The Canon ImageClass X LBP1238 II stands out in a crowded subject of mono laser printers that features the Editors’ Choice-winning Lexmark MS431dw, the HP LaserJet Pro M404dw, and many extra. All are geared toward busy small workplaces or workgroups, whereas Canon provides that its printer can also be designed for work-from-home use “as a part of a corporation’s prolonged print fleet.” All these fashions share an identical dimension, paper capability, and print pace. They even look related, besides that the LBP1238 II presents a 5-inch coloration contact display screen management panel as a substitute of a two-line LCD and buttons. Along with that contact display screen come some options that give it extra versatility than most single-function printers, together with having the ability to print from the cloud. If you want these further options, they offer the LBP1238 II an edge that justifies its somewhat excessive $599 record value.
Easy Setup for Printing
Physical setup for the LBP1238 II entails little greater than taking it out of the field and connecting the facility twine. You do not even have to arrange the toner cartridge. It’s already within the printer and able to work as is.
Our Experts Have Tested 54 Products within the Printers Category within the Past Year
You might want to obtain a driver from Canon’s web site, which recommends one which makes use of Canon’s personal printer language but additionally consists of PCL6 and PostScript 3 drivers for individuals who want them. I put in the really helpful driver, utilizing Canon’s largely automated set up routine.
If you are not already aware of Canon’s printer menus, organising most options past printing from a PC is usually a downside. For instance, there is a USB Type-A port close to the management panel for printing from USB reminiscence keys. But after I tried to make use of it, the printer responded with a message that the characteristic was restricted, and I could not discover any apparent menu choice to allow it. I needed to hunt the directions within the person information, as a substitute.
Other options that despatched me on the lookout for setup directions included the choices to print from the cloud (the LBP1238 II helps printing from Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive) and to retrieve and print emails. The characteristic ought to work with most, however not all, e-mail servers that assist POP entry. If you wish to reap the benefits of it, test earlier than shopping for that it’ll work with the e-mail server you employ.
More usually, I needed to search via the guide to learn the way to set nearly each administrative possibility, together with defining distant entry PINs, so I may check in to the embedded net server from a browser to test standing and modify settings.
Using the printer is way simpler, nevertheless. Once printing from USB reminiscence was set to work, for instance, selecting Memory Media Print on the management panel instantly introduced up a listing of recordsdata and folders on the flash drive.
The solely person possibility I bumped into that I wanted to search for directions for was safe printing, which helps you to ship a file to the printer, however not print it till you enter a PIN on the entrance panel. This may be helpful when the printer is quite a lot of steps out of your desk. It avoids the opportunity of a delicate doc sitting within the output tray the place others would possibly see it earlier than you attain the printer.
USB, Wi-Fi, or Ethernet: Take Your Pick
The 20.3-pound LBP1238 II has a 17.3-by-14.7 inch (WD) footprint. The physique is about 8 inches excessive, with the tilted contact display screen bringing the general top to 12.3 inches. The 100-sheet entrance multi-purpose tray additionally provides a number of inches to the general depth. In addition to the Ethernet port I used for efficiency testing, connection decisions embody Wi-Fi, USB, and Wi-Fi Direct.
Mobile printing is supported each over a community, utilizing a Wi-Fi connection between your cellular gadget and community, and over a peer-to-peer Wi-Fi Direct connection between your gadget and the printer. One notable comfort, which labored as promised with my Samsung Galaxy S20 FE cellphone, is you could join by Wi-Fi Direct just by selecting the Mobile Printer icon on the entrance panel, then the QR Code possibility, letting your cellphone learn the code, and telling your cellphone it is okay to attach.
The LBP1238 II’s paper capability is identical as for its most evident competitors, together with the HP and Lexmark printers already talked about, in addition to the HP LaserJet Pro M404dn, the Lexmark B3442dw, and the Lexmark B3340dw. Each of those printers features a 250-sheet drawer, a 100-sheet tray, and automated duplexing within the base unit. And when you want larger capability, you possibly can add an non-obligatory 550-sheet drawer ($299 for the LBP1238 II). Canon recommends a month-to-month responsibility cycle of 750 to 4,000 pages. Assuming you add the non-obligatory drawer, the excessive finish of the vary interprets to needing to refill the printer a contact extra usually than as soon as per week on common.
As with any printer, the extra you anticipate to print, the extra consideration you need to pay to operating prices. For the LBP1238 II, the price per web page works out to 1.8 cents, tying the Lexmark MS431dw for the bottom operating price of the printers talked about right here. Also remember to have a look at the entire price of possession when evaluating prices, as detailed in our information to saving money on your next printer. Although that article focuses on inkjets, the identical logic works for mono lasers.
Testing the LBP1238 II: Good Speed, Top-Tier Output Quality
The LBP1238 II’s efficiency on our checks was per its 40 pages per minute (ppm) ranking. With each the printer and our commonplace take a look at mattress related to a community through Ethernet, it got here in at 41.3ppm for our 12-page Microsoft Word textual content file, when not together with the primary web page. First-page-out time was 8 seconds, giving an general pace for the file of 30ppm. These outcomes work out to basically a tie for all of the printers talked about right here. The Lexmark MS431dw got here in at 45ppm not counting the primary web page, however that is just one second quicker than the LBP1238 II, which is throughout the vary of a rounding error.
Performance was additionally practically tied for all of the printers for the total enterprise purposes suite, which provides recordsdata with graphics and coloration photos. The LBP1238 II managed a complete time of 1 minute and seven seconds, or 22.4ppm. Three of the opposite printers have been nicely throughout the error vary for the take a look at, whereas the Lexmark B3440 was barely slower, at 1 minute and 13 seconds. On our photograph suite, the Canon printer averaged 6 seconds for a 4-by-6-inch photograph.
Output high quality was wonderful throughout the board. For textual content, all of the fonts in our take a look at suite that you simply’d seemingly use in a enterprise doc have been simply readable at 4 factors, and all however a type of have been additionally nicely shaped and correctly spaced even at 4 factors. One of two fonts with thick strokes was simply readable at 6 factors. The different, which is tougher to render nicely, was simply readable at 8 factors. Graphics held fantastic strains, graphics and images confirmed no apparent dithering patterns (the patterns of dots that reproduce grayscale), and images retained sufficient element and delicate shading to serve properly for a trifold brochure or the like.
A Mono Laser Worth Its Price
The Canon ImageClass X LBP1238 II prices greater than its most evident competitors, but it surely additionally presents options that the competitors lacks, most notably assist for printing recordsdata from choose web sites, printing e-mail straight, and a 5-inch contact display screen that gives simpler management. Plus, you possibly can arrange cellular printing utilizing a QR code, a no brainer that many opponents lack. The printer additionally presents a decrease operating price than most, which suggests its complete price of possession could possibly be decrease as nicely, relying on how a lot you print.
If you do not want the LBP1238 II’s further capabilities, any of the opposite printers talked about right here is value contemplating. Between them, the HP M404dn is the one one which lacks Wi-Fi as a connection alternative, whereas the Lexmark B3442dw and the MS431dw provide the very best really helpful responsibility cycles. The MS431dw can also be the one one which matches the LBP1238 II’s low price per web page, which is a big a part of why it stays our Editors’ Choice choose for a monochrome laser workhorse for a small workplace or workgroup.
But if you may make use of the LBP1238 II’s further options, they’re definitely worth the larger value. And the printer is tied with the MS431dw for being the least costly on this group.
Like What You’re Reading?
Sign up for Lab Report to get the newest critiques and prime product recommendation delivered proper to your inbox.