If you want a new printer the brand Brother has probably popped into your mind. They are a quality manufacturer of various printing devices. In this review, we’ll concentrate on their popular Brother HLL8350CDW model. Simply put, it’s a color laser for office use, but there are several things you should know before buying it.
Brother HLL8350CDW is just a printer, not a multifunctional device. There are no faxer, scanner or copier in it – which are, indeed, present on many competitors’ printers with similar price. That’s not a bad thing per se, but good to keep in mind if all-purpose printer is what you’re looking for.
The standard paper capacity is 250 sheets. It supports letter, legal, executive, folio, A4, A5 and B6 sizes. Also a multi-purpose tray is available, with capacity of 50 sheets, supporting sizes of 3″ to 8.5″ width and 5″ to 14″ length. To me, this sounds like a solid setting and would serve the needs of a compact sized businesses well.
Borderless printing is not supported so true full page photos can’t be printed. Automatic duplex printing is however available, so you can save some paper (= money) on less important documents.
Brother HLL8350CDW supports wireless 802.11b/g/n networking. If you want to use a wire, there’s also 10/100Mbps RJ-45 port available. The USB 2.0 port can be used for direct computer connection. User reports suggested there shouldn’t be problems setting up the WiFi (including AirPrint).
As usually, the supported operating systems are all Windowses XP and above. Mac OS X 10 is also supported officially. Brother has released drivers for Linux, too, and the printer works at least with the Ubuntu distribution.
Maximum printing speeds are 32ppm for both black and color. First page out for both is less than 15 seconds. I think for the price, those are acceptable speeds, and don’t see a reason why many small offices wouldn’t agree with me. The maximum resolution is 2400×600 DPI, and while this is a very subjective thing, many commenters said the quality of photo prints ranges from good to excellent.
The standard memory is 128MB, alright for homes and small businesses. Problems would only arise with huge print jobs that are mostly concern of bigger offices. That said, the RAM can be tripled to 384MB to give you extra performance for emptying large print queues without issues.
You can print a lot of pages with Brother HLL8350CDW in one month. The duty cycle is 60,000 pages which is 2000 pages a day. Only a handful of users would print that much. Of course, the recommended volume is a lot smaller, 4000 pages a month. You can keep the monthly 60,000 pages as a definite upper limit.
The initial cost of this printer is around 350 bucks. It’s indeed higher than a simple home printer. But the running costs are favorable for this workhorse: If you use Brother TN336 series toners, the cost for B&W page would be around 1.7 cents. A color page would cost ~9.4 cents using the same set. Continuing the thought, with 3rd party toners you can probably reach much lower costs.
The printer comes with with free standard toner, with yield of approximately 2500 pages for B&W prints and 1500 pages for color prints.
Summing it up
A solid color laser is how I’d describe Brother HLL8350CDW. Advantages include fast 32 pages per minute speed, wireless networking and low operating costs especially for black prints. Duty cycle is also respectable 60000 pages which, in my opinion, should suffice for most small to medium sized businesses. All in all, Brothers are generally well-respected and durable printers, and I don’t see a reason why this model would be any different.