- Review Price: £412.07
Colour laser printers are pretty thick on the ground, but a new, mid-range machine from Canon is always worth consideration. Canon makes a lot of laser printer engines, not just for itself, and the i-SENSYS LBP7200Cdn uses a new in-line design which reduces the overall length of the machine, while still leaving it a reasonably low profile.
That’s not to say this is a discreet printer; it’s pretty big for an A4 machine rated at 20ppm, even if it does include duplex print as standard. Coloured in cream and light grey, its design is pretty unexceptional, with a rounded front edge and two separate handles for pulling down covers.
A drawer at the bottom of the front panel holds up to 250 sheets of plain paper and a second tray (shown in the picture above), of the same capacity, can be added as an option. The printer claims to be for small workgroups, so we’d still like to see a higher capacity tray as standard. There is a 50-sheet multi-purpose tray behind the fold-down front panel, though, so an overall default capacity of 300 sheets isn’t too bad.
The control panel is nothing special, with no LCD panel and just eight indicator lights for consumables’ status and error conditions. There’s a single button to cancel a current print job, though in our tests the printer was quite happy to continue turning out pages while the cancel light was flashing.
At the back are sockets for USB and Ethernet, both standard, but there’s no wireless option. You could, however, use a third-party wireless print server without much difficulty.
Consumables comprise four combined drum and toner cartridges and are supplied in a pull-out rack, which is accessible once you’ve folded down the whole of the printer’s front panel. These are small neat units, with capacities of 3,400 pages for black and 2,900 pages for each colour. Yields are reasonable though, as is so typical, Canon supplies 1,400 and 1,200 page ‘starter’ cartridges with the machine.
There’s not much in the way of software, apart from a driver and a consumables monitor. Drivers are provided for Windows 2000, XP and Vista, and for versions of OS X above 10.4.1. No Linux support is mentioned.
Canon rates this printer at 20ppm for both black and colour print. Our five-page test jobs returned speeds of 10ppm, so only halfway there, but for longer documents of 20 pages the speed rises to 15.6ppm, over three quarters of the stated speed.
This machine has an internal duplexer, which only requires turning on in the driver. Our same 20-page document, when printed duplex, returned a speed of 8.6spm, or 4.3ppm, which is disappointingly slow. Ideally duplex speed should be high enough that it can be set as the default and only overridden when single-sided jobs are essential; cutting the print speed to less than half the headline figure make this an awkward choice.
Laser print is usually a strong point of Canon printers and there’s certainly nothing wrong with the output from this one. Black text is sharp and clean, if not quite as black as from some other lasers we’ve looked at.
Colour graphics are bright and eye-catching, with very little sign of fill patterns and excellent registration of black text over coloured backgrounds. Colours are full and vibrant and you wouldn’t be ashamed to hand full-colour documents printed on this machine to clients.
Our sample photo print is also well reproduced for a laser printer. There’s almost no sign of banding and smooth colour fills are in evidence throughout. Foreground detail is sharp and precise and shows well in shadowed areas of the images well as in brightly lit ones.
Canon quotes a maximum noise level of 56dBA and we recorded 60dBA in peaks, when the machine was feeding paper. This makes it a reasonably quiet device, though not one you can forget about, if it’s sitting on the desk next to you.
Cartridge prices are only currently available as SRPs, as the i-SENSYS LBP7200Cdn is a brand-new machine and not yet properly into the retail channel. As such, the prices quoted here are quite a bit higher than you would expect to see once consumables are available from the usual suspects.
Just as well, really, as we calculate an ISO black page cost of 4.86p and a colour one of 19.14p. As it stands, the colour figure is an exceptionally high print cost, making the machine unusable for anything other than very low runs. Given our experience with other Canon colour lasers we’ve tested, though, we would expect the price here to drop considerably within a few months.
The i-SENSYS LBP7200Cdn is a good mid-range colour laser printer, which is easy to maintain and produces high quality print for text, graphics and photos. Speed is fair but the purchase price is quite high and running costs at the moment are close to prohibitive. Once they drop to more realistic levels, this promises to be a good all-round colour device.
Score in detail
Print Speed 7
Print Quality 9
|Paper Size||A4, A5, B5, Letter, Legal, Executive, Statement, Foolscap, 16K, Com10 Envelope, DL Envelope, C5 Envelope, B5 Envelope, Custom Size|
|Sheet Capacity||300 sheets|
|Rated Black Speed (Images per minute)||20 ppmipm|
|Rated Colour Speed (Images per minute)||20 ppmipm|
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