Canon i-Sensys LBP7110Cw review: Cheap costs for mono printing; more expensive for colour

Colour laser printers used to cost thousands of pounds, but Canon’s new LBP7110Cw is one of the cheapest yet, costing just £199.00. 

It’s relatively compact for a colour laser, measuring 255mm high, 406mm wide and 454mm deep, so it can fit even into a small office, and its monthly duty cycle of 30,000 pages means that it can cope with a heavier workload than most inkjet printers. 

However, the low price means that the LBP7110Cw has a fairly limited set of features. It provides both USB and wireless connections, and a150-sheet paper tray, but it’s a conventional single-function printer with no additional scanning or copying features, or software options such as double-sided printing.

The print resolution is a relatively modest 600dpi, although this is enhanced to what Canon claims is the equivalent of 1200dpi. In any event, print quality is very good, with smooth, sharp text and colourful graphics. Some of our test photos were a little over-saturated, but then you wouldn’t use a laser printer like this for high-quality photo output, and the LBP7110Cw can certainly handle business graphics such as presentations and reports perfectly well.

 

It’s not the fastest of printers, achieving around 11 pages per minute for both colour and mono documents, rather than the 14ppm quoted by Canon. However, that will still be perfectly adequate for many small businesses.

Running costs are something of a mixed bag, though. The LBP7110Cw is sold with a set of four ‘starter’ cartridges that should last for around 800 pages. After that you’ll need to pay around £52 each for the cyan, magenta and yellow toner cartridges. Those should last for a further 1500 pages, which works out at around 10.4p per page, which is definitely higher than most current inkjet printers.

Fortunately, mono printing is more affordable. The standard black toner cartridge costs about £46.00 and yields up to 1400 pages, which comes to 3.2p per page – and, again, that’s a little higher than an inkjet printer. However, Canon’s high-yield black cartridge provides better value at around £60.00 for 2400 pages. That brings the price down to 2.5p per page, which is comparable with many inkjet printers.

We do, however, feel that Canon needs to be more on the ball with its Mac support. Canon’s web site claims that the LBP7110Cw is Mac-compatible, but it arrived with no Mac software – and it wasn’t the first Canon printer sent to Macworld without any Mac software either. We also found complaints on the Internet from Mac users who had bought the LBP7110Cw only to find that they couldn’t use it until the Mac driver software was available to download towards the end of April.

OUR VERDICT

It’s not particularly fast by the standards of laser printers, and the cost of the colour cartridges means that it’s really only suitable for occasional colour printing. However, the LBP7110Cw is still a good, affordable option for small businesses that need a high-quality, low-volume printer for their business documents.

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