Laser printer technology works by creating an electrostatic image to which toner particles are attracted. The paper then picks up the toner particles as it rolls across the drum, and then the final image is fused with heated rollers.
Brother's LED printers replicate the basics of the process, but instead of photoelectric charges on the drum, an LED printer uses high intensity light. In the case of the HL-3070CW, there are four vertically aligned drums, with the paper making a single pass. There are no moving parts, and the printer requires less maintenance.
At the base of the printer is a 250-sheet paper tray, above which there is a single sheet feed, presumably for special paper, such as letterhead.
Black and white documents were delivered at speedy 13 pages per minute, while colour documents were a slightly slower 9 pages per minute.
Print quality is excellent for black and white, with great detail and sharpness even on very fine print. Colour documents produced bright, crisp colours, creating excellent business documents. We even tried photos, but while the colours were natural-seeming and had good coverage on the page, we were disappointed by the levels of streaking and banding.
On photographic paper, the colours were more muted than we'd like and patchy in places - though we'd not expect many people would buy this printer for photo reproductions.
The LCD screen is tiny, but given the limited feature set, that shouldn't matter to most. The HL-3070CW can connect via Ethernet, USB or wireless 802.11b/g to your home computer or business network.
Managing the wireless setup was straightforward through the setup disc. If you want more options, you can also print directly from USB thumb drives using a slot on the front of the printer, or you can connect PictBridge-enabled devices to print directly.
The Secure Print option allows for pin-passworded printing, which may be useful for small offices wanting to keep colour printing to a select few. You can upgrade the RAM via a side panel if you want to handle stored reprint documents or similar.
The HL-3070CW is fast and well-connected, with good output for this class of printer, but it doesn't quite surpass the Labs Winner HL-4040CN in print speed.