Canon i-Sensys LBP7680Cx review
Canon's i-Sensys LBP7680Cx is one of Canon’s top single-function laser printers, and it’s compatible with the PCL 5c, PCL 6 and PostScript 3 page description languages, as well as Canon’s own UFR II. It has a 500-sheet paper tray as well as an additional 50-sheet pull-out tray that’s used for special media such as cardstock up to 220gsm and envelopes. This is also the first single-function printer to support Canon’s Java-based Multi-Functional Embedded Application Platform (MEAP) standard, which lets you install custom Canon applications on the printer to help with workflow, document distribution and security issues. Unfortunately, MEAP’s created with large enterprises in mind and has little to offer SMB users.
Sadly, the printer’s built-in menu and button system is rather poorly designed. Each of the directional buttons doubles as a menu button in its own right in addition to performing a navigational function. Before we could detect the printer on our network during driver installation, we had to use its menu system to switch its IP mode from manual to automatic in the TCP/IP menu; it's also worth ensuring that DHCP is enabled. Other menu options are also ambiguously labelled and difficult to find, and then there’s the irritating beep that sounds when you reach the end of a menu. Once the printer recognised our network, everything went much more smoothly. The drivers automatically detected the printer and installed quickly without further hassle.
Fortunately, once the printer and your network are talking to each other the printer’s HTML interface pretty much makes the unpleasant control panel redundant. All the control functions can be set here, from security settings that prevent unauthorised users printing documents to networking and quality settings. The interface is clear and - if not entirely intuitive – is, at least, easier to use than the printer's physical control panel.
Its print quality, however, is excellent, providing flawless mono text and even tiny font sizes and beautifully glossy and accurately shaded renditions of our colour photos and business documents. You can also print on special media types, such as envelopes, laser photo paper and card stock using a pull-out tray located at the front of the unit. When we tried to print an envelope, we were somewhat annoyed when the printer insisted we should manually configure it to accept the special media size that we'd already selected using its driver. Despite this annoyance, our envelope was printed accurately and smoothly and suffered no ill effects, such as curling.
We were very pleased with the printer’s speed. Mono text emerges at 18.1ppm, while colour prints were emitted at a rapid 15.7ppm. Our 10-page colour duplex document printed in one minute and 20 seconds. The OPC drum is integrated into the toner cartridges, which means the cartridges are your only consumable, producing print costs of 14.9p for a page of mixed black and colour printing and 3.1p per mono page. Three years’ medium use gives us a total cost of ownership of £1912.
Unless you specifically need PostScript 3 page description support or support for Canon’s Java-based MEAP, there’s no good reason to spend the better part of £75 extra on this printer instead of the cheaper Canon i-Sensys LBP7660Cdn.
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