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Brother HL-L2380DW
 
Black & White laser printer, max. 2400x600 dpi, works Partially
 

User-contributed Printer Entry
This printer entry was contributed by a user but was not yet verified or proofread by the site administrators. Therefore it is not included in the Foomatic packages.

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Miscellaneous

Printer supports PJL.

Comments

<h2>Recommendation</h2> <p>I recommend users <b>do NOT buy</b> the Brother HL-2380DW multifunction printer/scanner.</p> <h2>Official Brother Driver Configuration</h2> </p>Tested with three different Linux Mint 17.3 laptops, each equipped with these official Brother drivers installed using their Driver Install Tool v2.0.0-1:</p> <ul> <li>LPR printer driver - hll2380dwlpr-3.2.0-1.i386.deb</li> <li>CUPSwrapper printer driver - hll2380dwcupswrapper-3.2.0-1.i386.deb</li> <li>Scanner driver - brscan4-0.4.3-3.amd64.deb</li> <li>Scan-key-tool - brscan-skey-0.2.4-1.amd64.deb</li> </ul> <p>System information:</p> <pre> Linux test-system 3.19.0-32-generic #37~14.04.1-Ubuntu SMP Thu Oct 22 09:41:40 UTC 2015 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux </pre> <p><em>With that configuration, this printer is a useless paperweight.</em> It does print, but it does so incorrectly for some documents. I was not able to determine why some documents print correctly and others do not, but I was able to isolate sample image files that will never print correctly with my test systems. Highly visible, semi-random clusters of black pixels are added in the printouts for these sample images. Image file format and printing application seem to be irrelevant. Evince v3.10.3 printing PDF versions and the GNOME image viewer v3.10.2 printing PNM, JPG, and PNG versions all demonstrate the problem. Failure occurs with both IPP and LPD protocols.</p> <p>I provided Brother customer support with this information, and more, including several sample image files that demonstrate the problem and scans of the defective printouts. I was told the information was forwarded to "the engineer". After 11 days without a response, I was asked to send the sample images again. Two days later I was told that nothing would be done and that "We appreciate your time and believe that the steps that we are sending should help". At no time have I ever been provided these mysterious "steps" and Brother will not acknowledge a request for them. A promise of a supervisor callback obtained from an alternate support person resulted in no callback. Brother customer support serves no useful function that I can discern, so <em>one must assume this printer is unsupported by the manufacturer</em>.</p> <p>I had a very brief opportunity to try the same Brother driver versions later with Linux Mint 18 and found that one of the sample images that fails for Linux Mint 17.3 no longer shows the defective pixels. I do not know if other images will still fail with Linux Mint 18, but I do not have the luxury of upgrades any time soon, even if that were to be a workaround.</p> <h2>Alternate Driver Configuration</h2> <p>The "Generic PCL 6/PCL XL Printer Foomatic/pxlmono" <em>does appear to work</em> with the HL-L2380DW, although it does not support the 2400x600dpi (aka "HQ1200") resolution mode. The duplexer works with this driver.</p> <p>Although this printer is advertised as emulating PCL 6 and BR-Script3 (PostScript 3), it appears to me that the Brother drivers use PCL 5. I did not look for a way to use PostScript with this printer. I also did not test whether this printer will accept plain ASCII text.</p> <h2>Print Quality</h2> <p>I tested this HL-L2380DW printer with the official Brother Windows driver and did image quality tests with that, the Brother Linux driver, and the 'pxlmono' driver, coming to a number of conclusions:</p> <ol> <li>This printer has really horrible banding artifacts, no matter what driver is used.</li> <li>The official Brother Windows driver produces the best image quality, although still very poor.</li> <li>The 'pxlmono' driver produces second best quality, not too far behind the Windows driver.</li> <li>The official Brother Linux driver is an abysmally distant third place for image quality, when it isn't corrupting printouts with semi-random bonus pixels.</li> <li>Increasing resolution from 600x600dpi to HQ1200 with the Brother Linux driver makes the printout far too dark and worsens the image quality.</li> <li>There is no discernible difference between 600x600dpi and HQ1200 mode with the Brother Windows driver.</li> <li>The 'pxlmono' driver prints a little better (and slower) in 1200x1200dpi mode than it does in 600x600dpi, but I don't know what is actually happening since that isn't an advertised printer mode for the HL-L2380DW.</li> </ol> <p>I must suspect that HQ1200 mode (2400x600pi) is nothing but increased addressability without actually increasing resolution at all. <em>The HL-L2380DW should be assumed to NOT have the advertised HQ1200 mode</em>, which means the 'pxlmono' driver may lack for nothing important. However, the terrible print quality means that <em>this printer is only useful for text and simple unshaded line-art graphics</em>, regardless of which printer driver is used.</p> <h2>Additional Comments</h2> <p>Overall construction is <em>very flimsy</em>. The printer's manual paper bypass has guides that are much too short, meaning that content alignment to the page can be really bad unless the user is extra careful and is a good judge of orientation with little reference.</p> <p>Since the HL-L2380DW is a multifunction printer/scanner device, the Linux user may appreciate a few comments on the scanning capability. Although the device does not include an automatic document feeder, the good news is that its touchscreen UI includes scan-to functionality that allows the user to indicate a multi-page manual scan. The bad news is the supporting Brother scripts do not support this feature even though their Windows scanner driver does. Their Linux scan-to scripts are such half-hearted efforts that they really need to be replaced by a custom set of scripts. The worse news is that try as I might with my own custom scripts, <em>I could not get multi-page scanning support to work</em>. I tried the batch functionality of SANE's scanimage and also scanadf, but the second page always fails with a "device busy". I don't know if this limitation is in the Brother firmware or in SANE.</p> <p>It should be noted that the HL-L2380DW scanner has an 8.5-inch wide glass platen, but only an 8.26-inch wide scan sensor. <em>Full Letter-sized scans are simply NOT possible on the HL-L2380DW.</em> This astonishing deficiency obviously reflects a petty approach to cost savings, but it also means the user is bound to be frustrated under some circumstances to find that corner-justifying even small media on the glass platen results in content missing from the edge.</p> <p>It's a wireless device. That's the only feature about the HL-L2380DW that hasn't disappointed yet.</p> <p>I deeply regret the purchase of this printer, but waited too long on Brother customer support to be able to return it to the vendor.</p>

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