Brother HLL2300D is a popular monochrome laser, and at a quick glance I can see why. The printer is dirt cheap, yet it has received almost exclusively positive reviews from customers. So could there be a catch, a particular reason why this Brother might not work for you? Let’s try to find that out here.
Brother HLL2300D is just a printer. It doesn’t scan, copy and fax. That contributes to low price, but also to reduced functionality. This doesn’t probably concern home users, but many businesses might want to get a (more expensive) multifunctional printer for their office needs.
Another thing this Brother doesn’t have is an LCD display. Of course, it’s debatable if one is really needed on non-multifunctional devices. But all in all, a display (especially a touchscreen one!) gives better user experience in my opinion.
The connectivity is very basic. The printer doesn’t feature networking as there’s no Ethernet port or Wireless adapter installed in it. The only way to use this Brother is via the USB 2.0 port, which is obviously bad configuration for offices needing multiple computers connected to the printer. For a home or home office setup, there’s however no problem.
A standard 250-sheet input tray is featured on Brother HLL2300D. The output tray has a capacity for 100 papers. Media sizes are up to legal. Automatic duplex printing is available so using both sides of the paper is possible.
Like virtually all modern printers, also this Brother supports the major operating systems. Windowses are supported between XP and 8.1. Mac OS X 10.7 and above are supported. The manufacturer has also released drivers for Debian (Ubuntu) and RPM based Linux distributions, although I think there are third-party drivers for any Linux version out there.
It’s quite a speedy printer for such a low price. It’s advertised as spitting out 27 pages per minute. Excellent if you reach that level, but in real life the PPM rate is probably bit slower. And that’s only for black and white prints because the printer doesn’t support color at all.
Here’s the most obvious thing that differentiates this Brother from true office workhorses: the monthly duty cycle. In this printer, it’s 10,000. On many heavy-duty printers, it’s closer to 100,000 or even more. In theory, you could print more than 300 pages every single day, but the recommended amount is only around 30 prints daily. Home users are probably fine with that, offices not so much.
Another feature showing the low-end nature is the memory amount. There’s just 8MB memory installed and more can’t be added. Since this printer doesn’t support networking (true multi-user environment), huge printing queues shouldn’t happen, meaning there are no issues with this memory amount.
As you might’ve noticed, the acquisition price of Brother HLL2300D is much lower than that of a true multifunctional, office-ready printer. Operating costs tend to be higher on these low-end printers, but this Brother is different: Using the TN660 high yield toner (~45 bucks) you should reach yield of 2600 pages. That makes price per print just around 1.75 cents which is rather low, especially if you only print dozen or so pages a day.
Of course, you don’t have to buy toner right away. There’s a starter cartridge included which is rated at 700 pages.
If you don’t want a multifunctional device for a busy office, Brother HLL2300D is probably all you need. It should print fast, and it definitely prints cheap: it’s priced at around 100 bucks and prints with a very reasonable cost per page. Fancy things are missing, like LED display or network printing, but a home user won’t probably care. As it is, this Brother looks like a very solid choice for everyday B&W printing.