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Canon i-SENSYS LBP7780Cx review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £444
inc VAT

Expensive to buy, but cheap to run, the LBP7780Cx is a great colour laser - if you can find the space for it

There are many reasons why Canon’s i-SENSYS LBP7780Cx isn’t for everyone, not least of which is its considerable cost – you could buy three entry-level colour lasers for the same price. It’s also huge, and perhaps as significantly, its print engine is arranged side-on rather than facing the front.

Although the 500-sheet main cassette loads from the front, the 100-sheet multipurpose feed is at the right, meaning you’ll need enough space on that side to use it. Even more room is needed to open the right side panel and clear jams, restricting where you can install the printer.

If you have the space, you’ll find this is an impressive colour laser. It’s rated for 32 pages per minute (ppm) in black or colour, has duplex (double-sided) printing as standard, and can be upgraded with a second 500-sheet paper tray for a total capacity of 1,100 sheets. The printer connects via USB or Gigabit Ethernet and has a USB port for direct printing – although the menu could be easier to use. In fact, that criticism extends to all the printer’s direct controls: many of the icons are unfathomable. It does win some points back for the cowling covering its power switch, though; turning it on or off feels like arming a missile.

This is one of the quicker colour lasers we’ve tested, reaching 25.4ppm in our mono text test, and even managing 15.5ppm in our complex colour graphics test. This fast pace helped it in our colour duplex test, where it delivered 10 sides on five pages in just 53 seconds – roughly a third quicker than its rivals. Although peak power use was typically high for a laser, at 1,137 watts, our power meter didn’t measure any consumption at all in sleep mode. Given this, we’re not sure why the printer defaults to turning itself off completely after four hours of inactivity.

The LBP7780Cx produced excellent black text, but also brilliant graphics. Colours were accurate, details were sharp, and fills were even with no visible artefacts. Greyscale graphics and photos were free of colour bias, and unusually high in contrast.

Despite its size, the LBP7780Cx is comparatively simple to maintain, taking just four colour consumables plus a waste toner box rated for 18,000 pages. When calculated using the 12,000-page high-yield black toner and colour toner cartridges rated at 6,400 pages each, costs work out at just 0.9p per mono page, or 6.6p in black and colour.

In modest use, these low prices won’t offset the printer’s higher purchase price, but for anyone printing more than a few thousand pages a year they’ll make it cheaper to own than most entry-level or competing colour lasers. If you want a smaller, cheaper printer for a home office we’d recommend the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-5110DW inkjet, but if you need a fast, high-quality colour laser the i-SENSYS LBP7780Cx is unbeatable. It’s our Best Buy.

TechnologySingle-pass colour laser
Maximum print resolution600x600dpi
Number of colours (cartridges)4 (4)
Standard interfacesUSB, gigabit Ethernet, USB host
Optional interfacesNone
Dimensions (HxWxD)401x517x530mm
Duty cycle (pages per month)75,000 (max)
Paper handling
Maximum paper sizeA4/legal
Maximum paper weight216gsm
Standard paper trays (capacity)2 (600)
Maximum paper trays (capacity)3 (1,100)
Supported operating systemsWindows XP or later, Mac OS X 10.5 or later, Linux, Citrix, Android, iOS
LanguagesPCL 5c, PCL 6, PostScript 3
Other featuresFive-line backlit mono display
Buying information
WarrantyOne-year onsite
Consumable parts and pricesWaste toner bottle WT-723 (18,000 pages) £15, High capacity black cartridge 732H (12,000 pages) £103. Cyan cartridge 732C £129, magenta cartridge 732M £91, yellow cartridge 732Y £129 (6,400 pages each)
Quoted life of supplied black toner6,100 pages (ISO/IEC 19798)
Quoted life of supplied colour toner6,400 pages each (ISO/IEC 19798)
Cost per ISO/IEC 24712 A4 page inc VAT6.6p
Cost per ISO/IEC 24712 A4 page inc VAT (colour part)5.7p
Cost per ISO/IEC 24712 A4 page inc VAT (mono part)0.9p
Capacity of supplied drum/s (pages)N/A
Part code6140B010AA