Canon imageClass D1370

The Canon imageClass D1370 ($799 direct) is a capable small-office monochrome laser MFP (multifunction printer) with decent speed and a solid set of features , including a duplexing automatic document feeder (ADF). As the highest-end (and -priced) model in the company’s new D1300 series, it provides some perks over the Canon imageClass D1320 ($499 direct, 3.5 stars) and Canon imageClass D1350 ($599 direct, 3.5 stars).

The D1370 can print, copy, scan, and fax (including from your computer, PC-Fax); scan to email or network folders (as well as route received faxes to them); print from or scan to a USB key. The white D1370 measures 18.4 by 17.8 by 18.6 inches (HWD), large enough that you wouldn’t want to share a desk with and weighs 45 pounds.

On top is the 50-sheet duplexing automatic document feeder (ADF), which lets you scan, copy, or fax two-sided documents without having to feed the sheets one at a time. The ADF swings up to reveal the scanner’s legal-sized platen. Beside the output tray is a port for a USB thumb drive, which you can print from or scan to. Above the output tray is the front panel (more of a “top panel” in this case, as it faces nearly upward); a five-line monochrome display, a four-way controller, an alphanumeric keypad, and a modest set of function buttons.

The D1370 has a standard 550-sheet paper capacity, split between a 500-sheet main tray and a 50-sheet feeder. An automatic duplexer, for printing on both sides of a sheet of paper, is standard. (As with other recent Canon printers, the D1370 ships with duplex printing as the default. An additional 500-sheet tray ($200 street) is available as an option, for a maximum paper capacity of 1,050 sheets. The D1370 can connect to a PC via USB cable, or to a local-area network via Ethernet. I tested it over an Ethernet connection using a PC running Windows Vista.

Canon imageClass D1370

Print Speed

Our standard procedure for testing business printing speed is to test using the printer’s default settings. Canon is perhaps the only printer manufacturer that makes duplexing (double-sided printing) the default on most of its recent printers. Thus, we tested the D1370 in duplex mode, which tends to be a little slower than simplex (one-sided) printing.

On the new version of our business applications suite (using QualityLogic‘s hardware and software for timing), I timed the D1370 came in at an effective 9.8 pages per minute (ppm), a good speed for its 35 ppm engine rating (for printing text documents without graphics or photos), especially considering it was printing in duplex. It edged both the D1320 (9.5 ppm) and D1350 (8.9 ppm), although the D1320’s score is close enough to the D1370’s for them to be effectively tied. The Editors’ Choice Brother MFC-8480DN ($400 street, 4 stars) tested at 10.6 ppm for simplex (one-sided) printing on the same tests.

The timings for all the Canon D1300 series printers were made using the default host-based (UFR II LT) driver. One of the D1370’s perks over the other two models is that it also includes PCL and PostScript drivers, which I did some ad hoc testing with. The host-based driver was actually the fastest of the three on each of our business application tests, particularly in printing out an Adobe Acrobat file, where it was more than twice as fast as the PCL driver and about three times as fast as the PostScript emulation.

Output Quality

I printed out text and graphics using the default (UFR II) driver and photos using the PostScript driver. (It is our standard procedure to print photos using a PostScript driver, when available.) As the addition of the PostScript and PCL drivers is one of the main features that sets the D1370 apart from the two other D1300 series models, I printed out our business applications suite using all 3 drivers. The differences between output using the different drivers were very minor, with one notable exception.

Overall output quality was a little below par, with slightly sub-par text and graphics, and average-quality photos. All the graphics showed some dithering, in the form of visible dot patterns. Certain graphics with black backgrounds appeared slightly blotchy. One illustration should have shown a gradient between dark and light zones, but the area in question printed out as uniformly dark.

One test illustration is a graph consisting of colored lines against a black background. Some of the lines are very thin. Of course, with a monochrome printer, these lines should show up as white. With the host-based driver, the thinnest lines didn’t show up at all, while in the output from both the PCL and PostScript drivers, the lines showed up well. We officially judge graphics quality with output made using the default driver, but even with the PCL and PostScript drivers I would have ranked the graphics quality as slightly sub-par.

Photo quality was typical of a mono laser, good enough to be able to print out recognizable images from files or Web pages. As with the graphics, all of the prints showed dithering (dot patterns). Another problem was aliasing, the tendency for straight lines (or borders between bright and dark zones) to appear sawtoothed or jagged.

Text quality was slightly below par for a mono laser, which is still very good, fine for standard business uses, though not good enough for applications using very small fonts, such as desktop publishing.

Other Issues

The D1370 has relatively high running costs for a mono laser, at 3.3 cents per page. This is true of the other D1300 series models as well. The D1370’s advantages over the Canon D1350 include secure, password-protected printing; a larger memory (256 MB, double the 128MB of the other two); the ability to scan to email or network folders as well as to scan high-compression PDF files; the ability to direct incoming faxes to email or network folders; and the two extra drivers. It has the same advantages over the Canon D1320, which also lacks the ability to fax.

The addition of the PCL and PS drivers adds flexibility. The output quality using the host-based driver was basically identical to the other two machines; the PCL and PostScript drivers may improve output in some situations, though with a hit in speed. Whether the D1370 is worth the $200 premium you’d pay over the price of the Canon D1350 depends on how important these features are to you.

The Editors’ Choice Brother MFC-8480DN has a lower price tag and running costs (claimed 2.1 cents per page) than the D1370. Its 50-page ADF is only simplex, and its paper capacity limited to 300 sheets standard and a 550-sheet max, though it does have a slightly higher monthly duty cycle (up to 30,000 pages, to the D1370’s 20,000). They were comparable in speed, but MFC-8480DN’s output quality—across the board but particularly for graphics—is better. If you need the paper capacity or the duplexing ADF, the D1370 may be your preferred choice, but the Brother is more economical and has better overall output.

More Laser Printer Reviews:

?   Canon imageClass D1370
?   Canon imageClass D1320
?   Samsung ML-5017ND
?   Samsung CLP-775ND
?   HP LaserJet Pro 400 Color MFP M475dn
?  more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *