The Canon Color imageClass LBP7780cdn, a workhorse color laser printer for a mid- to higher-volume workgroup, brings very good speed, solid output quality, and a decent feature set to this role.
The LBP7780cdn, white with an off-black top, is box-shaped with a curved front edge. It measures a hulking 15.8 by 20.4 by 20.9 inches (HWD), and weighs 78 pounds with toner cartridges in place; you’ll want at least two people to move it.
It has a standard paper capacity of 600 sheets, split between a 500-sheet main tray and a 100-sheet multi-purpose tray; it has an automatic duplexer for printing on both sides of a sheet of paper. If you need more capacity, an additional 500-sheet tray is available ($325 direct), for a maximum 1,100-sheet paper capacity. To the right of the 5-line monochrome LCD on the front panel is a port for a USB thumb drive, allowing users to print PDF, JPEG, TIFF, and XPS files directly from a USB key.
In addition to Canon’s host-based UFR II driver, the LBP7780cdn comes with both PCL and PostScript drivers.
The LBP7780cdn can connect to a computer via USB or to a LAN by Ethernet (including Gigabit Ethernet). It also supports direct printing from an iOS device with Canon’s mobile printing app. I tested it over a USB connection with its drivers installed on a computer running Windows Vista.
Our standard procedure for testing business printing speed is to test using the printer’s default settings. Canon is one of a small but growing number of printer manufacturers that makes duplexing (double-sided printing) the default on most of its recent printers. Thus, we did our official timings in duplex mode, which tends to be slightly slower than simplex (one-sided) printing. Ad-hoc testing in simplex mode bore this out for the LBP7780cdn.
In duplex mode, I timed the LBP7780cdn on our business applications suite at an effective 7.6 pages per minute (ppm). Running the same tests in simplex mode, I timed the LBP7780cdn at 9.8 pages per minute. Both speeds are in line with the printer’s rated speeds of 28 pages per minute for duplex and 33 pages per minute for simplex printing. The rated speeds are based on printing text documents without graphics or photos, while our business applications suite combines text pages, graphics pages, and pages with mixed content.
While testing in duplex mode, the LBP7780cdn jammed several times when printing one particular multi-page document, and I had to redo our tests each time that happened.
The Editors’ Choice HP LaserJet Enterprise 500 Color Printer M551dn, rated at 33 ppm for both color and monochrome printing, tested at 9 ppm in simplex mode. We tested the Lexmark C746dn, rated at up to 35 pages per minute in both color and monochrome, at 7.5 ppm in simplex, and the Dell C3760dn Color Laser Printer, rated at 23 pages per minute, at 7.9 ppm in its default duplex mode and 9 ppm in simplex.
Output quality was pretty typical across the board for a color laser. Text quality was good enough for standard business uses, though not up to demanding desktop publishing standards.
With graphics, the colors were well saturated. Minor issues included dithering (the tendency for solid areas to break up into fine graininess). Very thin colored lines were totally lost in one illustration. Graphics were good enough for internal business use up to and including PowerPoint handouts, though I’d hesitate to use them for documents meant to try to impress an important client.
Photos were of average quality for a color laser. There was banding (a regular pattern of thin, dark striations) in one print, and several showed dithering (graininess). Two prints showed a loss of detail in bright areas. Whether they’re of a quality usable in a company newsletter depends on how picky you are.
Running costs for the LBP7780cdn are 1.8 cents per black-and-white page and 13 cents per color page, identical to the HP M551dn, and effectively matching the Lexmark C746dn. The Dell C3760dn has somewhat lower running costs at 1.5 cents for monochrome and 10 cents for color pages.
The Canon Color imageClass LBP7780Cdn showed good speed in our testing, particularly when we switched from the duplex default to simplex mode, where it’s a little faster than the Editors’ Choice HP LaserJet Enterprise 500 Color Printer M551dn. They have near identical paper handling and cost per page. But while the Canon has average output quality for a color laser, fine for internal and some external business uses, the M551dn’s output quality is good enough for printing some marketing materials.
The Dell C3760dn costs less than the LBP7780Cdn, has somewhat lower running costs, and at 700 sheets has a higher paper capacity. Its output quality lags, though, with slightly subpar text and photos. The Lexmark C746dn is somewhat slower than the Canon (when both are compared in simplex mode), but has exceptional quality. Although the HP M551dn is still the workgroup color laser printer to beat, the Canon Color imageClass LBP7780Cdn has a good feature set, very good speed, and solid output quality and is well worth consideration in that role.
More Laser Printer Reviews:
|Direct Printing from Cameras||No|
|Maximum Standard Paper Size||Legal|
|Rated Speed at Default Settings (Mono)||26 ppm|
|Rated Speed at Default Settings (Color)||26 ppm|
|Color or Monochrome||1-pass color|
|Technology (for laser category only)||Laser|
|Connection Type||USB, Ethernet|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc