The i-SENSYS MF8080Cw is rated at 12ppm for black print and 8ppm for colour, but we didn't see these speeds under test. Our five-page, black text print took 50s, equivalent to 6ppm and, although this rose to 9.6ppm for the 20-page file, it looks and feels very slow.
Five pages of black text and colour graphics took 1:08, or a speed of 4.4ppm, little more than half that the specified by Canon. The print engine is really very sluggish; compare it with Dell’s 2155cdn which produced 18.5ppm for black print and 12.5ppm for colour. That machine also supports duplex print.
It's quite surprising Canon hasn’t built two-sided print into this machine, when most mono lasers at half the price and many colour lasers at comparable price include it. It would make it much more useful as a copier, too. It took 20s to copy a single colour page and 33s to copy five pages from the ADF, although in this case the scanning finished almost before printing had started.
Print quality is hard to fault, with clean black text showing no problem artefacts, and colour graphics coming through solid and bright. There's some slight haloing around black text over colour fills, but nothing to worry about. A colour copy shows good colour fidelity to the original, though there is some slight speckling in solid colour fills. Our test photo did better than from most colour lasers, with good rendition of hard to reproduce, darker colour shades.
The four drum and toner cartridges are available in a single capacity of 2,300 pages black and 1,500 pages for each colour. At the best prices we could find, these gave page costs of 2.8p for ISO black and 11.3p for ISO colour. These are good figures compared with rival machines in the same price bracket, from the likes of HP.
If your main requirement from a small or home office multifunction is print quality, you won’t get much better than the Canon i-SENSYS MF8080Cw. Unfortunately, most people need to balance print quality against speed and paper handling. It’s in these areas that this machine falls down, through design decisions which range from the unfortunate to the plain silly.