Brother International (Aust) HL-2040
- Small size, fast
- Not great graphics prints
If your quantity and quality needs are modest, the Brother HL-2040's sticker price will make it at home on your desk.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
The Brother HL-2040 laser printer would fit comfortably in an office that's tight on space and on budget. Its footprint is slightly larger than that of similarly priced models, but it looks more like a scaled-down professional laser printer than a souped-up personal printer. For instance, a proper paper drawer built into the base of the printer can hold up to 250 sheets of paper.
A manual bypass slot lets you print on different paper, such as letterhead or legal-size sheets, or on thicker media, such as envelopes (which you can't load into the main paper drawer). This approach is fine for occasional use, but it does require you to feed items one at a time, so printing a thousand envelopes for a mass mailing wouldn't be fun. If you expect your print demands to grow over time, bear in mind that the HL-2040 lacks any upgrade options for additional paper trays or double-sided printing.
Heavy users need to be wary of the HL-2040's consumables costs, too. Its toner cartridges may seem reasonably priced, but they yield only 2500 pages (according to Brother's estimates). A larger sibling (the Brother HL-2070N) includes built-in Ethernet that would be useful for a small office, and costs only a little more; but both models use the same expensive consumables.
The HL-2040's control panel has a ready light, three warning LEDs and a single Go button for operations such as waking the printer from sleep mode, clearing an error condition or cancelling the current print job. This range of options may seem simple, but the software driver gives you all the control you need from your PC. Like other low-cost printers that depend on Windows for processing, this one leaves the rendering of your pages to Windows, but it still achieved very good performance scores in our tests. It printed text pages at a speedy 16.6 pages per minute, and its output rate of 10.1ppm for graphics is above average for a small-office printer, too.
At its default settings, the HL-2040's text quality is perfectly adequate for everyday use. In our tests, I saw some fuzziness in the finest characters and jagged edges on diagonals, but closely spaced bold characters (which challenge so many lasers) remained separate. Line art was too grainy for my liking, and a greyscale image suffered from a blown-out appearance, in which dark areas became too dark and highlights washed out completely.
The HL-2040's printed Quick Setup Guide isn't colourful, but it explains the installation process efficiently. The chart on the front cover guides you through the options, but you'll need to ignore choices that apply only to other Brother printers in the same price range. A full User's Guide is included in PDF format on the software CD-ROM.
Join the newsletter!
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Apple iMac Pro
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Ballistix Sport AT
Toys for Boys
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
Tivoli PAL BT
ESET Internet Security
ESET Smart Security Premium
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
If you own an action camera, it’s probably a GoPro. But if you are planning on sharing any footage of your latest outdoor adventure with friends and colleagues, you will need more than just hardware. You will need software.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 2 Tenda Nova MW6 review: A gateway drug for mesh Wi-Fi
- 3 Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Expensive, but probably the best phone you can buy right now
- 4 Apple iPhone XS review: Astonishment at a price
- 5 Huawei Nova 3i review: All Sell, No Soul
Latest News Articles
- Brother pitch themselves at SMBs with new 'Inkvestment' options
- Canon unveils its latest range of Pixma Inkjet printers and CanoScan scanner series
- Epson Launches First Double-Sided A3+ 4-In-1 Inkjet EcoTank Printer
- Epson launches new Expression Premium Photo Range
- Epson Australia Unveils New Expression Home Range of Printers
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Oppo R17 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?