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on September 25, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As an initial note, I'd like to acknowledge the 1 -Star review from Amazon member Dirk J. Krouskop about this product. I actually saw his review after I had ordered this printer, but before I received it from Amazon. His review describes how this printer caused his circuit breaker to trip. I found the review very informative and marked it as "Helpful."

My experience with this printer has been different than his. No problems with breakers, at all. Although, I admit to holding my breath when I first turned on the machine after having read his review -- wondering if the room would go dark. I have this plugged into one of many power strips on a 15A circuit, and like many people, I'm probably plugging too many devices into that circuit through the use of power strips. When I first turned it on, running in room were three mac mini's, an iMac, a router, two 8-port ethernet switches, two UPS battery backups, an HP inkjet printer, and three LCD monitors (along with random smaller things like external hard drives and AA and AAA battery chargers.) I've heard the Mac Mini's don't draw much power, but was still relieved. I don't know if my lack of circuit breaker problems means that he has a normal system, and mine is robust. Or, there may be all sorts of other possible explanations, but I just wanted to share my experience, in case it's helpful. My house was built and wired in 1969, but that room was an addition to the house from around 1996.

That said, I really like this laser printer. Here are some of the reasons:

A big factor in the purchase was the relatively low operating cost of this unit when it comes to toner. Lots and lots of pages from the large toner cartridges, which are also more reasonably priced than the other laser printer I have, an HP P2055dn (which is very similar in size to the Brother HL6180DW);

Easy Double sided printing;

Easily printed to it from my iPhone and iPad once it was on my network;

Print quality is professional. We did a side by side comparison of letters to a client that we printed on 24lb, 25% cotton business paper from the HP laserjet and the Brother. We thought they were both superb quality. Very clear and pleasant to read.

Fast printing. it's plenty fast for our small office, as a shared printer.

Wifi and Ethernet. I've always preferred Ethernet connections to WiFi, but set this on WiFi. Easily joined my WPA2 Personal password protected network and still prints fast. It's located just about 10 feet from the WiFi router, so the connection is probably excellent. Every computer on the network sees the Brother and can print to it.

Again, I really found Dirk J. Krouskop's review useful. My experience with this printer, however, has been excellent. At this price, it's such a great printer for a small business. Really can't believe this quality is available without gouging us on toner replacement costs. Had I seen his review before I purchased, I probably would have missed out, so I'm just adding this review / experience and hope it's also useful.
0Comment84 of 85 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 11, 2012
I've had a HL-5250DN since 2006, and it has been a great printer with hardly any problems and still going strong. Out of the box, the HL-5250DN was almost perfect in features and performance with less than 10 paper jams in the course of six years of use.

So I expected the same problem-free printer out of the box with the HL-6180DW, but there were a few snags.

First, I read another review saying this product does not dim the lights. Since the 5250DN did, I was hoping the 6180DW would be different. However, in my house, when the printer starts up, the lights in two rooms dim a bit. Apparently, this is enough to trip circuit breakers in some houses. My concern is how it affects other devices. With the 5250DN, one modem gave out in my house, but I can't tell for sure whether the 5250DN had anything to do with it. Still, I wish the lights wouldn't dim so harshly. I'd be willing to have the machine start up a bit more slowly in exchange for less dimming.

Second, I got the 6180DW over the 5470DW specifically for the super high yield 12,000 page TN780 toner option. I read one review saying that particular toner spews particles everywhere at around 7000 pages. Will be keeping my eye out on whether this is to be expected for the TN780. If there are problems with the TN780, this will cloud my 6180DW experience since the extra cost to get this printer over the 5470DW will no longer be justified.

Third, there is no simple way to switch from ethernet to wireless and vice versa. The printer actually has a software setting that allows switching from one mode to another, but it doesn't work. I currently have wireless, but if I want ethernet, I have to uninstall the driver and reinstall the driver by connecting via USB. This isn't a huge problem, but why not allow simple switching by a software setting, or even dual simultaneous mode since there is no hardware limitation on such settings?

Fourth, this is the reason why I returned the first 6180DW. Every once in a while, the printed paper would have specks and hollowed out areas. It turns out this is because not enough heat from the fuser was being applied to it to have the toner stick permanently to the paper, so the ink was smudging on the paper. Because I didn't have such problems with the HL-5250DN, I thought this was a defect with the HL-6180DW since the papers that worked just fine with the 5250DN should work with the newer model. Fortunately, after some research, there was a setting via the driver software that allows you to turn the heat setting higher so that the ink doesn't smudge. But it comes at a trade-off where the paper is more likely to curl. Likely, Brother wanted a setting that had less curling by default because of so many complaints of paper curling. However, the smudge was an issue on both typical 20lb and 22lb paper, so I find that the 6180DW's default setting is not optimal. I'd rather have the paper curl slightly than to have ink that easily smudges on the paper.

