Print quality is very high. Text pages are extremely crisp and well-defined. Even small text is cleanly reproduced, with no signs of toner spatter and clean edges to characters and printed lines.
Business graphics are also well printed, though we noticed slight mis-registration between areas of colour and overlaying text. This isn’t severe, but is reproducible from page to page.
Photographic output is very natural and doesn’t suffer from the emphasis of primary colours that we often notice in this kind of print from colour lasers. Although the dot pattern from the 600dpi engine is apparent, you do have to look closely and other aspects of the image, such as reproduction of shadow detail, compensates.
Canon claims a sound level of 60dBA for this printer and we wouldn’t argue with this. Although the sound intensity is relatively high, the type of sound isn’t that annoying and in most environments it won’t be intrusive.
There’s no transfer belt in the LBP-5000, with pages coming into direct contact with each of the four colour drums, instead. This keeps the print mechanism simple and also keeps the running costs down, as all you need to consider is the cost of each of the cartridges. Each cartridge includes a photoconductive drum as well as toner and Canon hasn’t followed the unfortunate trend of including low-capacity ‘starter’ cartridges with its new printer.
The 2,500-sheet colour cartridge costs around £42 at Internet prices and each of the colour cartridges, which can produce 2,000 sheets at 5 per cent cover each, costs £44. Doing the maths produces costs per page of 2.16p for black and 8.86p for colour. This compares well with similarly priced colour lasers we’ve reviewed recently. It’s rather better than, for example, Samsung’s CLP-300, which costs 2.8p for a black page and 10.41p for colour.
The LaserShot LBP-5000 is a good, general-purpose, entry-level colour laser printer. While not as compact as some, its simple design leaves you with few consumable parts to replace and, potentially, provides less to go wrong. It’s not expensive to run and it produces good quality printed output, even for usually taxing photographic prints. It should be well up your shortlist for this type of low-cost colour printer.