.6ppm, so not quite as good. It turned out a 15 x 10cm photo print on an A4 sheet in 34 seconds, which is again reasonable.

bizk

April 3, 2009, 2:50 pm

Utterly useless for a modern Mac unless you already have a copy of Windows running via emulation software! The PC interface is ok. Can only get this lovely printer (it is!) to print on a mac is by using Parallels and using a virtual machine. I don't think they should be allowed to advertise this as being Mac OS 10.x compatible as it simply is not (am using 10.5.6). Great shame, but ok printer. Am waiting for a better driver! Please hurry up Canon.

Catherine Hogan

April 5, 2009, 3:06 am

The cartridges for this printer will print approx 500 colour pages at 50% coverage and then need replacing! The running costs are astronomical. I run a home based business, printing about 1000 colour pages a week at 50% coverage and I'd be bankrupt if I kept this printer. I'm getting rid of this ink guzzler right now, and will revert to HP because their cartridges last a reasonable amount of time.

sailes

August 31, 2009, 2:45 am

bought this printer in mar 09


printed only about 400 pages in black and white and shocked to find that black toner has run out


prior to this i had hP2550- bought this in 2005- lasted for 4 year!! never changed the toner


printed at least 4 copies of my thesis and routine letters


i agree with catherine hogan..canon is an ink guzzler..not sure simon how you managed 2500 pages black and white!!

Marcus

September 30, 2009, 10:49 am

regarding "Sailes" & "Catherine Hogan's" comments on the short life of their toner cartridges, I wonder if they are commenting on the cartridges that ship with a new printer? These actually have written on the coloured paper strip that they are temporary. This is a common practice with printer manufacturers, and only have about a third of the toner that replacements have inside. I've just spent £180 on a complete set on full ones for when my temps run out, and I suppose Canon like others, do this on purpose for just this reason. All of a sudden a £130 printer turns into a £310 one! The low toner warning has come up for several weeks now, but I have just clicked on the "dismiss" box, and they are still going strong, I suppose an unnecessarily early warning to change toners is also financailly lucrative for the manufacturer, or am I being over cynical? As far as the printer is concernced I am very pleased with it, its my first colour laser and for everything except hi def photo's is great for home use. I bought the network version, and now all the family can print to it from all over the house, rather than having an inkjet in every room, and constantly getting nagged that they need new ink! It's too early for me to say whether £180 of toner will last longer than £180 of ink, but assuming there's not too much disparity, the speed & convenience of having one machine and one type of consumable to stock will make it worth it for me.

cbm

March 11, 2012, 6:51 am

An absolutely horrific printer and the biggest buying mistake I've made so far! And the comments above are correct - the black toner cartridge life is very short (and I'm not referring to the one that came with the printer).
While the print quality is very good, the printer is so slow that printing a document becomes a very frustrating experience. Word documents (if basic) usually print reasonably fast but printing a pdf document, something from the web etc. has the printer processing, processing, warming up, processing, warming up further, then printing a page, processing some more, doing a bit of internal cleaning, print one more page etc....
How a company such as Canon (I have a Canon ink jet and several other Canon products that I'm very happy with) can produce something that is such a pain to use in today's world is beyond me.
In short: DO NOT BUY THIS PRINTER!

MW

July 13, 2013, 10:04 am

Canon are SO dishonest with this printer. We bought 3 for 3 schools and have never waited so long for a printer before. They are forever calibrating or pausing to cool down between sheets. SLOW SLOW SLOW! One failed and it took Canon 3 months to "fix". When it decides not to print for one of the may reasons, you have to open up the status monitor to investigate. How expensive would an LCD panel be? Even the cheapest inkjets have this. We have blacklisted Canon products at our company as a result. I agree with the last reviewer. Big buying mistake.

JK

March 14, 2014, 2:19 pm

The worst printer ever - do not buy - seriously... its not poor, its god awful.

RH

March 19, 2014, 5:20 pm

Have been putting up with its re-calibration after every 1st page printed. But now getting an "Out of register colour correction" error which will not correct, even after cleaning etc. Only use OEM toners. Prints are now terrible with chromatic aberration. Now a discontinued model but I will not be buying Canon printers again either.

sss

May 20, 2014, 4:08 am

hi.

please please answer my question!i need help! Have been putting up with its re-calibration after every 1st page printed. please help me.
thanks

Hoang Khai

February 21, 2015, 1:20 pm

Same here.. I regret buying this so much :'((

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