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Style: HL2280 (Old Model)|Change
Price:$139.28+ $18.49 shipping
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VINE VOICEon January 15, 2012
UPDATE: See toner saving tips below under UPDATES. My review follows next.

I have never owned a Brother Printer before. I have always used either HP, Canon, or Epson. To my thinking, printers like those made by Brother and Lexmark have seemed to be less reliable in times past. The past 5 months have proved me wrong. This Brother is an astounding printer at a terrific price.

All features work flawlessly and print quality is outstanding for this price range. Brother have upped their game over the last 4 or 5 years and I was tempted enough (after my HP and Canon both gave up the ghost) to look elsewhere. This Brother Printer (and I still have a Canon Pixma Inkjet for occasional color needs) is just a work horse. Flawless printing in regular and duplex mode. Originally, I just hooked a USB cable to it... but then set it up (pretty easy) to Wireless via it's built in interface. Works great.

Noise: I have seen a few comments about the noise level of this printer. I find it extremely quiet. FIrst of all, it is most usually "sleeping" in what appears to be OFF this mode, the printer is totally quiet. No noise at all. If I send it a print job to it wirelessly, it wakes up pretty quick.. wait... let me time: It woke up and printed a single page in 20 seconds. So, keeping the printer in standby mode is not a problem (unless 20 seconds is too long for you to wait.

The printer returns to a quiet state after another 10 seconds (after printing) and then stays in this "alert" state for about 10 minutes. It is during this time that the printer will make some noise. Quite frankly, I don't usually notice it, it is so quiet. Then the printer returns to SLEEP mode and goes totally silent. So, there really is not a noise issue at all. In fact, my HP printer was much more noisy. The fact that it is most usually in Sleep mode, means that it is almost always completely silent. (If I had read all the reviews that said this printer was too noisy, I likely would not have purchased it. And I would have lost out on a great, quiet printer).

Cost per page: I am averaging just under a penny a page to print with this... that is so much cheaper than my ink jet! I am using the "toner save" mode, however. In fact, the thought of buying another ink jet with their incredible high cost of ink was one of the reasons I bought this Brother printer.

I love that the printer takes an entire ream of paper. I just load it and forget about paper for a long time! And Duplex mode (front and back of page printing, without needing to flip the paper!) has been a great feature that I didn't have before. That too is another savings feature. The copier works fine. I haven't tried scanning with this printer yet. And the cost per page on this printer... well, that is why I purchased it... this is a money saving baby!

Cons? Yes. One. The message about LOW INK comes on too soon. Being cheap, I usually ignore these prompts until the thing truly runs out of ink. With this printer, I can print several weeks before it really runs out of ink. FYI.

Great printer!
UPDATE 1-15-2012: Still love this printer! I wanted to update this about the one "con" I listed... Ink. More specifically, the message that you get to change the ink ("toner low message"). My advice is to ignore it. I printed for over two months before it truly ran out of ink. Even then, I never got a single bad printed copy. No "light print jobs," no "missing lines of text." When this printer really runs out of ink (OK, toner), it will simply refuse to print. Then it is time to replace the cartridge. I replaced mine with a Brother branded High Capacity toner least this first time. I would love to hear comments from others who may have used cheaper 3rd party cartridges... do they work well? Or should I stick with a Brother branded cartridge? Enjoy this printer!

Update 9-1-2012: Still going strong...just replaced first full toner cartridge. I just ignore the low toner printer warnings (however, you can turn off... I turn off the STOPPING because of low toner, to do this, Go to General Settings, and then number 4. Replace Toner, set to Continue.). Wait until you see the ink not filling the page or getting streaky. Then replace. You will go months past the first low toner warning (depending on volume of printing obviously).

NEAT UPDATE 7-7-2013
Can't believe I hadn't found this function! :) I just printed another 200 perfect pages (and still going) after the printer refused to print. Let me describe the simple process and cautions.

First, the cost per page on this printer is already excellent (half-penny a page is what I figure) this next update may be "wallowing with the pigs" to save a few cents... but, I have never been one afraid to wallow... and it works well, so why not? Please note, I have only ever used genuine Brother Ink purchased here on Amazon. I can't vouch for refills or things like that. But this tip (found out of necessity), will allow even more bang for your buck. It is called Continue Mode.

I ran out of ink, and I had forgotten to order more from Amazon. I refused to pay my local box store prices which were, at the time, more than 50% more. So, I removed the cartridge and rocked it side to side gently and replaced it. And the result? NOTHING. Still refused to print. The printer tries to determine the optimum number of prints and doesn't want you to get bad or streaky copies, so it simply refuses to print once it determines you are at the bitter end of your toner. So, what's the tip!?


