Colour laser printers continue to be thought of as an expensive option, but Canon’s well specified i-SENSYS LBP7110Cw can be had for under £170, which is less than many mono lasers. It’s aimed at the small office or workgroup market, though one or two aspects suggest to us that it may be more suited to individual use.
The off-white and slate grey case is like a squashed cube with rounded, vertical edges. It looks functional and modern and the slightly raised control panel, with its array of 12 indicators and three buttons, is easy to understand and quick to use. At the front there's a power button and a single paper drawer.
Perhaps the oddest design choice is this paper tray, which has a capacity of just 150 sheets. Canon claims the printer is suitable to be shared in small workgroups, but if it needs refilling every 150 pages, somebody’s going to have to be assigned as paper monitor. There’s no optional second tray, either.
There are sockets for USB and 10/100 Ethernet at the back, but the Canon i-SENSYS LBP7110Cw also supports wireless connection. This has to be one of the easiest WPS setups we've yet seen: press a button on the control panel and the WPS button on your router and the two devices connect seamlessly, in under 30s. Canon's setup program then sees the device during installation and connects to it without problem.
The four drum and toner cartridges slot into a slide-out tray, once you’ve folded down the front quarter of the case. Again, it's a very quick and easy business to install or replace these consumables.
Although it's a more costly design from an ecological point of view, as the system requires four separate replaceable drums, the advantages in easy maintenance may outweigh the ethical argument. Also, Canon offers a free recycling service for its consumables, where up to 100 percent of the original materials can be reused. This has recently been extended to cover its inkjet cartridges, too.