The Brother HL-2270DW is a monochrome laser printer that costs £186 (and you can find it cheaper online) - a very low price, especially considering that it includes Wi-Fi. The small or home office that might consider this printer, however, should note that its toner costs are on the high side.

The Brother HL-2270DW supports USB, ethernet, and wireless connectivity. The CD-based installation procedure is well documented and progresses smoothly.

See also: Group test: what's the best mono laser printer?

The minimal control panel merely offers a bunch of blinking LEDs; to Brother's credit, though, they're labeled with words. The sole button is labeled 'Go' - a somewhat confusing name, as its tasks range from waking up the printer from sleep mode to canceling a job to disabling wireless.

Paper handling includes automatic duplexing (two-sided printing), a somewhat bendy 250-sheet input tray, a 100-sheet input tray on top, and a front manual-feed slot discreetly hidden behind a shiny logo panel.

The Brother HL-2270DW performed adequately in our tests. Connected to a PC, it printed monochrome pages consisting primarily of text at a below-average rate of 17.5 pages per minute, and a small, simple photo at a middling 5.9 ppm. Mac speeds were about the same: 17.7 ppm for monochrome text, and an above-average 6 ppm for four pages of mixed text and graphics in a PDF file. Graphics quality was slightly rough and grainy, but acceptable.

You flip open a front panel to reach the printer's consumables. The toner and drum components are separable, but you must remove them together, using a handle that would be easier to find if it were a color other than black. A green (thank you, Brother) lever releases the toner from the drum. Since the drum lasts a lot longer than the toner cartridges do, having to drag out the drum every time you want to replace the toner is somewhat annoying.

Toner is expensive. The HL-2270DW ships with a 700-page starter cartridge of black toner. The standard-size replacement costs £43.19 and lasts for 1200 pages, which works out to a high 3.6p per page. High-yield black toner cartridges cost £71.99 each and last for 2,600 pages, for a higher-than-average 2.8p per page. The £85 drum unit, when replaced after about 12,000 pages of use, will add less than a penny to each of the next 12,000 pages.

Want a little bit more for a price that's still low? Check out the Brother HL-2270DW's close cousin, the Brother HL-2280DW, which tacks a colour scanner on to the top of the same machine.

See also: Group test: what's the best printer?

Brother HL-2270DW: Specs

  • Workgroup printer laser monochrome
  • 368x360x183mm
  • 6.8kg
  • USB, 802.11b, Ethernet 10/100Base-TX, 802.11g
  • Max Resolution (B&W): 2400x600dpi
  • Duplex
  • PCL 6
  • Fonts Included: 66x scalable 12x bitmapped 13x barcode
  • AirStation OneTouch Secure System (AOSS)
  • Media Handling: 250-sheet input tray, 1-sheet manual tray
  • ARM9 200MHz processor
  • 32MB RAM
  • Monthly Duty Cycle: 10000 pages
  • Recommended Monthly Volume: 250-2000 pages
  • Print server
  • Workgroup printer laser monochrome
  • 368x360x183mm
  • 6.8kg
  • USB, 802.11b, Ethernet 10/100Base-TX, 802.11g
  • Max Resolution (B&W): 2400x600dpi
  • Duplex
  • PCL 6
  • Fonts Included: 66x scalable 12x bitmapped 13x barcode
  • AirStation OneTouch Secure System (AOSS)
  • Media Handling: 250-sheet input tray, 1-sheet manual tray
  • ARM9 200MHz processor
  • 32MB RAM
  • Monthly Duty Cycle: 10000 pages
  • Recommended Monthly Volume: 250-2000 pages
  • Print server

OUR VERDICT

Automatic duplexing and wireless make the HL-2270DW a more-than-basic laser printer, but its toner costs are high.

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