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

Features
The HL-2270DW includes 32MB of internal memory so you can send more documents through the printer and generally speed up the whole printing process. Most monochrome laser printers don't come with a lot of fancy features, but the Brother HL-2270W includes three networking options for connecting it to your computer: wired USB 2.0, 10/100 Base-TX Ethernet, and wireless 802.11 b/g. The printer is also Mac-, Windows-, and even Linux-compatible.

Connecting the printer to our wireless network gave us little trouble thanks to the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) standard that lets you establish an additional device to your home network in a few easy steps that are laid out in the accompanying instruction manual and aided by onscreen drivers. As long as you have your network name and SSID password on hand, you should be able to connect your printer and computer without wires like we did, in less than 10 minutes easily. You can also use the AirStation OneTouch Secure System (AOSS) if you have a Buffalo network wireless router.

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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Quick Specifications See All

  • Interface 802.11b
    802.11g
    Ethernet 10/100Base-TX
    USB
  • Connectivity Technology wired
    wireless
  • Printer Type Workgroup printer - laser - monochrome
  • Max Speed 27 ppm