This is my first color laser printer. I don't have much experience or comparison data.
There's no issue with inks drying out or heads getting clogged due to infrequent use (vs inkjet printers). I like that.
It's not a photo-quality printer. There's an option to print on glossy paper, but no presets for photo paper, 4" x 6", 5" x 7" or any of that. I agree with reviewers who say it prints beautiful "magazine quality" photos on good quality plain paper.
I had a couple of glitches on one test document. Not sure if it's easily fixed (see Note 3).
Check around for reports on comparative print quality. I am not up to speed on that aspect.
- - - Supplies Cost Per Page - - -
►Summary: $330 for this printer is nothing, compared to what you might spend on toner. At under $ .09 per page for genuine Brother supplies, this printer could save you a bundle. Color laser alternatives are 12.4 ¢ to 17 ¢ per page, or higher. If you keep this printer for 25,000 pages, that's $850 to $2,000 saved. (See Note 1 for calculations.)
"Pages" refers to business type pages that have a mixture of text, color charts, etc., per ISO 19798. Full-page photos could be about 7-8 times the ink density and cost of business pages (see Note 2).
This printer wants 4 types of toner, drum replacements, and more. Its TN-336 cartridge format is new as of July 2014. They could get cheaper or more expensive. The $ .09 I calculated is for genuine Brother supplies on Amazon as of July 7, 2014.
Third parties already sell knock-off toners. Those are about 4.2 ¢ per page (cartridges) and 2.4 ¢ per page (toner powder in bottles). Third party toners have almost no reviews yet, so that's also guesswork.
* Generally nice features. Duplex. Ethernet, USB, or WiFi. Provision for thick papers, etc.
- 3rd party toners are widely available. Brother looks the other way.
- AirPrint works fine (print from Apple iOS devices)
- Setup was reasonably easy. Not troublesome or oppressive.
- Comes with "Standard" toner cartridges (2500 pgs black, 1500 pages color); Not High Yield cartridges.
- Mac drivers lack some of the advanced features (see page 31 of User Guide)
- Some output from my test document was a little off. Not sure if it's easily fixed (see Note 3).
- - - Alternatives - - -
- Brother HL3170CDW (about 12.4 ¢ per page)
- Canon imageCLASS LBP7660Cdn (about 14.5 ¢ per page)
- Hewlett Packard M251NW (about 17 ¢ per page)
- Samsung Xpress C460W (about 30 ¢ per page)
Third party toners are available for many of these.
- - - Pricing - - -
Price swings between $300 and $360. You can set email alerts on CamelCamelCamel.
- - - More Info - - -
For your detailed questions, the 216-page User Guide is available at the Brother site.
- - - Notes - - -
Note 1: Cost of Supplies
Page . . Item
------ . . -----------------------------
1.33 . . Black Toner (TN-336BK @ $53.34 /4,000 pages)
2.35 . . Cyan Toner (TN-336C @ $82.24 /3,500 pages)
2.35 . . Magenta Toner (TN-336M @ $82.24 /3,500 pages)
2.35 . . Yellow Toner (TN-336Y @ $82.24 /3,500 pages)
0.54 . . Drum Unit (DR-331CL @ 134.20 / 25,000 pages)
8.92 cents - Total cost of consumables per page
There are 7 additional replacement items (See page 165 & 209 of User Guide) but they really don't apply because it's cheaper to buy a new printer at 50,000 copies. A new printer includes $269 worth of Toner + Drum, and it comes with a new $109 Belt Unit (needed at 50,000 copies) and other stuff. So, think of your total printing cost as:
8.92 . . Toner and Drum unit, per page
0.12 . . Cost of printer per page ($ 330 - $269 / 50,000 pages)
9.04 cents - Cost of Printer and consumables per page
$4,520 . . Total cost of printing 50,000 pages ($330 for printer, $134 for 1 drum, $4,056 toner after 1st 1,600 pages)
$2,291 . . Total cost if discarded after 25,000 pages ($330 printer, $ 1,961 toner) (9.1 ¢)
$1,243 . . Total cost if discarded after 12,500 pages ($330 printer, $ 913 toner) (9.9 ¢)
$630 . . Total cost if discarded after 5,100 pages ($330 printer, $ 300 toner) (12.4 ¢)
Note 2: Photo printing density - There's some excellent (but dated) analysis at QulaityLogic's site. According to their studies, printing a 4x6 photo takes about 2.13 times the ink of a standard color business page. Therefore, a 8" x 10.5" photo takes about 7.5 times as much ink as a standard business page.