Those are the snags. With the smudging issue out of the way, I'm satisfied with the product considering its features and price. The envelope printing is much better than the 5250DN. The 500 paper tray capacity allows me to put a full ream of paper in there, and if the TN780 is decently priced and works well, then for about the price of the HL-5250DN when it first came out, I have a printer that has more features and requires less maintenance. I'm hoping that the negative review on the TN780 about toner ink spewing out is an isolated defect rather than some design defect either in the printer or the toner.

***2/14/2013 UPDATE***

The printer still has some toner fixing issues. I hadn't been using the printer for a few weeks. When I started it back up, the first page had smudges on it, and when I scratch the ink with my fingernails, the ink smudges. I had already had it on "Improve Toner Fixing" setting, so it looks like in some situations, the HL-6180DW has an ink smudge problem that the HL-5250DN never had. For this reason, I need to downgrade the stars to 3. It seems like once the printer heats up and gets a few pages going, then the smudge problem disappears, but where it starts cold, it smudges unpredictably. Many people probably use this for their business, and in those situations where the printer gets used very frequently, you may never notice it.

I have already done one exchange for this product, so I've seen this problem occur on 2 separate HL-6180DW machines.
55 comments44 of 46 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I love this printer so far! It's smallish, economical, pretty quiet, and prints well. Watch my video if you want, but I'm not very good at video reviews yet... :)

The video just goes through the first time setup. I'm a computer tech who usually doesn't need a lot of hand-holding. If you want all the help you can get, using the disk to install a printer will usually give you step by step instructions (but I never tried with this printer).

-easy to setup: I followed the menus on the printer itself and setup the wireless connection.
-easy to install on the computer: I searched for a network printer, it found it, and it searched the internet for the driver--no need to install other bloated software (I've only installed it in windows 7).

--economical: The TN780 Super-duper high yield is for up to 12,000 pages at just over $100 currently. (You'll never get 12,000 since printer cartridges are rated for 5% coverage. If I just do general stuff without a lot of pictures, I would expect to get around 10,000 pages--20 reams of paper!)
--other consumables seem ok too--drum is just over $100 too and good for up to 30,000 pages--some printers have the drum built into the cartridge, but usually more economical printers have it separate.
--There are other parts listed, like the fuser and rollers, but I haven't seen them for sale and I'm too lazy to call Brother. It's good to know that Brother doesn't consider the printer kaput when a roller wears out, but these things usually last pretty long--I've had printers that I've never changed anything other than toner and drums.
--duplexer built in! Print on both sides to save paper!
--there is a toner saver mode that prints just a little lighter. I'm leaving it on because I'm cheap. Doesn't seem to effect quality. If you don't want to install all the extra software from disk, you can set things like toner saver and quite mode by browsing to the printer's ip address.

--500 sheet paper tray! Oh yeah! I stuck a whole ream of paper, and I'm going to let it run out every time so I can just stick another ream of paper in it.
--upgradable memory... who cares, but you can!

cons: (none of these matter to me, but in case you need to know)
--you can use the multi-purpose for envelopes, but the books says it will only hold 3 at a time. May not be good for printing a stack of envelopes.
--Doesn't seem to support anything other than "thick paper". Seems to be no support for even thinner card stock. (does support laser labels).
--can only do legal in the multi-purpose tray so this wouldn't be good if you need lots of legal (who does these days?).

power issues:
--I see one review says it keeps throwing his breaker. I have it plugged into a wall outlet with my AMD performance desktop, bose ipod dock, 27" monitor, HP wireless speaker thingie, computer speakers, happy light, desk lamp, and sometimes laptop. It's never caused electrical issues--no breaking tripping, no dimming, no nothing. I plug it directly into the wall and I plug everything else into a ups.
0Comment37 of 39 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 17, 2013
Let me start by saying that I use this model for our business; I currently have 6 of this particular model at our checkouts. I'm sending my 4th one back for warranty because around 40000 pages, some print quality issues start to develop, then it turns into paper jams. After a short time I can no longer get a successful print. Brother has been fairly helpful, but it takes at least 30 minutes on the phone for them to admit that the printer actually needs to be replaced. I understand making sure that it's not a consumable issue before replacing it, but I have used nothing but OEM toners and drums, they are in a controlled environment, and it's been the exact same issue with all the printers! Obviously, I feel there is an issue with this printer. I will not be buying another one of these models, period.
0Comment16 of 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Over the last few years, we've been using Brother printers in our home office and have had excellent results. Our previous printer, the Brother HL-5370DW, definitely got the most use since our business is now to a point where we easily print a full ream of paper every few days.

The HL-5370DW actually worked fairly well; but, it did have some issues that were always a pain:

1) It was horrible at printing envelopes. As a result, we would always print envelopes on an HP Color LaserJet even though it isn't as convenient.

