Canon i-SENSYS LBP5050 review

Price when reviewed

The Canon i-SENSYS LBP5050 has an ingenious design – pop open the front and the toner cartridges slide smoothly out on a spring-loaded drawer. It’s this clever kind of design touch that allows the Canon to be one of the smallest and cheapest colour laser printers around.

Canon i-SENSYS LBP5050 review

That compact design is partly due to the fact that the LBP5050 has all-in-one toner cartridges, whereas most other colour laser printers have an image drum that will eventually need replacing. Disappointingly, however, this doesn’t reduce the cost per page – it’s merely average for both mono and colour.

Surprisingly for the price, it’s an excellent performer. Canon claims print speeds of 12ppm and 8ppm for black and white and colour prints respectively, but we were surprised when the LBP5050 beat both of the those claims by a page per minute.

The drawback was the time to the first page, which at 26 seconds for a black and white page, and more than half a minute for a colour one was disappointingly slow.

Canon i-SENSYS LBP5050

Quality in our tests was generally fine. For business graphs the LBP5050 is excellent, although it stumbled on our A4 colour photo. Colours were otherwise bold and accurate and, importantly for any busy office, they emerged at a rate not far off those of black and white prints.

So why shouldn’t you buy the LBP5050? It’s by no means a bad printer: its size, price and competitive colour printing speeds all make it tempting. However, for anyone considering a printer for an office, the Dell 1320cn is the more obvious choice.

And the Samsung CLP-315 offers such a small number of compromises that it’s clearly a better buy than this Canon for the home.

The Canon boasts very good quality, but first page print speeds are slow, and its running costs are consistently higher than those of rivals – the Samsung CLP-315 works out cheaper to run over time. The LBP5050 is a good printer, but it’s not the best in the business.

Basic Specifications

Resolution printer final600 x 600dpi
Rated/quoted print speed12PPM
Maximum paper sizeA4
Duplex functionno


Monthly duty cycle25,000 pages
Drum lifeN/A
Fuser lifeN/A
Transfer-belt lifeN/A
Standard mono toner life2,300 pages
High-yield mono toner lifeN/A
Standard colour toner life1,500
High-yield colour toner lifeN/A
Supplied mono toner life800 pages
Supplied colour toner life800

Power and noise

Peak noise level48.0dB(A)
Dimensions401 x 452 x 262mm (WDH)
Peak power consumption253W
Idle power consumption5W

Performance tests

Mono print speed (measured)13ppm
Colour print speed9ppm

Media Handling

Input tray capacity151 sheets
Output tray capacity125 sheets


USB connection?yes
Ethernet connection?no
Bluetooth connection?no
WiFi connection?no
PictBridge port?no
Other connectionsNone

OS Support

Operating system Windows 7 supported?yes
Operating system Windows Vista supported?yes
Operating system Windows XP supported?yes
Operating system Windows 2000 supported?yes
Operating system Windows 98SE supported?no
Other operating system supportMac OS 10.3.9 to 10.5.x

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