Note 3: Printing glitches - One of my test documents has an map with wide streets colored light gray. For no apparent reason it colored the streets blue-gray when printing as a Mixed Document and a somewhat too dark charcoal gray when printing as a Standard Document. Also, a colored text box border was more ragged than it should be at 2400 dpi.
~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~
on May 23, 2014
I purchased one of these printers this week for a rush job, when my 3-year-old Lexmark C544dn suddenly failed (imaging unit went south). I purchased the printer locally (Office Depot) because I couldn't wait for a shipped unit to be delivered.
The job was a low-volume high school yearbook (60 copies of 22 two-sided pages), with lots of text and photo content. I print this job on heavy, two-sided glossy stock (HP Q6608A Brochure Paper), which -- at 52 lb. basis weight -- exceeds the specifications of the printer (28 lb. in the standard paper tray / 43 lb. in the multi-purpose tray). Furthermore, the user guide recommends feeding any glossy stock into the printer one sheet at a time, via the multi-purpose tray.
None of this was going to work within my rush timeframe, so I ignored the instructions, loaded the standard paper tray with the HP Q6608A stock, and plowed ahead with duplex printing. Print quality was excellent from the start (at best, photographs print at "near photo quality," with any desktop laser printer I've seen). Paper handling, however, was problematic. I had to tweak the settings in the printer driver through trial and error for the best results with this unsupported paper. I also had to fan the paper "enthusiastically" before loading it into the paper tray, so that it would feed correctly. But this was not surprising, since the paper exceeds the the printer's specifications.
While printing, I would get occasional "no paper in tray" messages, which were in fact paper feed errors, and which were easily corrected by opening the paper tray slightly, reseating the unfed sheet, then closing the tray again. Printing would then resume automatically.
The other problem I encountered relates to the way this printer handles paper during duplex printing. It actually runs two sheets of paper through in tandem, and occasionally, these two sheets would "collide" in the paper path on the back side of the printer. (I'm sure this was because the weight and thickness of the paper exceeds the printer's specifications, and therefore doesn't flex as easily as "in spec" papers.) As a result, when the two sheets jammed, it would cause the back cover of the printer (which also serves as the face-up output tray) to pop open, and printing would stop with a paper jam error. One of the two sheets would be printed on one side only, but could be salvaged and run through the printer again to print its other side. The second sheet would be waste. The further I got into this job, however, the fewer jamming problems I had, and the last seven copies (154 two-sided prints) ran flawlessly, without interruption.
Paper registration during duplex printing is excellent. Although I could run this heavy stock through my old Lexmark C544dn (which is rated for a max 47 lb. basis weight) without any jamming issues, I couldn't auto duplex, because the registration of the second side print was always off a degree or two (which is much more noticeable than it sounds).
All in all, I'm very pleased with this printer, and look forward to putting it through its paces on other, more conventional printing duties (i.e., using papers that conform to its specifications). Before I run this yearbook job next year, I will evaluate the glossy papers that Brother recommends for this model (NewPage Futura Laser Gloss 80 lb. Text / 32 lb. Bond and Xerox Digital Color Elite Gloss), as well as HP's Q6611A Brochure Paper, which -- at 40 lb. basis weight -- conforms to this printer's specs (although the client really likes the thicker 52 lb. paper!). And I will still run whatever paper I select from the standard paper tray.
Another positive is that the printer ships with a set of full TN-331 toner cartridges (not reduced-capacity "starter" cartridges). More economical, "high yield" cartridges (TN-336) are available here on Amazon; I just ordered a full set of TN-336's, after running through 13 TN-331's on this heavy-coverage job!
Incidentally, while I printed the above job from a PC connected via USB cable, the printer is now connected to my network via Ethernet, and the browser-based interface to the printer (status, configuration, reports, security) is excellent. I also like the ability to turn on an audible alert (which emits from the PC speakers; there is no speaker in the printer) to accompany the pop-up error message when an exception occurs (paper jam, empty paper tray, etc.).
