Feeds
85%
Canon i-Sensys LBP3100

Canon i-Sensys LBP3100

Cheap and better than cheerful

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

One place where Canon’s specs don't tie up with reality is in the noise level of the machine. Canon quotes 50dBA, which is about right for most of the print cycle, but there's a loud clunk as each page is taken up by the feed roller, which peaks at 63dBA. This is quite loud for a machine you're going to have sitting next to on the desk and it's a shame the feed mechanics let the rest of the engine down.

Canon i-Sensys LBP3100

Compact and clean-lined when stowed

The combined drum and toner cartridge is the only consumable in the LBP3100 and is rated at 1500 ISO pages. However, the one in the box is a 700-page ‘starter’ cartridge. How much to you imagine the trade price of an 800-page pile of laser toner is? Our guess would be a fiver at most, so there little excuse for not including a full cartridge.

Especially since the starter cartridge isn't smaller - it's just a half-filled – or in this case less than half-filled - regular cartridge. There’s only one reason for including it: so you have to start buying consumables sooner. If you print 100 pages a month on the LBP3100 - not an unreasonable rate for a home or personal laser - you'll pay out in total around £110 in the first year, rather than the £75 you'd have to cough up if a standard consumable was included.

Canon isn’t alone in providing starter cartridges, of course, and they’re more common in lower-priced printers, as you might expect. In fact, using the best price we could find for the drum and toner cartridge gives a cost per ISO black page of 2.4p, which bears up well against other entry-level lasers.

Canon i-Sensys LBP3100

It should come with a full-capacity cartridge not a 'starter' pack

You can see from this figure, though, that black print from entry-level lasers isn't necessarily cheaper than from an equivalent inkjet. Depending on model and the price you can find for consumables, black text inkjet print can be close to the 2.5p per page mark. Comparative black text quality from the two technologies is a different thing, of course.

Verdict

If your needs are simple and your pocket shallow, you won't do much better than the Canon i-Sensys LBP3100 for day-to-day correspondence printing. It prints quickly, produces excellent text, is cheap to run and folds away to a compact unit when not in use. Pretty much all the boxes ticked, then. ®

More Laser Printer Reviews...


Lexmark E260DN

Samsung ML-1630W

Lexmark C543DN

Kyocera Mita FS-C5200DN

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

85%
Canon i-Sensys LBP3100

Canon i-Sensys LBP3100

Cheap and better than cheerful, this is a quick, well-designed printer, ideal for personal monochrome output.
Price: £115 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Monitors monitor's monitoring finds touch screens have 0.4% market share
Not four. Point four. Count yer booty again, Microsoft
Getting to the BOTTOM of the great office seating debate
Belay that toil, me hearty, and park your scurvy backside
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
In a spin: Samsung accuses LG exec of washing machine SABOTAGE
Rival electronic giant tries to iron out allegations
Lumia rebrand begins: Nokia's new UK web home is Microsoft.com
Yarr, them Nokia logos walking the plank and into the drink
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.