2) The lights would dim every time the HL-5370DW would start up.

3) The input paper capacity wasn't that great.

Regardless of those issues we went through multiple toner cartridges and a couple of drums before the printer finally just fell apart.

With that background, I've found the HL6180DW to be a very impressive model! It still fits in the same footprint as the older laser - but does sit a bit taller because of the larger input tray.

Here are the things I like about the HL6180DW:

1) This is the first Brother laser printer I've owned that actually does a good job at printing envelopes! No more wrinkled envelopes, and no more trips up to the color LaserJet. :)

2) It starts up without dimming the lights. On top of that, the first page out is still a couple of seconds faster than the HL-5370DW.

3) Because of the little LCD screen, the wireless setup was a breeze. I did have to download drivers on each PC to get the network setup working; but, that isn't a huge deal.

4) I like that Brother doesn't bundle a lot of garbage with their network drivers - but I wonder why the download package was so large since there aren't really any apps included...

5) The print speed is excellent! Honestly, we're on the verge of needing a truly professional-level printer; but, this will hold us over for the next few months until we get into a larger office.

6) I love having the option for a super high-yield print cartridge. That will definitely save both money and hassle.

7) The duplex feature works great - although I've come to expect that from Brother printers in general.

8) I like that the paper tray will hold a full ream of paper.

Honestly, there isn't much bad that I can say about this little printer. If you're looking for a great laser printer in a compact package, then I would highly recommend this Brother HL6180DW!
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on May 19, 2013
I was tired of using my slow, ink-hogging inkjet printer to print invoices and black and white documents so I decided to give a laser printer a try. This one had the two biggest items on my wish list: 500-sheet capacity and high-capacity toner cartridges.

After receiving and unpacking it, the next step in the quick-start guide was to plug it in and turn it on. About three seconds after turning it on a circuit breaker blew and all the power went off in my bedroom-turned-home office. I reset the circuit breaker and tried again--same thing. I tried a third time with everything in the room turned off and it again blew the circuit breaker.

I did some research on the problem and it turns out blowing circuit breakers is not uncommon with Brother laser printers. None of the reviews for this particular model complained about this, but if you look at the reviews for this printer's less-expensive cousin, the Brother HL5450DN, there are many people reporting this problem.

One thing my research uncovered is that modern building codes dictate that bedrooms have an extra level of protection in the circuit breakers vs. other rooms in the house. I probably could have set this printer up somewhere else and it would have worked. However, this would have meant putting it downstairs (with my home office being upstairs), which would simply not have worked for me.

I was determined not to go back to my inkjet, so I returned this printer and purchased a HP LaserJet Pro 400. According to the manufacturers' specs, this Brother printer uses 727 watts of power while printing, and the HP 570 watts. I don't know if it's the difference in power consumption or some other factor, but I've had the HP for several days and it works in my home office without a problem. It's more expensive, and in order to get 500-sheet capacity you need to purchase an additional tray (which costs half the price of the printer!), but I haven't seen any reviews complaining of it causing power problems, and it worked successfully in my case when the Brother didn't.

The Brother HL6180DW has a great feature list and looking at the other reviews it's clear that it works great for some people. If you are going to try this printer in a home office setting, I would very strongly suggest shutting down your computer before turning the printer on. I didn't, and had a tense situation when I turned my computer back on and Windows ran the "check disk" start-up utility and found a bunch of corrupt files on my hard disk. (Thankfully my computer came back up after running the utility for about an hour, and everything seems to be fine.) Shutting the power off on a running computer is a big no-no, so keep that in mind when powering up this printer for the first time.
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on October 6, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have two Brother HL-5370DW printers. I believe that the subject of this review is the replacement for the HL-5370DW.

I set up this printer for wireless (WiFi) use. First, I attempted to set it up from an Apple Macintosh computer. I was prompted to enter my WiFi password directly into the printer, using its single line LED display and four pushbuttons. My password is long, so FAIL. Fortunately, I have a Microsoft Windows computer available, so I used it to set up the Brother printer. I have to say, this was excellent. I connected the printer and the Windows computer using a standard USB cable. The installer software was dead simple to use. I did not have to type in my WiFi password! Somehow, the password oozed out of the Windows computer and into the printer. Magic. Next, I removed the USB cable, and I installed the printer driver software onto my Apple Macintosh computer. Because the printer was already "talking" WiFi, this install was also dead simple.

I did have to download this driver from the Brother web site, because my version of Apple OSX (operating system) is too new. The install CD shipped with the printer couldn't handle the Mountain Lion. By the time you get your hands on a Brother printer, I would expect that the included install CD from Brother will be updated, so you won't have to do the download. If you use a Microsoft Windows computer, this is not an issue. In any case, downloading software from Brother was no big deal.

