The Canon i-SENSYS LBP7200Cdn is a hefty, but good-looking colour laser printer.

Not so long ago, the typical laser printer was a colossal addition to any office. The dimensions were expansive, and the weights potentially back breaking. At 25kg, the Canon i-SENSYS LBP7200Cdn is suitably heavy - it's two and a half times as weighty as the mono Brother HL-5340D, for instance, although still not quite as cumbersome as the Kyocera FS-C5100DN. Simply unpacking it isn't a job for the faint of heart.

Part of the surprise comes from the Canon i-SENSYS LBP7200Cdn's looks, which amount to a breezy cream finish, and comparatively elegant curves (given that it's a laser printer). Despite these initial impressions, the LBP7200Cdn is hardly the last word in external sophistication, and its relatively spartan control panel consists merely of a button and a string of status lights. The arcane icons adorning the latter aren't particularly easy to decipher, and we wish Canon had replaced these with word captions instead.

The Canon i-SENSYS LBP7200Cdn, however, isn't interested in fripperies. Instead, it's focused on solid specifications and upgrade potential. The sizeable casing makes for a very secure output tray into which paper can drop, and we had no qualms about subjecting this highly capable printer to some extreme workloads. The 250-sheet input tray is robust, and the paper handling can be doubled through the addition of a second 250-sheet tray - a 50-sheet multi-purpose tray is also provided.

Standard network connectivity is provided alongside the USB 2.0 port, and the Canon i-SENSYS LBP7200Cdn has good remote monitoring features. There's no wireless network support, although this isn't particularly surprising - relatively few office printers will offer Wi-Fi or Bluetooth functionality out of the box.

The Canon i-SENSYS LBP7200Cdn has a maximum resolution of 9600x600dpi, although its optical resolution is a far more modest 600x600dpi. There's little modest about the quality of the output, however, and the Canon's colour prints are vibrant and eye-catching, while the text is professional and understated, with smooth definition that bears up well under close examination.

It isn't as fast as some on the market though, and its speed figures are slightly down on those of the excellent Kyocera FS-C5100DN. Canon boasts about its fast startup time, but in fact we were a little surprised that it took as long as it did to get going - once into its stride, it can churn out text at a rate of roughly 3 pages per minute, for example, which would bring it up to the quoted 20ppm. Nonetheless, there's little to choose here between the Canon i-SENSYS LBP7200Cdn and the Kyocera.

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Automatic duplexing is supported, and here the text figure of 14.3ppm fell to 8ppm. With less than half the performance lost, this is actually a quite decent showing for the Canon i-SENSYS LBP7200Cdn's duplexing feature, and the ability to quickly print on both sides of the page will help cut the amount of paper used, and so reduce running costs.

Mind you, the ink budget is definitely an area where Canon users will want to see an improvement. The toner cartridges are all-in-one products that combine toner with the drum and cleaning units; but, even so, the costs are high given the relatively low page yield. At a cost of 3.1p for text, this will prove a pricey printer to operate. And while we expect that of a cheap inkjet, for a quality laser printer, that's a significant negative.

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Canon i-SENSYS LBP7200Cdn: Specs

  • Colour laser printer
  • max resolution 9600x600dpi (600x600dpi optical)
  • quoted print speed B=20ppm C=20ppm
  • actual print speed B=14.3ppm C=9.7ppm
  • USB 2.0 & 10/100Mb/s ethernet
  • 250-sheet input tray and 50-sheet multi-purpose input
  • optional 250-sheet
  • 409x490x331mm
  • 25kg
  • Toner costs B=£105 C=£102 x 3
  • Print life (pages) B=3,400 C=2,900 x 3
  • 409x490x331mm
  • 24.8kg
  • Colour laser printer
  • max resolution 9600x600dpi (600x600dpi optical)
  • quoted print speed B=20ppm C=20ppm
  • actual print speed B=14.3ppm C=9.7ppm
  • USB 2.0 & 10/100Mb/s ethernet
  • 250-sheet input tray and 50-sheet multi-purpose input
  • optional 250-sheet
  • 409x490x331mm
  • 25kg
  • Toner costs B=£105 C=£102 x 3
  • Print life (pages) B=3,400 C=2,900 x 3
  • 409x490x331mm
  • 24.8kg

OUR VERDICT

The Canon i-SENSYS LBP7200Cdn works well as a printer. Its quality of output is indeed notable, and the speed is decent and improves as you subject the Canon to larger and larger print jobs. However, running costs are significant, and until they come down dramatically, this will be a hard printer to recommend.

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