Continue Mode will tell your printer "Hey, I know i MAY get some poor copies/prints, but I need you to continue and try to print any way." I turned this on, and VOILA, it worked like magic. :) Beautiful copies came streaming out of my printer. Over 200 and still going strong.


To enable Continue Mode, please follow the steps from Brother's website:

Press MENU and choose General Setup => Replace Toner.

Use the DOWN ARROW key to choose Continue and then press OK.

That is it. Ain't it great! :) Now, I am clearly not expecting (nor should you) perfect print jobs from this. And I just received my order of Brother Toner from Amazon ($36!), so I can replace it at any time now. But, as long as my copies are good, I am going to let the toner "CONTINUE." Yes, I know that I have only saved about a dollar in ink costs (so far) in doing this, but the big reason to know how to do this is when you are completely out of ink, can't get to the store, and need to print out a few copies. A life saver for those times. Enjoy!

Printer update: Still loving this printer. I have recommended it to so many. Hard not to love this printer.

UPDATE 11-26-2013
I haven't updated for quite some time. I am still liking the printer. I can tell you that I print for under a penny a page. If I am printing mostly text on the page (which is normal for me), then the cost is closer to half a cent a page. Once I discovered this, I stopped tracking costs.

It was a great purchase (which I bought in 2011). I see that they have a new model now, and I don't know how it compares. But this one keeps doing it's job. And I love duplex feature and I love not buying ink jet refills. Needless to say, I won't be upgrading any time soon. This printer still looks and functions like new. Wireless printing is pretty cool too.

When I purchase Toner, I have only purchased the TN450 Brother brand toner... which fluctuates in price from Mid-30's to Mid-40's. Don't know why. I haven't tried refills or any off brands. Brother TN450 High Yield Toner Cartridge - Retail Packaging - Black
4141 comments| 712 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 6, 2011
There are two main reasons I chose this Brother printer over the competition. The first is that it was the only wireless laser printer brand I could find that had an LCD display. That was important to me because it allows the printer to be connected directly to a wireless network without having to be temporarily connected to a PC to do the configuration. WIthout a built-in display you would have to connect it via a cable to a computer to do the configuration using the computer's display. I wanted something that was entirely independent of a PC's display, and this one is. Second, Brother seems to be using the old business model that HP and Canon once used, which is to charge more for the printer and supply the toner/ink at a reasonable cost. These days HP and Canon practically give away their printers but their ink and toner is very expensive. I love Canon inkjet printers especially, but their ink cartridges keep getting smaller and higher priced. Next time I buy an inkjet I will definitely check out the Brother models. Laser printers are much cheaper to operate than inkjet of course, and if you compare the price and capacity of the Brother TN450 cartridge that this machine uses to the price and capacity of similar HP and Canon machines you will see that this one has them beat.

Connecting to my wireless network via Windows 7 was a breeze. I used the automatic one-push setup and had the printer online in a couple of minutes. It does make noise, but does not seem any noisier that other laser printers I have used, although I have not tried the duplex feature yet. B&W print and copy quality is excellent. I haven't tried scanning color yet, but I suspect it will be more than adequate for my needs. It has a nice 250 sheet paper drawer, much more convenient than some of the competing machines which have the paper supply sticking out the back like an erect tail. I like that it quickly goes into sleep mode to conserve power and quickly comes back online when I send a print job or press a button.

This machine prints, copies and scans, but if you need a fax machine then check out the Brother MFC7860DW. It has the same specs as this model but has an ADF on top and fax capability. It usually sells for $50-80 more than this model.

This machine is exactly what I was looking for. I just wanted a wireless laser printer that was easy to set-up and economical to use, and this printer meets both of those criteria.
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on October 29, 2011
I bought this printer to replace an inkjet that just went out. For subcontract work I do I need to print manuals ranging from 10-70 pages which this laser printer is great for, I also wanted to have a copier. I cannot comment on the scanner as I rarely use this feature on any of the multi-function units I have owned.

Pros: Decent price on factory toner compared to my other inkjet. I also liked that brother has multiple models all using the same TN-420/TN-450 toners so I don't feel like it be hard to get quality factory toner in a year or two.

Network connectivity, I was able to connect to my wireless network however due to prior issues with my linksys E2000 router, none of the computers could access the printer. I have advanced tech skills and still can not get the settings right for wireless networking Vs my old WRT54G and I don't have time to dumb the router to an access point that would resolve the issue. However, the wired connection works great, all computers on the same network instantly see the printer.

I highly recommend the network printer only/ local attached drivers if you only want to print and copy because it will remove ALOT of bloatware. I also suggest to set a manual IP or static DHCP on your router to avoid any issues with the unit changing IPs.

Cons: Like other reviews I find the fan to be somewhat loud for if you had to sit next to the printer all day and listen to it not a real deal breaker but something to consider. I put the printer on the bottom part of a TV stand where there is enough room for ventilation but the wood absorbs some sound and it is in a room that out of my way.