This Brother printer is truly high end for a printer of its type. It's fast at up to 32 pages per minute, although the speed is most helpful for large jobs once the printing starts. When sending a job to a sleeping printer, you can expect it to start printing in about 15 seconds. The quality speaks for itself. With a press of a button, you can get a duplexed test page that shows the professionally printed quality of its output. Despite the outstanding photo in their cherry picked sample, typical photos will be of magazine quality rather than photo printer quality. But that's what I expected from a highly capable printer.
The printer arrives with a full set of toner cartridges, and they are regular cartridges, not starter cartridges. It's easy to go through a lot of paper when evaluating a product, and with typical inkjet printers I'll be low on ink by the time I finish a review. But this one left me with reasonably full cartridges. Gone are the days when a $100 cartridge gave you 16,000 pages but also gone are the days when a monochrome printer of this quality cost $5000.
The printer offers a typical array of printing functions. For most people, it will come down to using the printer drivers for your platform, and you won't need to worry about support for PCL6 or Brother's version of PostScript, but it's there. I didn't try printing anything from Linux or using LPR support, but I expect Linux aficionados won't need my help.
In addition to standard printing functions, this handles a good variety of paper sizes, including letter and legal. It supports papers of different weights and types, but I suggest you use paper specifically designed for laser printers. I had good results with both high quality plain paper as well as glossy laser printer paper suitable for presentations.
One feature that I find helpful for small businesses is the ability to specify a code when you get to the printer options. That way you can send something to the printer, but it won't print until you get there and enter the code. If you are concerned about confidential documents getting into the wrong hands before you walk over to the printer, this offers an elegant solution.
Setup from a Windows 7 computer was relatively straightforward. I often consider CDs of limited value since on-line drivers are often more current. The included CD will check for newer drivers before installation, so there's no need to track them down yourself. Adding this printer to WiFi was easy, and it gave me the option of WPS push button as well as more traditional ones such as entering a key. I chose to set it up with the touch of a button and things went fine. The display is more than adequate for all the setup and maintenance tasks, and you can also access a virtual control panel from your web browser by finding the printer in My Devices. I didn't test with other versions of Windows, but support is there for everything from XP on up.
Setup on a Mac was even easier. It didn't give me any option except to download from the Web, which it did on its own. But the rest of the process was more streamlined. I'm not a regular Mac user and borrowed a Macbook Pro for this exercise. I decided to go through the process on my own rather than make use of the Mac expert next to me. So when I say it was easy, I think regular Mac users can take my word for it. Printing from a Mac was also straightforward and of high quality. Most features available under Windows seemed to be available with the Mac. An exception seems to be watermark printing, which I couldn't find. So you'd have to use your document preparation software and include a watermark from there rather than loading it into the printer.
From an iPad, I didn't load anything. I simply found the printer on the list of AirPrint printers and things simply worked. I didn't test with an iPhone. If you tried to print with your existing printers back when iPads first came out, you are probably familiar with the frustration of trying to print at all. You will be glad to be able to print with ease.
From an Android phone, I needed to install Brother's iPrint app. It wasn't difficult to use, but I didn't get high quality photo printing from it. I didn't test it on a variety of phones so I can't say whether it was the phone or something else, but if you do need to print documents from an Android device, the capability is there.
Printing directly from a PC through a USB cable or wired network has no appreciable differences to mention.
If you want to print from a USB drive or digital camera, you can do that too. I didn't go through it extensively, and the options available on the control panel are more limited than what you'd get from a computer, but you can specify basic parameters such as page orientation, size, source, duplex and some that are specific to PDFs, which I didn't try.
I did have to make sure to specify certain settings for best results, and when things were less than perfect initially I ran a calibration. I'm not sure if it needed one or if it came down to me learning which options worked best, but ultimately I was able to get consistently good quality from devices I would print from regularly.
I've purchased several Brother printers in the past, so although I didn't need to contact Brother support about this one, I have had very good support when I needed it before.
