Canon ImageClass LBP6670dn review: fast printer, pricey toner
At a Glance
With the $400 Canon ImageClass LBP6670dn monochrome laser, you get efficient and crisp monochrome text output. It's easy to use, sturdily constructed, and very fast. Toner costs are well above the norm, unfortunately. Also, photos at standard settings are grainy--even for a monochrome laser.
Physically, the LBP6670dn is compact, with a 5-line monochrome LCD display. A power button is on the side of the unit, with another power button on top that would probably be better named ‘sleep.’ The standard set of controls includes a four-way rocker button with the okay button in the middle. A side panel provides access to the unit's motherboard, but the included 512MB of memory is not upgradable.
Paper handling is top-notch. A 250-sheet, bottom-mounted cassette and a fold-down, 50-sheet multipurpose tray are standard. If that's not enough capacity, a 500-sheet auxiliary bottom sheet feeder is available for $199. Duplexing is automatic and enabled by default--a nice touch. The output tray on the top of the unit holds approximately 150 sheets.
Installing the LBP6670dn's drivers was easy enough on the PC, though a bit tedious. You must answer the same questions and locate the printer on the network (if installing via ethernet) for each of the three supplied drivers (PS, PCL5, and UFR II). Drivers for the Mac are not included on the CD, so you must download them from Canon's website. There are several files, so it may not be crystal-clear which should be installed and in what order. Download them all and have at it.
This model's performance is where it earns its keep. Monochrome pages fly out the printer at 23.5 pages per minute on the PC and at 21.8 ppm on the Mac. Snapshot-size 4-by-6-inch photos (on letter-size paper) print at nearly 8 ppm. But make sure you select the "photo" setting for photos; at standard settings, they're grainy and not much fun to behold. The photo setting improves them to about the monochrome laser average, and embedded in mixed documents they're fine as well. We did notice an uneven effect on large fonts and black areas that look a tad splotchy in some lighting situations.
As mentioned, toner for the LBP6670dn is pricey, but especially so with the standard-size, 2100-page cartridge, which costs $92. A high per-page cost of 4.4 cents--well above the mean--is not why you buy a monochrome laser. The 6400-page cartridge is $178, which results in a more affordable 2.8 cents per page; however, that's still nearly a cent above the 1.9-cent average for high-yield supplies.
For a small to medium-sized workgroup, the ImageClass LBP6670dn will process jobs quickly with pretty good quality. Toner costs are expensive, but they are doable for medium workloads (of 200 pages maximum per day) with the high-capacity cartridge. Compare this unit with the Brother ML-5470dw and the ML-6180dw, which are about half as fast, but far cheaper to operate.