Like most printers these days, it feels pretty plastic and I wonder about reliability of constantly opening the scanner bed. Although, the printer was on sale which made the 2yr office max warranty $15 for a little piece of mind.

I got my unit for $100 during a sale since it is normally $200, for the price I paid it was too good of a deal to pass up I still believe I would have considered the full price after using it. Starter Toner is 700 pages. $45 for 1200 page toner. and I think $70 for 2600 page. If you want a network printer that is easy to setup, prints extremely fast and can live without color (At least 95% of what I print is black text anyways). I highly recommend this unit.
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on December 31, 2012
I got this printer for $99 on Black Friday, 2012, at Office Max. I haven't seen it that cheap since then. I use it in a mixed PC and Mac environment.

The reason for this review is to share a few things I learned about this printer. I gave it 3 stars because of the networking problems. However, the print quality and print functions seem fine, very good probably.

Advice #1: Don't buy this printer if you have an older wireless router and if you really want it to be wireless. I have what is (or was) considered one of the best wireless routers ever made - Linksys WRT54G - and after several calls to Brother tech support and my router's tech support, the printer will not connect UNLESS I notch down my wireless security to WEP, which I'm not willing to do. Brother will not acknowledge that their printer has this problem with this very popular router. Brother tech support tried everything to fix it and were polite and professional, but they couldn't overcome what seems to be a flaw in the printer. Looking around the web, I found plenty of other folks who reported that their Brother printer could only connect using WEP for their wireless security protocol, and that's not acceptable to the people who seem to know more about wireless security.

To use the printer, I had to attach it with a network cable to my wireless router. That means it is stuck in the basement next to my router, not exactly what I would call wireless.

I think many people don't know what it means to fully use the capabilities of a wireless printer. They're satisfied if they can sit at their wireless laptop in the living room, click "print" and then go to the office to collect their printout from the printer. However, that's only half the wireless capability this type of printer should have.

When you buy a printer with wireless functionality, you should have TWO wireless things going on. One is that you should be able to take your computer anywhere in the house and send a print job to the printer. No brainer, right? The other is that you should be able to take your printer anywhere in the house - it should NOT have to be attached to your wireless router using a cable. Can you do that, or is your printer wired to your router?

I think many, many people who say they had no problem with the wireless setup for these printers are actually using a network cable to plug the printer into their wireless router. They're using only half the wireless capability of the printer - the easy half to setup and configure - so naturally it works well.

Advice #2: When running the install disc, if you attached the printer to the router with a cable, then install it using the "For Wired Network" option. That will seem strange to a lot of people who think they're printing wirelessly from their laptop or desktop, but since you connected the printer to the router, you're not really completely wireless.

Advice #3: For Mac users, skip the install discs and download the Brother Printer Drivers 2.9 for OS X the Apple support site (just google "brother drivers mac" and it shows up). That makes everything easy.

Advice #4: Tell the printer to not automatically shut down when it thinks it is out of toner. Using the buttons on the printer, go into "General Setup" then choose "Replace Toner" then choose "Continue" instead of "Stop." That will allow it to "continue" to function even though it thinks it is out of toner, and you should get plenty of additional pages printed.

I haven't used the printer enough yet to make meaningful comments on other things, but the few pages I've printed and scanned seemed to be very good quality - no red flags other than the networking issue for me.
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on August 23, 2012
We got this laser printer to have as an alternative to the inkjet printer we own.. yes the inkjet was cheap but the caratridges are so expensive and run out so fast! We got the brother because we've had good experience with other products. Also, the price is really good and replacement cartridge are also good price.

PROS: wireless, fairly easy to set up and connect (we used the cd to install and set up the wireless settings), scans fast enough, DUPLEX printing (save paper), paper storage and feeder in basket under printer (tucked away nicely), currently set up to print wirelessly: imac, macbook pro, and samsung galaxy s3

CONS/MY NOTES: no alphanumeric keypad so if using printer to set up wirelessly it's tedious, fan is a little loud while printing but not terribly so, because of heat paper curls a little, if your standing directly over the lcd screen you won't be able to read it, the lcd light could be brighter, not i-phone friendly.. doesn't have air print function (only matters if you have iphone like me.. samsung cellphone prints wirelessly, a little bigger than I expected it to be (approx. 15 1/2 in. L x 15 in W x 11 in H) also it doesn't come with a usb cable (we used our usb cable from our other printer to set up).. wish it had an automatic document feeder, then it would be perfect..

