Brother is currently claiming a 24.5% market share of the total A4 mono laser print market. In order to capitalise on that achievement, it's now brought out the new Brother HL-5400 series targeted specifically at SMEs – with speed as the primary consideration. Read more mono laser printer reviews.
All of the printers in this range have the same squat, square appearance in deliberate shades of unassuming black. We got our hands on the Brother HL-5450DN which measures a tidy 371 x 384 x 245mm, weighs just 10.5kg out of the box and does a good job of living up to Brother's marketing slogan of 'The Invisible Printer'.
It's never going to be a style icon but it feels solid and functional as it's designed principally to be a workhorse.
Much of the reason for that is because the Brother HL-5450DN has very little in the way of markings - controls consist of two simple Start and Cancel buttons plus a column of warning lights.
There's no LCD display as all operations are performed either via the supplied software or via mobile devices that support AirPrint, Google Cloud Print and Brother iPrint&Scan.
The base paper tray holds 250 sheets of A4 while the fold-down multi-purpose tray adds a further 50 sheets. If your daily output is more than this then you might consider upgrading to the Brother HL-5450DNT model which will supply an extra 500-sheet feeder tray at the bottom.
Money-saving features include automatic duplex printing, adjustable sleep timing and two varieties of toner cartridge - the basic 3000 pages (£64) and a high yield 8000 pages (£94). That implies per-page print costs of around 2.1p and 1.2p respectively – the latter especially an economical figure.
Network connection via ethernet supplements the usual USB 2.0 link to a single PC or Mac, and the Brother HL-5450DN has a swift first print-out time of 8.5 seconds.
And speed is definitely the key here, with standard A4 documents zipping out around 32ppm and duplex versions at 18ppm - making this Brother's fastest mono laser printer yet.
Black print quality is solid and even and document text shows no signs of fading and feathering, although images did emerge a few shades darker than the originals.