Brother HL-2270DW review: Brother HL-2270DW

Performance
The HL-2270DW has a slighter faster processor speed than its predecessor at 200MHz, so it performed a little better at 18.64 pages per minute (ppm) for a page of all black text, 19.03 ppm for a page of all graphics, and 18.15 ppm in our PowerPoint presentation test. Still, neither Brother kept up with the Editors' Choice-winning Oki B431DN that registered chart-topping print speeds at more than 30 ppm in all three test results.

Printing speeds (in ppm)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Presentation  
Black graphics  
Black text   
Oki B431DN
38.16 
33.3 
33.86 
Samsung ML-2525W
20 
20.19 
18.82 
Brother HL-2270DW
18.15 
19.03 
18.64 
Brother HL-2170w
17.48 
17.93 
17.81 
Lexmark E460dw
9.96 
25.99 
17.61 

The HL-2270DW performed well in our text quality tests; the samples we printed on standard 20-pound paper with the quality set to "best" were evenly dark with clear fonts all the way down to 2-point Times New Roman. The individual letters were also free from line breaks and fuzzy edges. The graphics sample we printed, however, didn't fare as well. The gradient steps were so abrupt that a severe checkered pattern appeared where the printer obviously couldn't handle the transitions. The small photos we printed appeared fuzzy in the shadow regions in addition to the overall digitized effects. The HL-2270DW also didn't perform up to par in our 12-step shading test. Harsh banding quickly appeared at the 40 percent shading mark and continued to get worse as the percentage increased.

Like the HL-2170w, this printer would make the most sense as a secondary, text-only printer to save money on paper and ink in the long run, but PowerPoint presentations, photos, and graphics-heavy newsletters should be saved for a robust inkjet printer with multiple color cartridges and a nozzle that can handle precise detail. All-in-one printers are another practical alternative if space saving is a factor.

Service and support
Brother stands by all of its monochrome laser printers with a one-year Express Exchange limited warranty in addition to offering a toll-free customer service number for troubleshooting information.

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