"TONER LOW" TIP: my lcd said Toner Low and would not print.. but when toner is low DON'T REPLACE RIGHT AWAY, what I did was: go to general setting, scroll down to toner low, press ok, change setting from STOP to CONTINUE.. and you will be able to print more pages (mine still printed clear after I changed setting)

BOTTOM LINE: if you just want to print black and white, print duplex (back to back), print wirelessly, have a decent scanner, save money, get this.
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on June 4, 2013
I have this printer and it's a nice, sturdy and reliable little unit. However it likes to say toner is low too soon, and is very choosy about replacement toner. I have seen many people complain that they installed a new toner cartridge only to be told that there is still no toner in the machine, and Brother support will only give out the steps to manually reset the toner if you can prove to them that you have just bought a new Brother toner cartridge. If you run into this issue, here are the steps to manually reset the toner:

Open the front cover of the printer
Press and release the "clear" key
Press "start", then press the up arrow until you see the number 12 on the display
Press "ok", you will see "accepted" on the display
Close the front cover, your toner cartridge should now work
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on August 16, 2012
This is my second Brother printer and I absolutely love both of them. The duplex printing option is especially welcome after having to muck around with manual feeding to do duplex for so long (the other one is an HL-2070N).

But be careful when installing the software, as the default "Install MFL-Pro Suite" option adds a third party program called PaperPort, which started popping up ads for other Nuance software from my system tray. This is completely unacceptable for the installation of a hardware driver, especially hardware that bills itself as a professional office product.

From what I gather, PaperPort is for scanning and organizing documents like receipts and such. So if you need that functionality you might tolerate the ads. But in an office environment it's most likely not worth it.
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on April 16, 2011
This printer is a new offering from Brother and I have only had it a couple of days, but my initial opinion is that it's a pretty good printer. Set-up was easy, I have it positioned about 40' from my (very old) router on a different level of my house and connectivity so far has been flawless. I have both printed and scanned without any issues. I currently have a desktop and two laptops setup to print to this printer, again, no issues. Print quality looks as you'd expect for a laser printer and scan quality seemed good as well. On duplex printing the page does come out slightly curled, but I think that's to be expected in a printer of this size. This is my first laser printer so I have nothing to compare it to, but the noise level does not seem bad at all, I can hear it from the next room but just barely and it's totally quiet while "sleeping". Print speed is very quick, I thinks it's rated for less than 10 seconds for the first print and that seems about right, it's very quick. As I stated earlier, I have not had this printer long, but so far so good. I got this for significantly under MSRP, don't buy it for list price. I'll try to provide an update after it's been in use for a while.
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on June 1, 2014
I am editing this review because I really tried to like it. First off, let me just say I am a huge fan of Brother printers. I currently have a monochrome all in one laser printer that I cannot speak highly enough (DCP7040). It took me through grad school with the endless piles of paper I had to print. The scanner was excellent. Having had canon and HP for years, owning the DCP7020 was like being in toner heaven as it was not an ink hog and the laser was consistent in quality every time. I erroneously thought all of Brother's products would be of the same caliber. I normally would not buy a product like this online but because it is a Brother, I thought I was safe. I have been proven wrong.

I decided to get another printer because I want the wireless feature. Like other reviewers stated, setting up the wireless feature is a bear. Also, I am shocked at the scanner quality. The DCP7040 scanner is superb and I thought the HL2280 would be the same. It is NOT. The quality is vastly different--even when you adjust the brightness and contrast. It doesn't matter. Poor quality is poor quality. For these reasons, I am giving this product a 1 star and returning the printer. What a disappointment.

But one feature that I DO like about this printer is the easy dual-side printing. That is great! The rest of it....not so much. Maybe Brother will make the needed corrections in which case, I will be the first one in line.
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on September 24, 2012
I've had this printer about 6 weeks. I love the wireless functionality, the copy and scan capabilities, and the general way it is set up - it does a lot, but it's fairly compact and easy to place, and it doesn't spew printed matter everywhere - the copies/prints sit neatly on a little internal shelf in the front of the printer. The quality of copies and scans is good for a little machine, and printing is fast.

It has an extremely annoying feature, though, namely that it starts demanding more toner after printing fewer than 150 pages, long before the print has become faint at all. Even more annoying is the built-in setting that causes it to *refuse to print* because it thinks it needs new toner. This kicks in about 50 pp after it first starts whining about toner levels, and long before toner levels have started visibly impacting print quality. Shaking and reinstalling the toner cartridge, cursing at the device, and even threatening that you will call its manufacturer if it doesn't behave, have no effect - it simply refuses to print.

However, if you look in the manual (see, I'm very resourceful), you'll find that there's a setting you can adjust that commands the printer to continue working even after the toner is low. I'm not sure it'll keep printing long enough to keep me happy - usually I'm just printing for my own use, and I don't mind faint type, so I'd use it to the bitter end. But for now the strike has been lifted and my soit-disant "brother" is back at work.
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