The company also claims no warm-up time for the machine and this was reflected in a single text and graphics page competing in just 12 seconds, a pretty good performance. Finally, our 5 x 3in photo took 11 seconds so, overall, we were more than happy with the printer’s throughput speed.
The LBP3000 has a physical resolution of 600dpi, though this is enhanced up to an effective resolution of 2,400dpi. In practical terms, the resolution of the LBP3000 is more than adequate to produce crisp, clear text and the Canon toner ensures it’s densely black, too.
When it comes to graphics and reproducing colours as grey fills, things are not as clear-cut. Greyscale fills are uneven and the dot pattern used to generate them is clearly visible. We also noticed some splatter close to solid black rules, which we’ve seen on at least one entry-level HP laser printer, too.
Photographic reproduction suffers from the same irregular fills, showing up as banding across the image, and again the dot pattern is easy to see. Detail, even in areas of shadow, is reasonably well reproduced, despite this.
The printer is nice and quiet when printing, with none of the clunks and thumps sometimes associated with paper feeds in other inexpensive laser printers.
As mentioned, there is just a single consumable for the LBP3000, which we sourced at around £40. Since the cartridge is only rated at 2,000, five per cent pages, this gives a cost per page of 2.82p. Nearly 3p a sheet is expensive and compares unfavourably even with some ink-jet printers. It is totally dependent on the price you can find for the cartridge, though, so you may be able to cut you’re cost of ownership simply by shopping around.
The LaserShot LBP3000 fares pretty well against our list of criteria. It prints quickly and cleanly, particularly on text documents, though graphics and photos are below average. It’s small, quiet, easy-to-use – partly due to a lack of features in its driver – and cheap to buy. It’s not that cheap to run, though, because of the relative expense of its toner cartridge. If you don’t print a lot of pages, this may not be your most important consideration.