The Canon i-SENSYS LBP3370 is a functional mono-laser printer aimed at the office environment.

While colour lasers tend to get most of the headlines, most businesses continue to own large numbers of mono models. Typically, the majority of business documents consist of text, text and more text, so there remains a demand for mono lasers. But is there a demand for a mono laser that retails for as much as £339? Canon certainly hopes so, and its Canon i-SENSYS LBP3370 intends to lure purchasers away from flashier but less business-oriented colour models.

That it carries such a high price tag won't be immediately obvious from the Canon i-SENSYS LBP3370's exterior. There is a mono LCD but, otherwise, very little sign of sophistication. The casing isn't particularly polished or in any other way suggestive of the price. This isn't perhaps surprising, since the Canon i-SENSYS LBP3370 is aimed very much at an office environment and, therefore, needs to offer little in the way of style.

What the Canon i-SENSYS LBP3370 does need to give the user is functionality, and here the results are more pleasing. It comes with a 10Base-T/100Base-TX interface and some excellent management software, allowing it to slip seamlessly into any office network. No wireless connection is included but, to be honest, we're still far from the time when the typical office workhorse bothers with the slightly inconsistent Wi-Fi and Bluetooth standards.

PCL5e/6 support and 64MB of RAM are included, and the paper inputs stretch to a 250 sheet cassette and a 50-sheet multi-purpose tray. The output is a mere 125 pages. These figures may not seem particularly outstanding, but you can upgrade the input capacity to 550 sheets with an optional tray. We would, though, prefer the output to be slightly higher on a model that really ought to be ideal for large print-jobs. In a sense though, that might be missing the point of the Canon i-SENSYS LBP3370.

Most printers have fast speeds when warmed up but, should you want to print off a quick load, you'll find the time ticking away due to the need for the printer to constantly warm up. The Canon i-SENSYS LBP3370, though, is notable for its zero warm up time.

In practice, the Canon i-SENSYS LBP3370 was printing within six seconds and, when it had been in recent action, it started whirring into action almost instantaneously. It still doesn't quite hit the figure of 26ppm quoted by Canon but, at 22.2ppm (pages per minute) it's much closer to the on-paper figure then is generally the case. And in an office environment, where there's there a constant flood of users wanting to run off short print jobs as quickly as possible, the Canon i-SENSYS LBP3370's non-existent warm-up period could prove extremely useful.

The resulting prints are dark and sharp, with the text clearly defined. Compared to cheaper mono lasers (the Epson AcuLaser M2000D, for instance), the print quality is significantly superior. Being a mono model, you're unlikely to be buying it primarily for its graphics output, although it is quite adept here too, bringing out the detail even in our series of complicated photo tests.

NEXT PAGE: duplexing, print costs and our expert verdict > >

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