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Brother HL-2250DN review: Brother HL-2250DN

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The Good Low price; duplex printing; Ethernet support; good text quality.

The Bad Graphics print quality could be better.

The Bottom Line The Brother HL-2250DN monochrome laser printer may not offer the cheapest running costs on the market, but it's competitively priced, doesn't take up much space, and produces good results at a decent speed.

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8.3 Overall

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The HL-2250DN sits towards the bottom of Brother's current line-up of monochrome laser printers. But, despite its low price tag of around £120, it still manages to offer a few extras, not least of which is the ability to automatically print on both sides of a sheet of paper.

Short and stout

This printer is very petite, with a small footprint of just 368 by 360mm. It's quite squat too, at a mere 183mm tall, so it really doesn't take up all that much room on your desk compared to most laser printers.

The design may be quite simple -- the HL-2250DN is just a plastic box with rounded corners -- but it's quite elegant too, and the matte black finish gives it a professional air, so we think it'll look just right in the average home office.

Most laser printers have a traditional control panel with an LCD screen and a cursor pad beneath for moving through menus. The HL-2250DN doesn't bother with any of this. Instead, there are three LEDs to indicate general, toner and drum errors, and a single green LED to show when the machine's ready to print. Right beneath these LEDs sits a wide, green 'go' button whose sole purpose seems to be to print a test sheet whenever it's pushed.

At the bottom of this model, there's a 250-sheet paper tray, which should be enough for most people's requirements. Above this, you'll find a single-sheet feeder hidden behind a pull-down flap. This can be used for feeding in odd paper sizes, as well as envelopes. The printer's output is spewed out of the top into a recessed tray, and there's a flip-up stopper that will prevent the paper from curling and working its way off the tray.

The installation process is reasonably hassle-fee. The HL-2250DN arrives with the toner cartridge and drum pre-installed, but, before you use it, you have to eject the cartridge to remove some protective tape and then turn it from side to side to ensure the toner is evenly distributed within the cartridge. Once you've done this, you can replace the cartridges and then install the drivers on your PC.

The HL-2250DN lacks the monochrome, two-line display you'll find on most laser printers, instead making do with simple LED warning lights.

This model uses a two-part toner and drum design, so you don't have to change the drum every time the toner runs out. The toner cartridge has a capacity of either 1,200 pages or 2,600 pages, while the drum will last for around 12,000 pages. Using online prices for the toner and drum replacements, costs work out at about 3.3p per page, which includes 0.7p for paper costs. That's some way off the cheapest running costs we've come across, but it's not the most expensive either.

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