In actual use, the printer is completely trouble free. It stays (wirelessly) connected to my computer. It does double-sided printing without jamming. It prints envelopes without curling them. The printer can only hold four envelopes at a time; I suppose that this might be an issue for some folks.

I am completely satisfied with the speed and print quality of the printer. Software seems to default to 600 DPI density. This is great for speed, but I prefer print quality, so I changed that to the 1200 "HQ" density.

One improvement over the HL-5370DW model: you no longer have to change the roller tension when printing envelopes. On the older printer, you have to open the back door of the printer and flip a pair of blue plastic levers before printing on envelopes. No longer! A small annoyance is gone from my life.

After you remove all of the colorful paper labels, the printer looks quite nice, being almost entirely black. When handling the printer, you will notice a certain flimsiness, and this is the only real complaint I have to make. A printer needs to have several access doors, and the Brother parts feel thin, cheap, and wobbly. Will the printer stand the test of time?

Obviously I can't answer that question at this time. I can share my experience with the old HL-5370DW printer. It is very similar to the printer under review, and that includes the flimsy plastic bits. I have two, one from May 2010 and the other from June 2011. Both of them are still going strong, and never call attention to themselves.

I don't know of a better black and white printer. If you do, please post!
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VINE VOICEon October 15, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is my second Brother laser printer, after first dipping my toes in the water cautiously with the classic Brother HL2270. The new HL6180, designed for a small office is clearly biggerbetterfaster (and louder).

And did I mention the printer is completely Mac-compatible, and truly Air-Print ready? Though the install CD didn't work (it is Lion only), the drivers were part of Mountain Lion. Setting up the printer was no trouble at all; as usual, it took more time to carefully remove the packing materials than connect it to my Wi-Fi network. Yes, it was a challenge to type the password into the screen, but I still didn't have to crack out the directions. Pairing with my iOS devices was seamless. In minutes, I was up and printing.

The first thing I noticed was the louder machine noise. Oh well. The blacks are more saturated, speed is good, and label printing is no problem IF you set the paper type to label. Speaking of labels, I always label the outside and inside of the paper tray (this one holds a full ream) to show the orientation of the paper; this tray has a tiny window to show the paper level, and inside, a small recess to hold a label.

Duplexing works flawlessly, there has been no trouble with power in my 1950's house, and my text-based documents look great.

Overall, an excellent printer well-suited to a small office or high-volume home.

First, this Brother has been much less friendly to Avery Laser Labels than my Brother HL2270, which seemed to adjust to them automatically. I need to adjust for the shipping labels each time, which is an additional steip.

Second, I re-downloaded all of the Mac-related software, as well as the new firmware update. The firmware update went without a problem. I highly recommend downloading ALL of the components of the Mac software for full internet-base management of the printer. It is a far superior suite of tools rather than the simple CUPS driver that comes with Lion, or even the driver recommended by Brother.

Using the full suite of controls, I was able to set Toner Save, Quiet, LCD Screen Contrast, DPI, and many other controls not available with CUPS. Additionally, there are extremely detailed reports, and multiple layers of security.
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on May 17, 2013
I chose this printer because of the toner capacity, high resolution and shining consumer report reviews of a similar model in the line.

The first printer is on its' way back because there was an obvious electrical defect with the unit. I also had the circuit breaker issue, which is mentioned by another reviewer. However being an electrical engineering student, I perhaps have a slightly higher level of understanding and trouble shooting ability with the problem. I verified on 2 discrete circuits that the amperage was spiking well above 15 amps during the warm up phase after turning the unit on. Speaking with Brother Int'l Customer Support, I was informed that the operating amperage averaged around ~7 amps, but that during warm-up it could spike to ~11 amps. While the rating on the back of the unit says 10.0A. Anyway.

Hopefully this was just a fluke. It happens. But I will update the review after my next try. I've loved Brother's printers for many years and have had great success with them. Hope this one doesn't spoil that legacy.
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on December 12, 2013
I introduced this printer to the branches of our company. It seemed working ok; however, there is one major issue. The receiving tray for printed copies is not deep enough. The printer is designed with 500 page tray and 42 ppm; however, the receiving tray is only designed to hold not even half of 500 pages which might get printed out from its tray. In our environment, we frequently needs to print out many copies of papers. We end up with papers flying around. There are also cases that papers jammed our receiving tray where papers are coming out.
Other than this major issue, this printer works pretty well with its pricing. It would be nice if brother could improve the life expectancy of this printer so it can go beyond 100,000 pages to close to 200,000 pages. They will get a five stars if they address these two issues.
For the PRO side, the printer is easy to manage through its web interface. It's very suitable for deploying into a managed network environment. The printer driver is also lightweight. It works great with our printer servers.
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