Canon i-Sensys LBP7660Cdn review
Canon’s i-Sensys LBP7660Cdn is a no-frills workgroup colour laser printer designed to withstand the rigors of an office print group. It has a one-time maximum monthly duty cycle of 60,000 pages, but expect it to cope with a realistic regular yield of around 6,000 pages per month.
Unusually, the printer has Gigabit rather than 10/100 Ethernet, but network speed isn’t the bottleneck when it comes to print speeds, so it’ll make no practical difference to the printer’s performance in real terms. It also has an automatic duplexer, a 250-sheet paper tray, a 50-sheet fold-out special media tray, and PCL 5c and PCL 6 page description languages built in.
Getting the printer set up on our network proved to be a little challenging, although the driver disc is refreshingly free of excess bloatware. Indeed, all that’s on it are the UFR II and PCL printer drivers, as well as a manual. The installer offered to search our network for compatible printers, but even though this process should have been simple, its initial attempt at auto-detection failed. We resolved the issue using the printer’s onboard menu system, setting its IP mode to auto rather than manual, which let it take its address from our DHCP server. With that done, the rest of the installation process went swiftly and smoothly.
Resetting the printer’s IP mode was rendered more difficult than it should have been by the poor design of the LBP7660Cdn’s menu system. The directional keys used to navigate the menus double as shortcuts to the menus themselves, which makes navigation a somewhat ambiguous process. We preferred using the printer’s HTML interface, although you’ll have to get it talking to your network before you can access it.
The HTML interface simply replicates the onboard menu system, providing options that control networking, and the setting of default paper sizes and feeds. Alternatively, you can manually set the paper size of the pull-down special media tray if you wish to print on items such as envelopes, although you’ll be prompted to do so by the printer’s LCD display when this is required.
Once sizing issues had been resolved, our envelope was printed smoothly. In fact, the LBP7660Cdn’s print quality makes up for a lot of other issues. The quality of its colour prints is astonishingly good, having bright, accurate tones and smooth gradation, even on challenging areas of subtle shading. Mono text is also pin-sharp and both colour and mono prints have the trademark glossiness that makes laser prints look so professional.
It even has a vivid colour mode for photo prints. It doesn’t change the printer’s enhanced resolution and it doesn’t make your prints any slower. As an example, two 10x8in prints took exactly 25 seconds in both normal and vivid photo modes. In fact, the only noticeable difference is slightly enhanced magenta tones that make pale skin look like someone’s taken a bottle of fake tan to it.
Happily, the printer proved to be no slouch in our tests, giving a mono print speed of 13.6ppm and a colour speed of 10.7ppm, while a 10-page colour duplex document printed in one minute and 21 seconds. Print costs aren’t too painful, either, with a page of mixed black and colour printing coming in at 14.9p and a mono page costing 3.2p.
Overall, we found the i-Sensys LBP7660Cdn to be a bit fiddly to set up, and three years’ total cost of ownership adds up to £1,839, making this one of the more expensive colour laser printers to run, but it is pretty quick at printing in colour.
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