For me, the bottom line is professional print quality and I think Brother gives a lot for the money here. As with other laser printers, you will get a large variety of options, and much of the 216 page manual is repetitive but necessary to cover different platforms. It had all the printer options I expected, and more than enough troubleshooting and network information. But most users will simply bring up their printer list, set the options they need, and get the results they expect from a good quality printer.
on June 21, 2014
Solid Build, Sleek Looking - Doesn't feel cheap, Bigger than I'm used too - comes in a HUGE box, can solo carry even though box says two person carry, well packaged and shipped in perfect condition- Apparently the newest model of this type of printer (after doing some research between this and the older model I bit the bullet on this one as I wanted to be able to print from my phone and the added wireless printing sounded nice.
The Pros: Wireless feature works excellent ( coming out of standby automatically ) - stays connected to my wifi even after being powered off and on- I tested both wired and wireless and both are A-OK!
As another poster mentioned this can print on out of spec paper (I bought this to print birth announcement cards and on envelopes and let me say it did NOT disappoint - now did it curl the paper. I printed about 100 full color copies with a bleed on 8.5 x 11 card stock ( 90lb ) - and they turned out EXCELLENT!!! - The duplex feature also worked AMAZINGLY! saved me sooooo much time and the back and front lined up purrrrfectly. I was able to print out all the envelopes and cards in about 20 minutes.
The print quality itself is MUCH better than my samsung CLP-325W (colors are richer / darker / crisper / any other adjectives you can think of ) -- I bought some high gloss paper as well and this REALLY makes pictures pop.
It isn't that loud. (but loudness is subjective)
I love the front feed tray (allowing you to do envelopes and other smaller or custom pages easily) Beats having to load the bottom tray with these items.
Tidbits -- it uses ~900 Watts per second at startup and when warming up and uses ~950 Wps when the rollers and spinning the toners- When it is calm and sitting at the ready light / standby mode it uses ~6-9 WPS, so if you are going to leave this on all day all year you are looking at a measly amount of electricity drain.
The Cons: Toner refills appear to be pretty pricey ( but the carts are huge so I expect them to last awhile and I plan on usnig a refill kit so that should save on refil cost.
The drivers/software that comes with it don't appear to have a standard pre-programmed print size for A7 (5x7 envelopes) which is a pretty standard size but also I don't see this as a Con because you can select a custom paper size and it works perfectly, just punch in 5.25 x 7.25 and you're golden!
Worth the Money / Would I buy this item again?: Absolutely! I've run a few print tests side by side with my Samsung CLP-325W and it really kicks booty.
on February 3, 2015
Update: I've now owned this product for about 8 months.
I stand by my positive review which was written about 7 months ago.
No paper jams whatsoever; No malfunctions or hiccups yet (knock on wood); Still using the original toner which came with the printer.)
Very reliable; My experience continues to be all good.
See my original review below:
I use this product at home for printing university papers, receipts, internet articles, pictures, etc.
So far I'm very pleased. I bought it through Amazon.ca (as opposed to Amazon.com) for about $290 (Cdn. Dollars) free delivery, on sale for 1 day only.
Economical toner costs, especially with the printer setting at 'Toner Save' mode. (High yield and good quality non-Brother brand set of 5 replacement cartridges go for about $120. Brother cartidges much more expensive though.)
Start-up toner cartridges with this printer are the regular, absolutely full type (not the miserly unfilled start-up cartridges that come with many printers.)
Reliable, well made, professional looking with a heavy duty quality.
Easy initial set-up and easy to use ongoing.
Very good print clarity for my purposes (although they say ink jet technology generally prints clearer photos than laser)
No annoying paper jams.
Double side printing works fast and flawlessly.
Has a cool feature to allow anyone with an IPad and Stylus to print handwritten notes remotely. Would be great for student lecture notes or for individuals who take notes at business meetings.
Fairly big and heavy (not an issue for me.)
A little louder than some printers (again, not an issue for me.)
If you want only the best 'professional and exquisitely clear' pictures and photos, perhaps there are better alternatives to this printer.
Higher initial upfront cost (but well worth it considering its very good quality and the included full toner cartridges).
A few reviewers report having difficulty with the initial software set-up. (I did not have that issue, however.)
