Canon i-SENSYS: LBP7200Cdn review
Does Canon get the balance of quality and features right with its newest small workgroup printer?
What do you want from a colour laser printer in a small workgroup?
Top of the list are probably print quality, low total cost of ownership (TCO) and speed. Lower down are things like size and expandability.
Canon is a stalwart of the multifunction printer market and last year we looked at the i-Sensys MF4690PL. Once again, with the i-SENSYS LBP7200Cdn Canon has generally got its priorities right.
This is a chunky machine, simply styled in white and light grey, with a rounded top, front edge and clearly delineated joins between its various panels. Starting from the top and working down, the control panel, which sits next to a deep-set output tray set into the printer's top surface, has just nine indicators and a single button, for cancelling a print job.
This is probably all you need, as the array includes indicators for paper jam, out of paper and one each for the four print cartridges, but they are all mounted flush with the top of the machine, so when they're flashing they aren't immediately obvious, unless you're standing over it. Some of Canon's competitors have taken to putting warning indicators on raised parts of the top cover, so they can be seen from across an office.
A blue handle on the front panel pulls open a multi-purpose tray, which can take up to 50 sheets and extra supports slide out and flip over, so you can load special media. Below that is a 250-sheet plain paper tray, which even on a colour laser seems to us to be too low a capacity. Any printer intended to be shared between several people should, we feel, be able to take 400 to 500 sheets at a go. With 500 sheets, you can load a ream at a time from a fresh pack and forget about it, possibly for a week or two.
Pull down the whole of the front cover and you can get at the slide-out tray' which holds the four consumables. Each of these is a combined drum and toner cartridge and they are rated at 2,900 pages for each of the colours and 3,400 pages for black. You have to contend with the usual cheapskate practice of starter' cartridges in the box, in Canon's case rated at 1,200 and 1,400 pages. The yields of the mainstream versions should help keep TCO down and fitting new consumables is very straightforward.
Software set up involves little more than installing drivers. Canon provides for Windows 2000, XP and Vista, and OSX 10.4.1 and above. No Linux support is detailed.
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