By the kindness of Canon I am happy to say we have had the opportunity to test out their colour laser printer. The i-SENSYS LBP5360, a printer that reflects the size of its name and model number combined. It is indeed a much larger printer than usual but it’s much more suited for heavy duty work by the page loads. So what exactly does this almost £800 printer do that others don’t? In case you’re unaware laser printers generally cost a little more than a standard inkjet, couple that with colour and you’ve got a much more expensive laser printer. Obviously there is a reason for opting for laser technology and it’s simply because it’s much faster and also pin sharp when it comes to text and graphics unlike images produced by inkjet printers.
Most laser printers find themselves situated in an office environment where workload exceeds that of a single home user. It is for this reason the LBP5360 supports network connectivity. If you have multiple systems on a single network they can all communicate with the device equally.
The LBP5360 has a rated PPM or page per minute of 21 and that’s both A4 monochrome and colour which is pretty impressive. With 600 x 600 dpi being its native print resolution, the printer can still do a pretty decent job at 9600 x 600 dpi (enhanced). I have been made aware of this printer’s very short warm-up time compared to other laser printers on the market and I can say I am impressed (more on that later) with the 10 seconds warm-up time listed in the specifications for this device. Each toner capacity allows the LBP5360 to handle up to 6,000 pages each!!! That’s 4 toners, 4 x 6000 = 18000 which of course is excellent.
The bottom tray has a capacity of 250 sheets of paper which, when printed on, is fed through the in-line laser engine printing system causing each sheet to be passed up vertically through the chambers to the holding tray. There is also a multi-purpose tray which allows you to print from A4 to various other sizes. It’s very flexible and has a capacity of 100 sheets.
Along the top front panel you will find the control panel and rather bright but also very clear and easy to read backlit LCD screen. There are several menu options available when you delve deeper into the options. Printer calibration can also be done through this as well as setting the medium type you are using in each tray. Naturally you can select between input trays too. The LBP5360 also supports duplex printing, allowing you to save on paper and use both sides, a major advantage depending on the document type you’re printing.
In our tests we found that the LBP5360 actually has a quick first print time of 15 or so seconds which is still pretty impressive. You have to keep in mind most manufactures will always state the time required minus the warm-up time, that being said, the LBP5360 does a great job at warming up as it doesn’t stall you for long making workflow swift. Performing a full calibration takes just over 2 minutes which isn’t that bad considering the complexity of this printer compared to other single toner laser printers which still clunk away well over 2 to 3 minutes on a basic calibration alone.
You wouldn’t expect photos to be one of the strongest points of laser printers and no exception can be made with the LBP5360, however print samples we made were of reasonably good quality and to achieve optimum results we printed a full A4 image of high resolution along with adjusting the appropriate print settings via the UFR II driver settings. You still come across the typical image grain and softness that’s usually seen when using a laser printer although on the Canon LBP5360 it still does a darn good job at trying to prove itself as a winner. I did notice something very interesting which I think may be driver related and that is when scaling low resolution images to fit a larger surface area on a single page. The results of doing this are better than our current inkjet printer. You may be interested to know that no slowdown is noticed when using the printer over a network. To test this, we made things a little complicated by connecting the device through a fairly secured network router with very heavy traffic, of course with UPnP enabled, and it handled itself well by establishing its protocol. You may find this setup much more beneficial simply due to the fact that anyone on your home or business network can have access to the device without the restriction of printing from only one system.
The menu options made available through the front panel on the printer are very useful. A handy tool is the job log print-out which will print a list of the jobs log report stating the document name, owner name, total count impression, start time, end time and finally the print result (success or failure).
As we have come to really enjoy evaluating the Canon LBP5360 I must note that once using such a printer it will be hard to switch back to smaller format inkjet system. I have been slightly spoilt by the features the LBP5360 offers and I really do appreciate the stunning print quality offered by this business printer. The device will very seldom require maintenance as Canon state on average it should be able to keep ticking with maintenance required every 60,000 pages or so. That’s reliability for you! In short if you are a heavy printer, particularly with documents, and want a device to reflect on your expectations then the LBP5360 is a great consideration. It will happily take up a fair chunk of space on a desk but if you sacrifice the space and leave the printer to do its thing the end results are worth it. You get a very swift, reliable and straight forward to use colour laser printer with no mind boggling bells and whistles.
It’s almost £800 and for a colour laser printer it does just what it’s designed for and does it well.
We’d like to thank Canon for being kind enough to supply us a review sample of the LBP5360.