The idea of adding a flatbed scanner and Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) to a colour laser printer to make a business multifunction printer continues to get more popular and Canon’s i-SENSYS MF8050Cn is designed for small business or smaller workgroups in larger companies.
This is quite a neat multifunction, not much wider than the A4 flatbed scanner which sits on top of it. It’s quite deep, though, as the in-line, colour laser engine runs the paper from front to back, exiting onto the top of the printer section, where there's a cut-out next to the control panel, so you can retrieve documents easily.
The control panel itself, though busy, is well laid out, with a fax dial-up pad to the right, along with the copy controls. In the centre is a five-line, backlit LCD display, with the three main mode keys for Copy, Fax and Scan behind and a navigation ring in front. To the left are fax and copy-related functions and the first five of the quick-dial numbers. Lift this section of the panel up to reveal 19 more quick-dials, a neat way of implementing dual-function buttons.
There's a front panel USB socket just below the control panel which can take a USB drive, but it's limited to saving scanned images as PDF files and can't handle walk-up printing. This is the second multifunction printer we've looked at recently with this limitation, which unnecessarily restricts these otherwise useful USB sockets.
This is a fully networked, multifunction machine, designed for printing and copying in an office environment, yet it has a single 150-sheet paper tray with no way of adding a second, though there is a single-sheet multipurpose slot. Do we assume Canon's focus groups all said ‘150-sheets will be fine, as we have an endless stream of work experience students, whose prime task is filling the trays on our multifunction printers’?
Installation is pretty straightforward, with a typical bundle of Canon multifunction software and a copy of Presto! Page Manager for document management. Drivers are provided for Windows and OS X, though there's nothing specific offered for Linux.
The colour laser engine is the same as fitted to the LBP5050 and to HP's Color LaserJet CP1215 and CP1515n models, among others. It's a very straightforward design, where all four drum and toner cartridges sit in a slide-out tray and simply drop into place. You have to pull out a sealing tape from each one before starting, but otherwise the machine is easy to set up.