Canon i-SENSYS MF8540Cdn Review

The Canon i-SENSYS MF8540Cdn is a colour laser multifunction peripheral (MFP) with an ideal specification for a small firm, provided you don’t need a fax machine. It can print, scan and copy in colour, and connects to your network via Ethernet; there’s no built-in Wi-Fi. Its 50-page automatic document feeder (ADF) can scan both sides of a sheet of paper, which means it can make professional looking double-sided photocopies, or turn single-sided originals into a duplex copy, saving paper.

Canon i-SENSYS MF8540Cdn

Unfortunately, its control panel is one of the least intuitive we’ve encountered. Few of its buttons are labelled with text, and the icons used are baffling; the menu button looks like a speech bubble filled with a large asterisk, for example. Setup is fairly simple, but the system date defaulted to 2029 and, despite the presence of a numeric keypad, we had to use the up and down keys to change it.

Canon i-SENSYS MF8540Cdn

The MF8540Cdn defaults to duplex printing, which will save paper. Strangely, though, this was applied to our mono letter test. Each page of the 25-page test was re-fed through the printer, but the reverse was left blank. This produced the correct result overall, but it slowed the job down. We switched duplexing off to obtain our timed results: black text was acceptably swift, at 16.5 pages per minute (ppm), while colour graphics arrived at an impressive 15ppm.

Canon i-SENSYS MF8540Cdn

This printer produces superb text with razor-sharp outlines, and excellent graphics with a lovely glossy sheen from the toner. There was no sign of banding or other laser weaknesses. Our black and white test photo was also excellent, but colour photos exhibited exaggerated colours: skin tones were unrealistically warm and greens and blues tended toward the lurid. We had to dig deep into the print driver to find the advanced colour options, but couldn’t find a setting with which we were completely happy. Similarly, while mono copies were perfect, colours in copies weren’t entirely faithful to the originals.

Canon i-SENSYS MF8540Cdn Print Driver

Canon’s print driver is generally well thought out …

Canon i-SENSYS MF8540Cdn Advanced Colour Settings

… but we had to dig around to find the advanced colour options, and we still weren’t entirely happy with colour photos

It has a good scanner, though, paired with one of the best TWAIN scan interfaces. Scans were sharply focused with good colour and exposure control, although their 600dpi maximum resolution isn’t suitable for advanced creative work.

Canon i-SENSYS MF8540Cdn Scan Interface

Canon’s scan interface is excellent, offering both simple and advanced modes

At 11.2p per combined (black and colour) page, this MFP’s running costs are a little high. This is more the case when compared to a business inkjet such as the HP Officejet Pro X576dw, as its equivalent cost per page is around 4.2p. The MF8540Cdn has the better print quality, but the HP trounces it for pace and ease of use. Basic Specifications Rating

*** Maximum native print resolution

600x600dpi Max optical resolution

600dpi Output bit depth

24-bit Quoted Speeds Quoted speed, mono A4

20ppm Quoted speed, colour A4

20ppm Tested Print Speeds Time for two 10x8in photos 1.0

57s Time for six 6x4in photos 1.0

1m 4s Physical and Environmental Standard printer interfaces

USB, 10/100 Ethernet Optional printer interfaces

none Size

479x430x484mm Weight

31.0kg Noise (in normal use)

50.3dB(A) Duty cycle

40,000 pages (max) Paper Handling Maximum paper size

A4/legal Maximum paper weight

220gsm Standard paper inputs

2 Standard paper input capacity

300 Maximum paper inputs

3 Maximum paper input capacity

550 Duplex (code, cost if option)

Yes General Printer technology

single-pass colour laser Language(s)

PCL 5c, PCL 6 Supported operating systems

Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8, Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later, Linux Other laser features and options

none Buying Information Price

£322 Price per colour A4 page

8.9p Price of 2nd paper cassette

£198 Warranty

one year RTB Supplier Details Tested Scan Speeds Full scan area preview

11s A4 document at 150dpi

13s A4 document at 300dpi

51s 6x4in photo at 600dpi

46s 6x4in photo at 1200dpi

Fail Single 35mm negative at 2400dpi

N/A Tested Copy Speeds Time for single A4 mono copy 1.0

19s Time for single A4 colour copy 1.0

22s Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.0

1m 18s Copy Features Maximum number of copies

99 Copier zoom range

25-400% Max mono copy resolution

600dpi Max colour copy resolution

600dpi Fax Features Fax modem speed

N/A Max mono fax resolution

N/A Fax memory (maximum mono pages)


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