Feeds
85%
Canon i-Sensys LBP3100

Canon i-Sensys LBP3100

Cheap and better than cheerful

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

We're so used to manufacturer's speed claims being wildly outlandish that it came as something of a shock when we tested the LBP3100. Canon claims a top print speed of 16ppm, and a five-page text print completed in 26 seconds. This is mainly due to a very fast first page out and is equivalent to 11.5ppm, in real terms – that is, including processing time and printing in normal print mode.

Canon i-Sensys LBP3100

There's a multipurpose feed above the paper tray – unusual in this class of printer

When we tried a 20-page text print, where processing time represents a smaller percentage of the total print time, the speed went up to 15.2ppm, very close to Canon's headline figure. A 15 x 10cm photo print took just 15 seconds to complete.

These speeds are very impressive for an entry-level laser printer and we've seen slower machines under test, whose manufacturers claim higher speeds for them than Canon does - and ask higher prices as a consequence. One of the reasons for the LBP3100’s speed is that it takes very little warm-up time and its "instant-on" fuser is pretty much that. By the time the first page has been rasterised, the engine is ready to print.

Perhaps it's because Canon has been less enthusiastic in talking up the speeds of its printers, that it's the first company we've seen to adopt the new ISO 24734/35 speed test standard in its literature, which should bring all speed claims down to Earth with a bang.

There's not much point in producing pages quickly, of course, if their quality is questionable. In general, that's not the case here. Black text is dense and clean cut, with no signs of toner spatter or other artefacts which would spoil the effect.

Things aren't quite so good with greyscales. Although they’re reproduced well, with no signs of banding, there isn't enough differentiation between different tones. Our test page includes business graphics using colours which have a good greyscale differential, but these were sometimes hard to distinguish on the prints from the LBP3100.

Canon i-Sensys LBP3100

The paper-tray cover folds out when the front cover’s opened

Our sample photo print, reproduced at the machine's highest resolution, 600dpi enhanced up to an effective 2400 x 600dpi in software, still showed a noticeable dot pattern in areas of sky, with some shadow detail also lost. Foreground detail in bright light is good and the overall results are reasonable for a mono laser at this price.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away
Brit buyers still not falling for Windows' charms
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.