Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, January 11, 2022
Canon i-SENSYS LBP623Cdw Color Laser Printer

I don't like inkjet printers. Maybe they have become better since the last time I owned one, but at least in the past I had a lot of problems when not using the printer for a while that the ink tended to dry in the nozzle. The other problem is that ink on a document can smear with a bit of humidity: I had a lot of problems when I tried to print D&D character sheets, and just the humidity of my hands resting on them while filling other stuff in with pencil was enough to smear them. So since a long time I have been using laser printers instead. And a bit over a decade ago I bought a HP Color LaserJet CP1515n, which was my first color laser printer. It served me well for a long time, but lately it has been showing its age. I think the problem is that paper in a printer is moved by various rubber rollers, and over the years the rubber is getting harder and loses grip.

When my wife asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I said I could use a new color laser printer. That didn't work out. We went to the local big box electronics store, and they had run out of laser printers. Global chip shortage, shipping problem, yada yada yada. Even on Amazon most affordable models were out of stock. Fortunately that situation improved after Christmas, and I bought a Canon i-SENSYS LBP623Cdw Color Laser Printer from Amazon now. Which was a mistake, because I hadn't checked the MSRP and didn't notice that the third party seller on Amazon Marketplace actually overcharged me. I could have gotten the printer for cheaper directly from Canon.

Apart from overpaying for the printer, I am quite happy with it. Not only is it a lot faster than the older HP model. It also has automatic 2-sided printing; on my old printer I needed to print the odd pages first, put the paper back in the tray without messing up the orientation, and then print the even pages to get 2-sided. Furthermore the Canon printer has WiFi, and was very easy to set up with the network. There was software on a CD, which I installed, but on my laptop I actually managed to connect to the printer without using any specialized software or drivers. Network printing is now much easier for me. Print quality is also very good, which is why I bought this particular model: It came out first in a test of the German Stiftung Warentest, a federal consumer protection agency that runs comparative tests of consumer goods.

The only thing that I don't like about the new printer is that it only tells you the fill level of your toner cartridges in percent. It doesn't give you an estimate on number of pages remaining, like my HP printer did. I did notice that the toner cartridges that came with the printer were marked "starter", and assume that they don't contain much toner. So I already ordered a set of 4 high capacity toner cartridges, and this time I checked that they were actually cheaper on Amazon than on the Canon website. And yes, the MSRP of 4 toner cartridges is higher than the MSRP of the printer they go in, which is why the new printer comes with reduced capacity cartridges. But then, the high capacity toner cartridges are estimated to last for about 2,300 pages, which is plenty for home use. And unlike ink, they don't dry up. So I did buy the original Canon cartridges; you can get "compatible" cartridges for less money, but it is a bit of a gamble whether they actually work, and in case of problems neither Canon nor the cartridge vendor will accept any liability.

I got a HP Color Laserjet Pro MFP M283fdw last summer. Way way better than the 15 years old b/w printer (also HP) which I had. My logic was: I print few pages, so inkjet is not a good idea. I wanted color even if I use it sparingly. I wanted multifunction for the ease of scanning and copying documents, the rare times I need it.
I had checked Brother, but I never really thought about Canon. Linux compatibility is a 100% requirement for me, and HP has a very good track record. I plugged it in the USB port and it worked fine (ethernet would be better, but my switch doesn't have enough ports.....).
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