The most surprising specification in the i-SENSYS LBP6300dn is its speed, quoted at 30ppm. This is very fast for this category of machine, so we were expecting a fair degree of wishful thinking on Canon’s part. This was supported by our five-page text print, which took 18 seconds, giving a true print speed of 16.7ppm, but when we ran the 20-page test, the speed increased to 25.5ppm, not a long way off the headline figure.
This speed is, in itself, very good and subjectively the machine seems very quick, with very little hanging around for processing prior to the start of print. It’s unusual to have a machine at this price with a real-world throughput this high.
Canon knows a good deal about mono laser print engines, being intricately involved with designs for the engines of many HP printers, as well as its own. We expected good quality print from the i-SENSYS LBP6300dn and we weren’t disappointed.
Text is very cleanly reproduced, with sharp, well-formed characters. The default print resolution is 600dpi, half the 1,200dpi of the Brother, but comparing the two printouts, you’d be pushed to tell. This is due to Canon’s ‘image refinement’ which pushes the effective resolution up to 2,400 x 600dpi.
Greyscale graphics suffer from a poor greyscale gamut. Our test page includes a business chart with four different fill colours, which most mono lasers can distinguish between. Here, though, three of the four show very similar greys, which could be a problem where you’re printing a lot of colour originals.
Surprisingly, the photo print is very respectable, with no signs of banding and some detail in the troublesome darker shadows.
Sound levels aren’t good. Canon claims a noise level of 53.5dBA, but we measured the review machine at peaks of up to 63dBA at 0.5m. This wouldn’t cause any problems if the machine was in the middle of a busy office, but could be intrusive if positioned on somebody’s desk.
The only consumable you have to consider is the integrated drum and toner cartridge and, if you chose the high-yield consumable, you don’t even need to consider this very often. The cartridge is available for around £120 if you shop around, giving a cost per ISO page of 2.7p, including 0.7p for paper.
This compares reasonably with the Brother HL-5350DN, though the Brother machine is around 0.3p per page cheaper to run.
This is a very sound, small workgroup laser printer. It prints very fast for this category of machine, much faster than we were expecting, in both single-sided and duplex print. The quality of printed output is fair, though there are problems with the range of greyscales it can produce. Photo print is particularly noteworthy, with very few artefacts to blemish the images.
Running costs are also well within normal parameters, as both the running costs and maintenance costs are low. At just over £200, this has to be a very worthwhile mono laser, with its only other blot being the high noise level when printing.