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Brother HL-4040cn review: Brother HL-4040cn

Performance
Relative to similarly priced color laser printers, the Brother HL-4040CN fell in the middle of the pack: it was among the slowest at black text and graphics, but among the fastest with color text and graphics. It scored 15.66 pages per minute (ppm) for black text, just edging out the $400 Oki C3400n, but was the slowest at black graphics, with a score of 15.79ppm. On the other hand, it was the second fastest with color text (13.77ppm) and color graphics (14.83ppm), behind only the $500 Xerox Phaser 6180/N.

Speed chart
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Color graphics  
Color text  
Black graphics  
Black text  
Dell 3110cn
13.3 
12.41 
22.58 
23.36 
Lexmark C500n
6.43 
6.88 
19.8 
19.86 
Xerox Phaser 6180/N
15.81 
14.76 
17.44 
17.19 
Brother HL-4040CN
14.83 
13.77 
15.79 
15.66 
Oki C3400n
11.92 
8.38 
16.01 
15.55 

The HL-4040CN gave a more consistently good performance with print quality, however. It tied with the Lexmark C500n in our assessments. Black text was everything we expect from a laser printer: dark, sharp, and clean. The mono graphics print showed excellent handling of the grayscale, smooth blocks of black color, and excellent handling of photo elements. The color text was nearly as good as the black text, though the edges weren't quite as clean. The color graphics print showed smooth color blending, but we saw some banding in a graduated grayscale and the colors tended toward the ruddy. Overall, the text speed and quality present a compelling performance package for work groups that need great quality and don't mind not having the speediest printer.

Quality test
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Color graphics  
Color text  
Black graphics  
Black text  
Brother HL-4040CN
3 
3 
4 
4 
Lexmark C500n
3 
3 
4 
4 
Xerox Phaser 6180/N
3 
4 
3 
4 
Oki C3400n
2 
3 
3 
4 
Dell 3110cn
2 
2 
3 
3 

Service and support
Brother backs the HL-4040CN with a one-year limited warranty. Toll-free phone support is available weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET. You can also send an e-mail or a fax to tech support. Brother's Web site has an FAQ database, downloads, and manuals.

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