Canon imageClass MF453dw Review

Canon imageClass MF453dw Review

Written by Kenneth Sawyer, In Printer, Published On
September 20, 2023

The fastest of Canon’s three new imageClass MF450 series printers is the MF453dw. The most expensive, at $349, is it. That’s $20 more than the MF452dw, the middle option, and our top mono laser AIO for small or midsize offices. While the minor price increase provides quicker speed, it doesn’t include faxing. Most offices should choose the MF452dw or MF451dw (which is the MF452dw without faxing) because the speed difference isn’t significant for most documents. However, the MF453dw’s higher speed may be worth it for offices that print tens or hundreds of pages per document.

Canon imageClass MF453dw Specification

Type All-in-one
Color or Monochrome Monochrome
Connection Type Ethernet, Wi-Fi, USB, Wi-Fi Direct
Maximum Standard Paper Size Legal
Number of Ink Colors 1
Number of Ink Cartridges 1
Monthly Duty Cycle (Recommended) 750 – 4,000
LCD Preview Screen NO
Cost Per Page (Monochrome) 2.25
Scanner Optical Resolution 600×600 pixels per inch


Canon imageClass MF453dw

The MF453dw has most of the same characteristics as the MF452dw, including easy setup, except for speed and fax. It weighs 35.7 pounds and has dimensions of 15.4 by 17.9 by 18.3 inches (HWD), making it tiny enough to fit but hefty enough to require two people to move it. Other than loading paper and attaching connections, setup is simple. As with other Canon printers we’ve examined, the toner cartridge comes pre-loaded. The driver and software CD includes a scan utility and an automated installation programme that installs the printer drivers smoothly. You can pick between USB, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi for the connection, as well as Canon’s proprietary driver (the default) or a PCL6 or PostScript driver for workplaces that need one. If you know what to look for, the 5-inch touch-screen control panel’s menus and online user manual explain most Wi-Fi Direct settings. A control-panel command to display a QR code for Canon’s print app’s Wi-Fi direct connection is useful. Once connected, my phone printed and scanned files to the unit as promised. Touch-screen instructions can be printed or scanned to USB drives.

Canon recommends 750 to 4,000 pages per month for the MF453dw, which is ambitious but not unreasonable. The base unit has automatic duplexing, a 250-sheet paper drawer, and a 100-sheet multi-purpose tray. At the low end, 37 pages every business day, the 350-sheet capacity would need replenishing every two weeks. At the high end, add the optional $199 550-sheet drawer to increase capacity to 900 sheets and refill more often than once a week.


Canon imageClass MF453dw

I connected our regular testbed PC and the printer to the same Ethernet network for performance testing. In our 12-page Word test file, the MF453dw ran at 38.8 ppm (17 seconds total) without the first page, a rounding error below the rated 40 ppm. We round times to the next second, which in this case was the next-highest second. The Lexmark MB2236i ran 36.7 ppm (1 second slower) and the Canon MF452dw ran 34.7 ppm (2 seconds slower), matching their ratings. Our studies showed the Pantum BM5100ADN to be 44 ppm (15 seconds) quicker than the MF453dw. For shorter publications, first page out (FPO) time can affect total speed when printing a few pages. FPO time for the MF453dw and MF452dw was 7 seconds, compared to 10 seconds for the MB2236i and BM5100ADN. Restoring the FPO time reduces the speed for all 12 pages from 25.7 ppm to 30 ppm (24 to 28 seconds). It places the MF453dw first. However, these variations are not noticeable for files under 100 pages.

Photo Quality

Canon imageClass MF453dw

Mono lasers produced top-notch text, graphics, and photos in our tests. Even at 4 points, every business document font we tested had well-formed, correctly spaced characters. One of the two styled fonts with thick strokes was readable at 5 points, which is rare for a laser printer. Another, which is tougher to display, was readable at 8 points. Only from certain angles did solid black fills in the images exhibit inconsistent pile height. Otherwise, the fills were impressively even. Single-pixel lines on a black backdrop held up beautifully, and gradients altered smoothly without banding or dithering. Mono laser output from plain paper photos was excellent for contrast and shadow detail. However, some of our test shots had graininess and some banding.

The right small niche printer

Canon imageClass MF453dw

Canon’s imageClass MF453dw’s toughest competition is the MF452dw, which matches it for paper handling and most other features, is as fast for most tasks, adds faxing, and costs less, making it our top mono laser AIO for small or midsize offices. The Canon MF451dw, which lacks fax functionality but is otherwise identical to the MF452dw; the Lexmark MB2236i, which lacks duplex scanning; and the Pantum BM5100ADN, which lacks faxing but has a cheaper running cost, are possible options. However, if your firm prints tens or hundreds of pages and needs high-quality text—a common requirement in certain law offices—the imageClass MF453dw’s speed and quality may be ideal.

Set Up

Fast and efficient black-and-white laser multifunction systems with cloud connectivity boost corporate efficiency. 

  1. The Canon imageCLASS MF453dw multifunction systems come with multiple mobile connectivity choices to simplify processes and interface with the cloud.
  2. Fast print speeds, one-pass two-sided scanning, and conventional two-sided printing maximise productivity. On-screen buttons and the Canon application library automate printing saved forms, scanning to email, and copying documents.
  3. Print or scan from Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive with a click.
  4. Canon imageCLASS MF453dw, Print documents from your smartphone or tablet with the Canon PRINT Business app or without an app using AirPrint (iOS) and Mopria (Android). S
  5. ecure PIN prohibits the printing of confidential papers, and Startup System Check helps you avoid risks.
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