The HLL8350 is more printer than most people need in a home environment but it's a nice luxury. Would work well in an office or small business environment too. I highly recommend this printer, bearing in mind the few caveats in my previous "Pro/Con comments above.
on August 3, 2014
I previously had an HP Color Laserjet of similar form, but 2009 generation. I love the fact that these printers keep getting faster, with more functions, and less expensive. I was specifically looking for wireless, auto duplexing, and Apple Air Print and I found those in this model. It's a gazillion times faster (that's a technical term) than my old HP - 15 seconds from sleep to first sheet out and then a sheet every few seconds once it gets going. I'm not used to fast printers so I'm like a tourist in New York City gazing at skyscrapers. Right now I just like to watch it print! I also never had an auto duplexing printer before. It's interesting to watch, as it somehow actually manipulates two sheets of paper at once, pushing them nearly out and then pulling them back in. Seems to work well. At the end of the day, though, it's all about productivity and not having to wait around for large print jobs. I know that a $5000.00 machine would run circles around this, but for the price I'm very impressed.
The print quality is very good, although not as heavy a looking text print as my HP. I have no problem with it, as I expect that it will use less toner. Setup was straightforward. I just followed the instructions, temporarily inserting a USB cable when it asked. After the installation the USB cable was removed and it's been wireless since. The Air Print worked without any additional setup or installation. I just went to my iPhone and told it to print. It found the printer immediately - worked like a charm.
This is not a lightweight printer. Sure, a healthy man (or strong woman) can lift it alone once it's out of the box, but it would be easier with two people. It needs a solid desk to set on, not a little printer stand. I though my HP was big until I saw this in place. But that's okay - it's an office and it has to be big to contain the mechanisms to do what it does.
It's noisier than my HP, more whirring and clunking sounds while it's gearing up to print and during the printing process, but that's okay too. It's not overwhelming and I can use the phone sitting right beside it while it's printing without too much problem. Be aware that even after it goes into sleep mode the fan continues to run for about 5 minutes, and it's pretty noisy for a fan. But then the fan shuts off and it's completely silent until time to print again. In an office with multiple users printing a lot I wouldn't want to be sitting right beside it all day long, but in my home office it's only me and I'm not printing that much.
When printing envelopes you're supposed to open the back door and flip a couple of plastic levers for a straight-through paper path. This is to reduce wrinkling and curling of the envelope. I decided to try printing an envelope through the standard paper path and found that it really wasn't that hard on the envelope. It curled some, but I just kind of flattened it out a little and it was quite usable. For most single envelope printing I'll probably not bother with opening the rear door.
When I have more to report I'll append this review. In the meantime I'm very impressed overall and looking forward to a great relationship with this printer. This is my first Brother printer. Brother goes way out of their way to tell you what great care they take of their customers and what a wonderful support department they have. If I ever have need to test it out I hope they live up to their word.
Brother has clearly become a brand that delivers to the home user market. While I personally prefer HP for small to large business use, Brother, in my opinion, owns the home user market for color laser printing. From reliability to reasonably priced consumables (must be factored into total cost of ownership), Brother now dominates. Note: This printer was tested in a Windows 7 environment on a fairly extensive home network in a mix of wired and wireless devices.
The printer arrived packaged very well- a credit to Brother's thoughtfulness in ensuring trouble free transportation of the product. Of particular note is that unlike many other new printers you purchase, this printer ships with a full set of regular toner cartridges, not cheap starter cartridges.The build quality of the printer itself is very good, on par with HP's more expensive printers; the printer does not feel or look cheap. Unlike some other models and brands, the footprint of the Brother is very manageable for most situations and home environments at 16"W x 19"D x 12"H. The design of the unit places most printer features easily within reach. For example, duplex printing is automated. Also, setup was incredibly quick and uncomplicated with the latest drivers.
Printing is incredibly uncomplicated and Brother did a great job with the device driver (once again, tested on Win 7 machines). Brother also expanded functionality by allowing printing from Iphones and wireless devices direct to printer (802.11b/g/n and Ethernet network interfaces). In some instances, such as printing from an Ipad with the Brother Print app (free at the App store), you will experience some reduced printer functionality. Straight print quality was on par with magazine prints and will improved with additional paper types, but never achieve photo print quality (obviously). However, it is more than adequate for anything other than real photo printing (at least for photographers). I was also very impressed with printer handling of various paper types including heavy card stock, with passed through the duplex feed with no issues, a feat in which many other printers sometimes fail. The advertised 32ppm is accurate in my unscientific opinion. Also, it seems to handle large graphics file printing with no issues- for example a 19mb Adobe Illustrator file sent directly to printer over a wireless connection. Advertised lag time of 15 seconds was accurate and actually a little higher than I experienced.
Overall, I am very impressed with this printer, especially considering the price point. A lot of advanced features for any home user delivered in a reliable package with easy to use interface.
on July 24, 2014
My experiences with this printer have been a lot more complicated than most, I think, but I'll start by focusing on how it does now that it's up and working.
Thus far, I'm finding that it prints very well and accepts print jobs from many different devices without a fuss. It's Google Print friendly, Linux friend, iPad friendly, and Windows friendly that I've tested so far. I see no reason to believe it doesn't work just as nicely with the other platforms that Brother claims it does. For some reason, the printer itself says it's Google Cloud printing compatible, but it doesn't show up on Google's list of compatible printers. Still, once I got things set up it worked fine, so I think its absence from the list is just an oversight.
If you happen to have a LiveScribe pen (a pen that records your writing, but requires special paper to do so), it can successfully print the paper that the pens need.
Once it's set up, it works nicely over the network and doesn't have to be tied down to any particular computer.
I should warn you, though, that it's pretty big. It's significantly larger than typical inject printers, because it has four separate toner cartridges (black, cyan, yellow, and magenta) that can be replaced independently. That means that you can replace a particular color early if you use that color a lot (such as if your company logo and letterhead is cyan), but increases the size the device needs to be quite a bit bigger than a normal home printer would be. Really, though, it's intended for business use.
Buying a completely new set of toner is pretty expensive, but it does go a very long way. If you've going to be doing very large amounts of printing of text, I'd honestly look into a printer that's known to work well with very cheap toner refills, which will probably mean getting a black and white only printer. If there's a ton of text involved, it may even be worth having two printers around, so that you can have one that takes very cheap toner and acts as the workhorse, and then this for when you want to do a fancier print job.
My particular experience with getting this printer to work was pretty bad, actually, but I'm not going to blame the product in general for that. It seems like I probably got a defective item that was either not made correctly or somehow broken during the delivery process. This did give me a chance to find out how their customer support goes, though!
The customer support people on the phone were very nice. I didn't like the telephone system, because its interactive voice stuff wasn't doing a very good job of listening as I tried to read it things like the model number. Once I was talking to a person, though, they were friendly and clearly wanted to help.
The printer I was testing was trying to print black over the majority of each page, which obviously was making a big mess of everything I tried to print. I was escalated to a higher level of customer support, and they had me try a few things to try to fix it, and ended up sending a second printer by 2-day shipping so that we could exchange and they could get the troubled one back. I was supposed to swap the internal/consumable parts out from one printer to the other and then send back the original.
Once I swapped the parts out, though, the new printer did the same thing the first one did. I called and spoke to them again, and a little more testing revealed that it was the drum (the part that holds the toner) that wasn't working properly. They sent a new one to me by overnight shipping and once I put that into place everything was working properly. (Note that when they sent replacement parts, they also sent instructions for how to return the items, pre-paid shipping labels, and even threw in strips of packing tape so that it wasn't even an issue to seal up the box again.)
While this was a pretty bad experience in terms of how long it took to get it to work, I'm not holding it against them because it sounds like this was some kind of crazy fluke. The support person I was talking to on the phone specifically said he'd never seen one of their printers do something like this before (I had emailed him photographs of exactly what it was printing) and he said that their QA people were going to be very interested in getting their hands on the drum to see what was going wrong with it.
I've been using various technology long enough that I'm pretty used to the idea that there's going to be some number of defective items in every batch, and it's something we just kinda live with. That said, I'll admit that I probably wouldn't have found their fix 100% acceptable if I'd been buying the printer, because the troubleshooting process involved printing a lot of pages that were pretty solidly black, and I'd probably have been annoyed that they weren't replacing the toner cartridges or something. Still, they paid for 2-day shipping of a ~50 pound printer, and then overnight shipping for another part, so they certainly were willing to put some money into trying to make it right and get the thing working.
The customer support folks were very nice, seemed to know what they were talking about, and didn't give me that annoying feeling that I get with some companies that we're running through a mindless and really stupid troubleshooting list. (I've known companies that seemed to be trying to make me jump through so many hoops that I'd just give up so that I didn't have to talk to them on the phone anymore. This wasn't that kind of experience at all.)
