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  • Brother HL-5040 Laser Printer
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Brother HL-5040 Laser Printer

by Brother

Available from these sellers.
  • 2,400 x 600 dpi resolution with HQ1200 technology
  • Up to 17 pages per minute print speed
  • 8 MB memory, upgradeable to 136 MB; 250-sheet universal paper cassette
  • Supports optional 10BaseT external Ethernet print server
  • USB 2.0 and parallel interfaces; PC and Mac compatible
3 used from $144.00

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Product Details

Product Manual [2.73mb PDF]
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 10 x 16 inches ; 29 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 29.9 pounds
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B00008AOK7
  • Item model number: HL-5040
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes
  • Date first available at December 13, 2004

Product Description

Product Description


Winner of PC World's World Class Award and PC Magazine's Editor's Choice Award, the affordable HL-5040 laser printer is the ideal printer for your office at work or your office at home. It features a fast print speed at up to 17 ppm, PCL 6 emulation, high-quality output, and excellent performance. It also features 8 MB standard memory, graphics-quality HQ1200 print resolution (up to 2,400 x 600 dpi), a convenient, 250-sheet paper tray, and PC and Mac compatibility. To grow with your needs, the printer offers the option of adding memory (136 MB via optional 100-pin DIMM), 10/100 BaseT Ethernet print server network connectivity, and a second, lower paper tray.

The HL-5040 has a single-sheet manual by-pass tray for card stock, letterhead, and envelopes. It comes with drivers for Windows 95/98/NT4.0/Me/2000/XP as well as for Macintosh USB computers (running OS 8.6 to 9.2, OS X, 10.1, and 10.2.1). The printer is backed by a one-year limited Express Exchange warranty.

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

It gave good sharp print quality and the print speed was very quick.
Amazon Customer
Given the rate of technological change, as good as it now is, I seriously doubt that I'll want to have this printer for that long.
D. T. Blume
The grayscale for graphics is good, with nice even printing and little graininess.
Jason P. Gold

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 80 people found the following review helpful By D. T. Blume on January 27, 2004
Verified Purchase
I purchased my Brother HL-5040 from for $190.00 delivered, including the USB 2.0 cable, and the TN-530 3,000 page "starter" toner cartridge and the DR-500 drum rated for 20,000 pages. I am an English professor and generally use it for printing out my papers (15 to 30 pages) and drafts of books (up to 500 pages), and master copies of handouts and exams and the like for my classes (I have an HP DeskJet for color printing). The Brother HL-5040 printer has a nice compact footprint: there is no hideous projecting tray or paper catcher as with several of the competing models, and the output area on top holds fifty or more printed pages without spilling them. The printer is also low enough at "9.9 inches" to fit under a foot-high shelf in my work room (so it doesn't take up the valuable real-estate on the top shelf) The 12 point text (which is the standard in my field) is very sharp, and the old (circa 1880s) political cartoon images I've reproduced from scanned photocopies of newspapers look great: I've no banding or dark areas.
Having read the other reviews, I want to share some of my thoughts that may shed light on the differing views regarding the Brother printers. This printer replaces a Brother HL-1240 model I've owned for over two years. I replaced that printer (it was given to my sister) because its drum was failing, after making approximately 12,000 copies. Until the drum began to fail, I never had a single problem with the printer: it never ever jammed even once (my previous laser printer, an Epson 1400, jammed all the time). For $110 I could have replaced the drum unit (as my sister did), but for $190 I upgraded to the HL-5040.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Bob Feeser TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 7, 2004
I have been staring at the Brother model HL 1440 for quite some time. It was Consumer Reports number one pick. I decided to go with the HL-5040 because of the additional ram and extra fonts. When I read the owners manual it showed me that a lot of other features are built in as well. I like the fact that it prints a page so fast, and only costs 2 cents per page. My Lexmark X83 multifunction does a nice job in color but has a single page print cost of 6 cents to $1.50 when printing a full-page photograph. Now I think nothing of whipping out a 20-page document. The speed is another practical issue. At a max of 17ppm the paper is coming out so fast that one page is settling in the print tray, while another one is coming out right on top of it
To be critical of the unit is to cite the comments in C Reports, and ZD Net reviews as to the medium quality results when printing graphics. I think that is due in part to the print per page cost being the lowest out of all of the printers. The HL1440 was rated a little higher in graphics, but the same in text. I think black and white photos mixed into an MS Publisher document look fine for black and white. The laser gives you an acceptable printed photo for a few cents. Make up a single 4-page flyer, and make a hundred copies, and you can see that the laser printer could pay for itself in a single printing next to an inkjet. Makes you want to market your tail off with the economy of the laser.
I networked the house, and put the brother HL-5040 in my home office, and now have the option of printing from any one of the machines.
It comes with 8 Meg of ram built in, that is permanently installed, and you have one expansion slot for a single added ram chip. I went into and found a supplier with a 128 Meg ram chip that is generic.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 7, 2003
I have this printer shared between Macs and Windows machines on my home network using a print server.
It's a sweet machine. Quick to warm up and fast to print. With 8 Megs of RAM, it has never given me a memory-problem. Comparable HP and QMS budget-printers that come with 2 Megs of RAM will need memory upgrades.
QMS printers in this price range have only USB ports. The Brother has both USB and parallel. It's very nice having the option available and I use both the USB and parallel ports simultaneously without a problem.
I love that Brother has made drivers for Mac OS 9 and OS X as well as Windows. It also emulates an HP printer. The emulation-mode was essential for me when I decided to share the printer using a 3rd party (cheap) print server. GIMP Print for OS X does not have Brother drivers, but it does have HP drivers that work very well.
This printer does jam occasionally. Jams are pretty easy to clear and it has a function to re-print the last page, so I seldom lose a print job.
I hate wasting paper, but it will almost always jam when I re-use paper in the paper tray. So I take my bad prints and drafts and re-use the paper in my inkjet instead.
The only reason that this printer got 4 stars instead of 5 is that the 1200 dpi print mode is only suitable for text. Graphics come out too dark at this resolution. It's odd because the 1200 dpi mode is supposed to be enhanced for such printing. The driver does not permit tweaking to make this work better.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jason P. Gold on June 28, 2004
I work as an independent paralegal, doing research and preparing documents to file with the Courts. I purchased this unit about 6 weeks ago because my inkjet printer was too slow and too expensive for big projects.

Like the other inexpensive Brother laser printers, this one is a very good value, and has features of more expensive printers. It does have some cheap plastic parts, but this is to be expected in this price range. Other inexpensive laser printers look feel cheap in comparison.

On the good side, the printer has the 250 page paper drawer located under the printer, where it belongs. This way, you don't have an unsightly flop [sic] of paper on the desk in front of you. It also has a front door for feeding single sheets so you don't have to open the drawer and replace the paper, reset the paper guides, and so forth, simply to print a single envelope. It also pops printed paper out of the top into a proper paper recepticle, or you can open the door at the back of the printer and let the paper feed straight through.

The printer is fast, at 17 pages per minute, and warms up fairly quickly so you don't have to wait too long for it to start. Print quality is good, and small fonts are legible with no bleeding. The grayscale for graphics is good, with nice even printing and little graininess.

The biggest problem I have with this printer is that the drum and toner cartridge are replaced separately. This is not as much a problem as an annoyance. The printer drum has to be changed every 20,000 copies or so, and costs almost as much as the printer itself. The toner is inexpensive relative to other printers, but the drum is around $100. Despite having this unusual expense every four or five toner cartridges, the per page cost is still only about 1.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews