Brother HL-4150CDN review

The 21kg Brother is no lightweight but, compared to some of the models in this group, it’s relatively slimline. Its design is functional, with a two-line LCD screen and a user-friendly control panel. Documents can be printed directly from a USB memory stick, and confidential files are processed only after you enter a PIN.

The Brother offers some useful controls over consumables, with configuration options for ignoring blank pages and restricting the use of colour or ability to make multiple prints.

A chunky 250-sheet tray is the main paper source, while a second multipurpose tray pushes the total input capacity to 300 sheets. An additional 500-sheet tray is available as an optional extra. It sounds like a lot of paper, but some of the printers here offer significantly more. A low memory allocation of 128MB and a 40,000-page monthly duty cycle suggests that Brother doesn’t intend this model to be used by those with heavy printing needs.

An Ethernet port lets you hook up the Brother to a wired network, but no wireless access is offered. It has PCL6 and PostScript drivers – the latter through Brother’s own BR-Script 3 – and works with Windows and Mac out of the box (Linux drivers are available online).

The Brother is a moderately fast printer, and in our tests churned out text-only pages at 19.3ppm. This speed dropped to just 10.9ppm in duplex mode, but the quality is very good. The letters aren’t too thick, but they are well-formed. More importantly, the Brother was able to create crisp letters even at the smallest font sizes.

Colour graphics were produced at a reasonable 12.5ppm. We found the colour palette a little too strong, with most shades tending towards the darker end of the spectrum. Despite its low memory, however, it printed our PDF in just 13 seconds.

OUR VERDICT

Consumables are accessed from the front of the printer. Black toner is reasonably priced at 1.8p per page, but the colour costs are extortionate at 12.6p per page. More pleasing to the wallet is the provision of lifetime support and a standard one-year warranty.

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