Canon iR5075N Printer

Canon delivers a lean, mean printing machine that's capable of taking on all your business printing, faxing and copying requirements. Speed and quality are impressive, running costs are low and it offers essential print security plus tons of upgrade options.

Price
£14,845

Canon's latest family of multifunction printers aims to deliver a wealth of new features and on review we have the top of the range iR5075N which is rated at 75ppm making it the fastest of all Canon's office printers. It brings a lot more to the table as print job security is high on the agenda as are increased productivity and environmental issues. It isn't easy being green with printing but the iR5075N only has a standby power consumption of 1W which is also the lowest of Canon's printer family.

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At the heart of this printer is a 1200 x 1200dpi print engine, which offers speeds of 75ppm for A4 and 37ppm for A3. The standard infrastructure surrounding this is impressive as you get a 600dpi A3 flatbed scanner that can copy both sides in a single pass. To achieve this, the printer has two scanners where the one in the base scans the underneath of the page after which the paper continues into the copier head unit, which contains a second scanning unit.

Standard paper capacity is of rainforest proportions and an optional paper deck fitted to the right-hand side delivers a further 3,500-sheets of A3 or A4. We found the printer's control panel particularly friendly and providing easy access to all functions. For copying documents we could select email, fax or file options and the latter supports FTP, SMB and WebDAV. We copied documents to a remote PC and were able to search the network, select the target system and local directory and provide its username and password.

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In our performance tests we found Canon's claims to be on the money with a 100-page A4 Word document dispatched in 80 seconds for a perfect 75ppm. It didn't break sweat when we presented it with a 120-page DTP style document with a host of graphics, charts and photographs. We selected the highest setting in the PCL6 driver panel and it was completed in 96 seconds for another perfect 75ppm. A3 print speeds are nothing to sniff at either with a 30-page Word document completed in 50 seconds for a tidy average of 36ppm. Copy speeds weren't as good as we copied our 100-page test document which took 113 seconds for only 53ppm with the printer taking a further 13 seconds to finish printing it.

Print quality doesn't suffer with the need for speed as the iR5075N delivered razor sharp text right down to the smallest fonts. A3 and A4 sized photographs only showed minor banding which was imperceptible in areas containing large amounts of detail. We could see reasonable levels of details in darker areas of photographs and found charts and graphs looked good in our test reports. Our only criticism was that we couldn't see any discernable differences between the driver's text, 600dpi and 1200dpi settings.

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The optional document insertion/folding unit brings in Canon's concept of 'colour without colour' as you can place colour pages in designated paper drawers and add them to your printouts. The unit can do 'C' folds on printed output for placing in standard DL envelopes and also 'Z' folds which can be useful where large documents need to be placed in a lever arch folder. Next in line is the hole punch unit which can do two- and four-hole punches and the review system had the saddle finisher fitted with comes with four output trays and integral stapler unit. This also produces booklets and can handle up to 15-page documents so with duplex printing and two pages to each side it can create a 60-page booklet.

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Canon has focused heavily on print security and offers optional kits that can encrypt data held on the internal hard disk and securely erase print jobs of sensitive material on completion. Security features that come as standard include a secure print feature that allows users to assign PINs to their print jobs from the driver and the option to save documents in password protected mailboxes on the printer's hard disk.

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There's more with MIND (modular identification network device) which allows you to authenticate with the printer using devices such as PIN keypads, fingerprint recognition, swipe cards or even a retinal scanner. MEAP (multifunctional embedded application platform) supports authentication using PIN codes and employs the printer's control panel for user authentication whilst LDAP support allows you to specify a directory server and gather details on AD users and groups.

Canon takes the issue of disabled users seriously as the printer supports voice guidance. Aimed at visually impaired users this unit issues audible instructions, which confirm what the user has asked the printer to do. Remote operator software is also available allowing wheelchair users to control the printer from a network PC.

Printer management is aided admirably by Canon's optional uniFLOW Output Manager software. From its tidy browser interface you can set up base data on users, groups, cost centres, price profiles and so on and apply printing budgets at the departmental and user levels. Printer clusters allow documents to be sent to colour or mono printers depending on requirements and other uses could be to send large prints to a low-cost, high volume printer rather than a user's desk-side printer. And talking of costs, Canon uses an industry standard method of calculating a click charge which is a set price per page based on costs for labour, parts and toner. Canon advised us that the maximum click charge would be around 0.73 pence per page making for comparatively low printing costs.

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It makes good business sense for companies to amalgamate all their printing and copying requirements into a single solution as this allows them to control usage more precisely, cut wastage and implement better security. The iR5075N certainly looks capable of fulfilling this role as it offers a wealth of features and optional extras, is extremely fast and is easy to use and manage.

Verdict

Canon delivers a lean, mean printing machine that's capable of taking on all your business printing, faxing and copying requirements. Speed and quality are impressive, running costs are low and it offers essential print security plus tons of upgrade options.

1200 x 1200dpi A3 mono Quoted print speeds - 75ppm (A4); 37ppm (A3) 100-sheet capacity duplex scanner/document feeder 533MHz processor 1GB RAM 40GB hard disk USB 2.0 10/100 Ethernet Input trays (standard): 2 x 1,500-sheet A4; 2 x 550-sheet A3/A4; 50-sheet stack bypass. Options: 3,500-sheet A3/A4/A4R paper deck, £2,695; document insertion/folding unit, £7,500; hole punch, £572; saddle finisher, £4,160; Super G3 fax board, £770; hard disk data erase kit, £405; hard disk encryption kit, £405.

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