If we judged colour laser printers on their heft, the Canon i-Sensys MF8280Cw would exceed all our expectations. It looks rather large, and feels larger still, packing a 26kg weight that comes as something of a surprise for a sub-£300 model. It certainly isn't a feather-light model that you'll be whisking from one side of the office to the other. See Business Advisor.
Having said that, lasers aren't generally bought for their slim physique, and the Canon i-Sensys MF8280Cw makes up with its comprehensive features set. Right? Well, only to a point. See all printer reviews.
The Canon i-Sensys MF8280Cw colour laser printer's multifunctionality is rich indeed. Not just a printer, it also delivers scanning, copying and even Super G3 faxing. The 600dpi optical resolution (this can be stretched to 9600dpi) on the scanner makes for some quality image capture, and the Canon can create 600dpi A4-size output in a mere 18 seconds – photos take just 12 seconds at the same resolution, and a mere 6 seconds at 300dpi.
Results are very pleasing, with good attention to colour, and files can be seamlessly distributed across the network or converted to a choice of formats that includes Compact PDF. The Canon i-Sensys MF8280Cw's faxing is simple but very effective, and a 50-sheet ADF adds excellent support.
Connectivity is pretty good. Ethernet doesn't stretch to gigabit, although you do get 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi to compensate, making this quite flexible. Full cloud support is built in, and iPad, iPhone and Android devices can be hooked up to the Canon i-Sensys MF8280Cw colour laser. USB sticks can be inserted too.
Not all of the specifications are so generous, though. Despite the Canon i-Sensys MF8280Cw's heavyweight looks, some of the specifications seem a little underpowered. The main paper tray only holds 150 sheets (with an additional single-sheet manual slot), which seems a poor use of the huge casing. The colour laser printer's control panel has simple-enough navigation, employing a pair of select keys and a go back button, and backed up by a pleasing 3.5in colour TFT. The control panel itself is a little over-laden with keys, though, many of which don't have terribly descriptive titles.
The Canon i-Sensys MF8280Cw can stretch its standard 600dpi resolution to a more sizeable 1200x1200dpi, and prints are of very acceptable quality, with nicely defined text and vibrant but not exaggerated colours.
The speeds are a little lacking, though, with the Canon i-Sensys MF8280Cw colour laser turning out mono and colour prints at 10.2ppm and 6.7ppm respectively. This mono speed is eclipsed even by the £45 Pantum P2050, and the colour performance isn't particularly impressive – even a number of inkjets can get close to this at decent colour levels.
Part of this was down to the sluggish start-up time, and the Canon i-Sensys MF8280Cw frequently took 20 seconds to turn out the first page. Large jobs should see the figures coming down, although the small paper tray will impose some limits there.
Toner cost is also a problem with the Canon i-Sensys MF8280Cw, and even mono costs over 2p a page, with colour requiring five times that.