Canon’s Color imageCLASS LBP7660Cdn Laser Printer

Solid laser-class output at a slightly inflated CPP

Canon Color imageCLASS LBP7660Cdn Laser Printer
Canon Color imageCLASS LBP7660Cdn Laser Printer. Canon

Not every small or medium-size office requires laser output, but many do. If you’re looking a good color laser printer, Canon makes several, including the print engines for many HP laser printers. And, like most Canon imaging devices, the topic of this review, Canon’s $499 MSRP Color ImageCLASS LBP7660Cdn Laser Printer (now there’s a mouth-full) is no exception. It’s a top-notch entry-level/midrange single-function color laser printer with average print speeds and above average output.

Before going on, though, keep in mind that the LBP7660Cdn has been on the market for a few years now; hence I found it at a few outlets for well below $350. As with most laser printers in this class, my main objection is its high cost per page, especially compared similarly priced (and often cheaper) inkjet models that print what are often better-looking pages for a lot lower ongoing operational cost. But then they’re not lasers…

Design and Features

This is a color laser in the old-school sense that it’s huge and heavy. Setup and ready to go, it measures 16.3 inches across, 19.7 inches from front to back, and it stands 13.6 inches high. In addition, with full toner cartridges loaded, it weighs a hefty 55.6 pounds. In addition, since it doesn’t (and offers no upgrade option) support Wi-Fi connectivity, finding a place to locate it could prove a little more challenging, since you may have to run an Ethernet drop to accommodate it.

You can also connect a single PC to the LBP7660Cdn via a USB cable, although this makes connecting to it from other PCs on your network a little more difficult, at least the initial setup. You won’t, however, find any mobile device connectivity options, such as printing from cloud sites, Wi-Fi Direct, and near-field communication (NFC). There are no media card or USB key slots for PC-free, or walk-up operation, either. All this imageCLASS Laser does is print.

It does, however, print double-sided pages automatically. In fact, auto-duplexing is the default setting, meaning that if you don’t want all your pages to come out two-sided, you should turn it off.

Performance, Print Quality, Paper Handling

Since the LBP7660Cdn has been around a while, in addition to my speed and quality tests, I was able to find several others around the Internet. Canon rates it at 21 pages per minute (ppm) for both monochrome and color pages, but then those are text-only pages with no graphics or photos. When I threw some visuals into the mix, the LBP7660Cdn churned out pages at about 5.8ppm, which is pretty darned average and consistent with other tests I’ve seen.

Print quality is where this imageCLASS model shines, with near-typesetter quality text and above average (for a laser) graphics and photos. But that’s not to say that photo quality matches that of most inkjets. Even so, it was impressive.

As for paper handling, the LBP7660Cdn comes with a 250-sheet paper tray, and a 50-sheet multipurpose, or override, tray, for a total of 300 pages. If you need more than that, or perhaps just an additional input source, Canon offers an additional 250-sheet cassette for $199.

Cost Per Page

This laser’s cost per page is my biggest complaint, but it’s not alone. Unfortunately, Canon offers only one size cartridge for this printer. They deliver a CPP of about 3.9 cents for black-and-white pages and a huge 17.2 cents for color. But wait. There are a couple other considerations.

First, these cartridges come with their own image drums built in, which means you won’t be buying drum kits, which adds to the cost of each page, sometimes as much as a full cent (but usually closer to half a cent). Second, I found this printer’s cartridges all over the Internet for considerably less than on Canon’s site. The less you pay for the cartridges, the lower the CPP, of course.

The End

The bottom line is that this laser printer prints a little better than many of its competitors. The tradeoff is that it costs more per-page. Which is more important to you?