Laser printers are a specialized tool that make them distinct from the more common inkjets. And while the ink based printers offer the versatility of producing color and realistic photos, there are situations where a laser printer will serve you better.
The Brother HL-2270DW is one of the best selling laser printers for Mac, Windows and Linux devices. It is compatible with these operating systems and comes with the CD installation disk that includes the drivers and other software to make everything function. Built with the ability to be used as a shared printer, it can be used in a wired or wireless network environment.
The Brother HL-2270DW is best suited for you if:
- Majority of your printouts are text documents and you don’t particularly need high end color printing for photos or graphics.
- You want something that produces quick outputs and is able to handle a lot of print jobs sent to it at the same time.
- You need something for personal, home office or small business use.
- Budget is a priority.
- You want to be able to connect wirelessly or use an Ethernet LAN cable to your network.
- You require 2 sided printing for some of your documents.
- The HL-2270DW is the top end model for Brother’s budget compact laser printer line. It is very simple in design with a black finish and not too many extras. It include 4 LED lights and a button to toggle the settings or paper jams.
- Access to the toner and paper tray are on the front panel, with the toner and drum located on top of the tray.
- Power switch and exhaust fan are located on the right side of the device, while the Ethernet and USB connectors are on the rear (left side).
- Print speed is rated at 27 pages per minute (PPM), although a real world results showed it performing at just under 20 ppm both for text documents and those that include graphics.
- The ink toner is attached to the drum and is easily removed by pressing on the lock to set it free. You get a choice between the standard 1,200 page or the high capacity 2,600 page version. The product however does come with a starter toner that gets to about 1,000 sheets.
- It comes with 32MB built in memory which allows users to send many documents at once without having to see any wait signals. The sizable memory allows it be efficient in a high workload environment where many computers send print jobs at the same time.
- It offers the option of using direct USB connection, LAN cable or wireless networking.
- The Brother HL-2270DW is able to print 2 sided documents (duplex printing). It does this using a 2 pass process where it prints one side, pulls in the paper and prints the back side before continuing to the next sheet of paper.
- It comes with a 250 sheet paper tray that accommodates regular size paper up to legal size. If you need to print special media like envelopes, it has an adjustable manual paper feed slot that is accessed by opening the black plastic tab in front.
- The device is compatible to Windows, Mac and Linux computers or laptops. It also has the ability to print from mobile devices including Apple iPad, Android and Blackberry tablets using its free Cortado Workplace app.
- Priced under $100, it is one of the few reliable laser printers available at this price.
- Printouts are very fast, reducing wait time.
- High quality output. We tested the text prints down to 4 pt. fonts and and they came out crisp. Even at draft mode you get respectable results.
- Operation and installation is fairly easy. Physical installation is straightforward due to the simple layout of the machine. Driver and wireless installation is done with the CD that’s included in the package. See the video below for step by step instructions.
- Toner costs come out at a relatively low 2.6 cents per sheet if you use the standard ink toner. While purchasing the slightly more expensive high yield toner will reduce operating costs to 1.7 cents per page.
- The 32 MB memory complements the fast processor in allowing it to keep track of multiple print jobs sent to it simultaneously.
- Take note that when we tested Brother machines, they tend to give you “Low Toner” warnings early. When we continued using the toner it gave us good enough quality to quite a lot more pages. Ignore the warning, see how the output on the paper is and judge when to replace the toner.
- Also, to fully utilize the ink, when prints aren’t too clear, pull out the toner shake it side to side and re-insert. We’ve found that there were still some ink powder there that extended the toner cartridge’s useful life.
- While it superior in speed and text output, it isn’t able to produce color prints.
- Graphics output are average using gray scale.
- The fan makes it fair share of noise. You’ll hear the whirling before, during and shortly after the printouts are made. We made a mistake of placing it on a semi-enclose cabinet which increased the sound due to echo. Keep it in open air to lessen the effects.
- It uses some plastic components. The most important of which were the ink cartridge panel and the paper tray. While the locking mechanisms on these panels don’t break, being careful not to exert too much effort can keep it from getting damaged.
- A small number of people did have difficulty in setting up the printer. The video below may help.
- While the Cortado Workpace app is a great addition that lets you print from mobile devices, it does take some fiddling with to get working.
How to Set Up a Brother HL-2270DW Printer
This is one of the best laser printers for Mac users thanks to its combination of low hardware and ink costs, high speed and performance. It is a good option for both home and small office users who need a simple, wireless workhorse.