A workhorse designed for larger networks, the Brother offers a good mixture of speed, print quality, price and features
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Compared to the other printers here, the Brother HL-4040CN is the Rolls Royce of colour lasers. It isn't just the price or weight - although at $421 and 29kg it's the most expensive and heaviest here. It's beautifully built.The superlatives continue with its paper handling. The main tray can hold 250 sheets, which matches the best here. You also get networking as standard, and there's a PictBridge-compatible USB port on the front for printing documents directly.The benefits continue, with best-in-class print speeds. The 4040CN averaged 17ppm across all our tests. It was the fastest printer on test with mono jobs at 22ppm and it also held a handy lead as the quickest colour printer. Its single-pass colour engine means colour copies printed at the same rate as in monochrome, and 22ppm for 20 copies of the standard ISO test document is an excellent result.We only experienced a significant drawback with our complex 24-page DTP document, which includes a mixture of text, graphics and photographs. 7ppm is a surprisingly poor result - it isn't significantly worse than any other printer here, but it's disappointing nevertheless for the most expensive printer on test.At least we can't complain about quality. The Brother produced highly respectable results in our business graphics test. White text on a red background printed magnificently, and we were pleased with our monochrome photographic test as well, which produced smooth gradients. The only disappointment was our colour photo test - the Brother's test page was paler than that of any other printer, and badly lacked vibrancy.The Brother is a cheap printer in terms of both standard and high yield cartirdges, so if you and your small band of co-workers will be frequently producing colour prints it's a decent choice, and it will also suit low-volume printing at home. We're particularly fond of its excellent design, and we're happy that it scoops an award this month
This Review appeared in the March, 2010 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
Source: Copyright © PC Pro, Dennis Publishing
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