One of the best-featured models in Canon’s line-up of colour laser printers, the Canon i-SENSYS LBP7680Cx should have plenty of capacity to impress – particularly for larger businesses.
See: more colour laser printer reviews.
Something of a heavyweight to look at, the Canon i-SENSYS LBP7680Cx cuts quite a forbidding figure. We did need to use some force when pushing in the paper tray, but otherwise the build quality was good.
The Canon i-SENSYS LBP7680Cx's text interface isn’t the most intuitive we’ve seen. You use a control pad to flow through the options, using the left and right buttons to move backwards and forwards through the menus. It’s not always easy to tell where exactly you are. An irritating beep tells you when you get to the bottom of the options; which thankfully can be turned off.
In fairness to Canon, the Canon i-SENSYS LBP7680Cx does have a huge amount of options, and almost every aspect of the printer can be tweaked to the nth degree. Technical users will appreciate the flexibility, but the less experienced may find it somewhat bewildering.
Canon’s literature on the LBP7680Cx leads with its multi-functional embedded application protocol (MEAP) platform. For many years, programmers have been using Java to develop powerful custom applications that can perform specific functions for them.
MEAP puts these Java capabilities right into the printer itself, allowing you to adapt the Canon i-SENSYS LBP7680Cx so that it can perform customised duties for you – perhaps doing away with the need for external hardware, for instance, or increasing efficiency by only presenting you with or only performing the jobs you need executed.
This sounds great, but in truth it’ll require that your business either has somebody who knows how to tap into its capabilities, or that you have sufficient funds to get a third party to create a suitable application for you, or find an off-the-shelf option. In reality, then, MEAP is unlikely to be of much practical use to most small and medium businesses. Largeer companies, though, may find it a useful addition.
The Canon i-SENSYS LBP7680Cx is also kitted out with uniFLOW. A very good way of monitoring printer usage, thus keeping costs down while also maintaining good security, this new version adds mobile printing facilities. Again, it’ll be of the most use to large companies with high employee counts.
However, medium-sized businesses may also appreciate the extra information available concerning the company’s printing devices. Those wishing to keep their documents private have a number of options, and it’s extremely easy to print directly from USB storage.
The Canon i-SENSYS LBP7680Cx printer comes with some decent specifications. Up to 250 sheets can be loaded into the main compartment, with another 50 sheets available from the multipurpose tray.
You can bolt on an optional 250-sheet drawer for a potential maximum of 550 sheets. This is fair enough for a printer of this price, although given the large business-oriented angle, not every potential customer may find this enough.
The maximum duty cycle runs to 60,000 pages a month. There’s 768MB of memory built into the printer, and it supports a good range of languages, from PCL5c and PCL6 to PostScript. The network interface is gigabit ethernet.
Canon i-SENSYS LBP7680Cx: Performance
Speeds of up to 20 pages per minute are promised, although we found the printer generating a real-world text figure of around 13.8ppm. This page rate dropped to 9.4ppm when we printed out A4 colour graphics.
In fairness to Canon, much of this speed deficiency comes down to the long warmup time, and the printer did tend to generate a sheet every 3 seconds once it had got started.
If you’ll mainly be running off large print-jobs, you’ll find the Canon i-SENSYS LBP7680Cx builds up speed significantly.
The text quality is good, with clean and sharply defined characters that remain legible even at small font sizes. The Canon i-SENSYS LBP7680Cx works extremely well with glossy paper, and even on plain paper, colour graphics look very pleasant. It doesn’t have the most exciting and sparkling of colour palettes, but the overall effect is balanced and easy on the eye.
There is an automatic duplexing feature, and double-sided text saw a drop in speed from 13.8ppm to 8.2ppm – a fall of almost 41%.
Text running costs are very fair, with the printer costing around 2p for a page. Colour, though, isn’t anywhere near as cheap, costing around 7.8p per page.
This certainly isn’t as expensive as some, although it by no means makes the Canon cheap to run. The prices did vary quite considerably, and it might be possible to bring this down to a more modest figure if you wait for the best deal.