Brother HL-2140

Brother International (Aust) HL-2140
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Price, compares favourably to an inkjet printer

Cons

  • Running costs, prints black and white only

Bottom Line

The focus of the Brother HL-2140 is clear, and as a good little text churner this laser packs the goods. Use it extensively and, in the long-term, you'll end up paying considerable amounts. But for the typical family, this is an excellent complement to a quality inkjet and thus an ideal way to arm your home with strong text to go along with great colour graphics.

Would you buy this?

The $149 Brother HL-2140 mono-laser printer is pitched almost to perfection.

In the rush for full technicolour, mono printers have fallen rather far from grace. However, if you're on a budget, there are plenty of excellent reasons for resisting the high-cost allure of a full colour laser. For a start, to get one of the latter with photo quality that comes anywhere near to that of a decent $150 inkjet, you're going to have to spend hundreds.

The Brother HL-2140 is a full mono laser printer, but it's sufficiently cheap that you can run it alongside a quality inkjet for the best of both worlds. Indeed, if what you mainly print out is text work anyway, this'll again prove a good solution. But what do you really lose out on?

Well, while we wouldn't class the Brother HL-2140 as the prettiest of mono lasers, it does have a certain rugged charm. It lacks the flash of the latest HP inkjets, but we suspect you won't be breaking this printer in a jiffy.

And in keeping with Brother's drive for greater ease of use, the Brother HL-2140 is a cinch to setup. Because the consumables are front-mounted, it's easy to change the cartridges.

Quality is actually surprisingly good. You wouldn't want to use the Brother HL-2140 for any kind of serious graphical work - it's fine for printing out street maps and other such drawings, but photos are a definite no-no.

However, the Brother HL-2140's text output is very palatable. It lacks the crispness of the high-end Dells, but compared to an inkjet, this Brother is a significant improvement. Particularly given that it managed 11.9 pages per minute (ppm) in our demanding real world tests.

Obviously running costs are likely to be an issue with a mono laser as cheap as the Brother HL-2140, and it will cost you around twice as much to run as, for example, the Brother HL-4040Cn. However, given that the latter printer costs six times as much, this is unsurprising.

If you're looking to print thousands of pages a month then the Brother HL-2140 definitely isn't a good buy. But provided you won't generally be printing more than a handful of documents a day, you shouldn't end up being too put out by the running costs.

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