Anyway, the big thing is that this is physically a much larger printer than most people would want in their homes. It's overkill for printing out occasional school reports or something like that. If you have more significant printing needs, though, it is a very nice printer that does a good job. It works with a wide variety of devices (including directly from tablets and phones with the Brother app) and doesn't require a lot of fuss to keep it going. It just quietly sleeps when you're not using it and waits for a signal to come along that it ought to do something.
So, in short, if you have the sort of printing needs that would justify a business-class color laser printer, this is a good one and I can personally vouch for the fact that Brother customer support is quick to answer and tries hard to help you out if you need them.
on November 18, 2015
Update: Just minutes after writing this review this happens (see Picture). And this isn't the first time. As a seller myself I am very hard pressed to write a negative review but I can't help it in this case. Since this was the first sheet out it completely messed the next ten pages of expensive paper let alone toner. Now I have to run many sheets of plain paper through to get the ink and gunk out so I can attempt to try and finish my project. I am in the process now of requesting a replacement and giving it one more try.
Overall the item is ok. Even on the highest settings the black lines are not defined on pictures which is what I primarly use it for. Looks like wiskering and I have to continue to reprint due to smeared ink on it and waste toner. Other then that it is ok.
on September 9, 2014
I'll begin by saying that, for me, this was the easiest wireless install I've ever had with a wireless printer, let alone a color one. That ease may be attributed to, per the installation instructions, using a USB cable to "temporarily" allow the printer to connect to the computer. Granted, Brother no longer includes a USB cable with new printers (they assume you won't EVENTUALLY need a USB cable for this printer, plus it saves them a few bucks per unit), so you'll need to have one of your own (hopefully you still have one left over in your sock drawer from the '00s).
Unfortunately, even after multiple calibrations using the printer's LCD control panel, the printer's Blue levels were way, WAY too blue. I only noticed this because my company logo, which coincidentally uses the same teal color that is used in the new Charlotte Hornets logo, was completely off when printed (and yeah, my logo was created using CMYK colors, so this was not a case of monitor RGB color vs. printed CMYK color).
Thankfully, I was able to adjust the Blue level in the driver itself. Go into Control Panel > Devices and Printers > right click on the HLL8350CDW printer > Printing Preferences. Then, on the "Basic" tab, under the heading of "Document Type", choose "Manual", then click on the Settings button (which is no longer greyed out since you clicked on "Manual"). Another dialog box called "Settings" will appear, and you should click on the button on the right that is called, creatively enough, "Settings". A dialog called "Custom Settings" will now appear, and I gave the Blue level a -10 (yeah, that's negative 10). Click OK a few times, and then...Hallelujah...the blue levels now printed as expected. An oh yeah, you need to repeat this process if you also installed the "USB version" of the HLL8350CDW print driver.
A brief gripe about the Custom Settings tweak mentioned above...since this is a CMYK printer, I have absolutely no idea why the Custom Settings are requiring the user to adjust the levels of RGB...technically, we should be adjusting the levels of CMYK. But for me, reducing the "Blue" did the job.
Regrettably, I believe the issue with the Blue level stems from the fact that the printer does not appear to have an internal ICC or ICM profile (well, at least no color profile shows up for this printer under Windows Color Management). So, the printer seems to just wing it. I'm just lucky that only the Blue level was messed up.
In addition, one of the features of the printer is that it allows you to print PDFs directly from a USB flash drive, without the need of software to drive the printing. However, since the Blue tweak I mentioned above only resides on the driver software, the actual printer has no knowledge of this tweak, so it will continue printing the same crappy over-blued image, unless you do the following... After you have created the PDF on your computer, in Acrobat, do a Print using the HLL8350CDW printer, but instead of clicking OK, click on "Print to File", which will actually spit out a ".prn" file (a native printer file). When you a create a prn file, that mysterious Blue adjustment will actually be saved with the file (since it's created from the driver). Then, you would save the prn file to the flash drive, then have the printer print the prn file off of the flash drive. Works beautifully.
So, after all of the handwringing, I'm happy with this purchase, but admittedly it was a long day to figure this stuff out.