Canon i-Sensys LBP664Cx review: A great choice for small businesses
Cheap to buy and run, this colour laser is easy to manage – and also delivers outstanding print quality
Canon’s i-Sensys LBP664Cx is a tempting option for busy offices. This desktop A4 laser costs a reasonable £253, yet delivers a speedy 27ppm in both colour and mono. A 12.7cm colour touchscreen makes it easy to use, and you can even take some advantage of Canon’s library of downloadable apps.
All the key connections are here: alongside a USB 2 port, the printer offers Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n wireless services, which are easily configured via a touch-driven wizard (although, as usual, both interfaces can’t be active simultaneously). There’s an integrated NFC sensor too, ready for tap-to-print operations.
The printer is supplied with a set of 1,200-page starter cartridges, and the only consumables are replacement toner packs, which come in standard and high-yield variants. Opt for the latter and running costs are very reasonable for a printer in this price range, working out to 1.5p per mono page and 8.6p for colour.
In addition to the touchscreen, the printer also presents a web console, providing details of consumables, paper status, and detected errors. The status monitor page shows job logs and page usage, as well as a view of average monthly energy usage.
You can also use the console to configure security settings, such as locking access to the touchscreen. Department ID settings let you control access to colour or mono printing, or apply daily page limits for each user. A little bit of desktop configuration is needed for this, as these settings also need to be applied at the driver end, but you do get the convenient choice of whether to store each user’s ID and PIN or require them to be provided for each print job.
Although the LBP664Cx can download apps from the Canon Application Library, almost all of the items currently on offer are aimed at MFPs, and only two work on this particular printer. Still, the Standby Slide app could be useful if the printer is in a public area, as it can display a slideshow of images and messages on the touchscreen.
The Print Template app is great if you have standard pages that need to be reprinted regularly: you can use the web console to upload a collection of JPEG or PDF files (up to a total size of 48MB), then assign each one to a button on the touchscreen for instant printing.
Another limitation of the LBP664Cx is cloud access, with only Google Cloud Print natively supported. You can work around this with companion apps, however: after installing the Canon Print Business mobile app, we were able to use our iPad to browse and print items in our Google Drive and Dropbox accounts.
And the LBP644Cx lived up to Canon’s performance promises, delivering our 27-page test Word document in precisely 60 seconds, in both the General and High-Definition driver modes. It struggled a little with our challenging 24-page colour DTP document, which was delivered at 24ppm in both General and Publication modes, but the results were worth the wait: quality was amazing, with photos and graphics revealing plenty of detail with bright, vibrant colour, and only the merest hint of banding.
Printing in duplex mode is pleasingly swift too, with our double-sided test document emerging at 20ppm. Even on cheap 75gsm stock, the printer produces pin-sharp text and detailed mono photos, and you won’t need to be constantly feeding it paper as the 250-sheet lower tray can be boosted with an optional 550-sheet base cassette.
For the price, the LBP664Cx delivers a strong set of print control features, and overall print quality is extremely good. Add in affordable running costs and you have a great choice for small businesses.
Canon i-Sensys LBP664Cx specifications
|Format||600dpi A4 colour laser|
|Print speed||27ppm mono/colo|
|Display||12.7cm colour touchscreen|
|Networking||Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n wireless|
|Connectivity||NFC, USB 2|
|Tray size||250-sheet paper tray, 50-sheet MPT|
|Recommended monthly duty cycle||4,000 pages|
|Dimensions||438 x 469 x 379mm (WDH)|
|Warranty||3yr warranty on registration|
|Options (exc VAT)||AF-1 550-sheet lower cassette (£100 exc VAT)|
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