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Brother HL-5380DN review: Brother HL-5380DN

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The Good Petite design; Low running costs; Fast print speeds.

The Bad Printed pages look a little light; A tad noisy in operation.

The Bottom Line The Brother HL-5380DN laser printer offers a small size and fast print-outs that will endear it to many home office users. Print results can look a little light on the page compared to its competitors, but not excessively so, and the speed and low running costs make up for it.

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8.3 Overall

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The Brother HL-5280DN is a mid-range monochrome laser printer that's designed to provide higher than average print speeds for its class.

It can print on both sides of a piece of paper and also has an Ethernet connection on board so you can hook it into your home network.

This model can be bought for around £285 online.

Design and features

The HL-5280DN is unusually petite for a laser model. It's not quite as small as the Dell 1130, but as it measures just 486x500x455mm, you should still have no problems accommodating it in a bijou home office. As with most laser models, the design is basically square in shape, but Brother has used a mixture of light and dark grey panels on the chassis to help it stand out from the crowd.

On the top-left hand side of the printer, you'll find the control panel, which juts out to the side slightly. This houses a single line, 16-character monochrome LCD screen, along with four buttons that allow you to navigate through the printer's easy-to-use menus. Beneath these are the Go and Print Cancel buttons. The screen is backlit and has three different coloured LEDs so it can light up green, amber or red to indicate the printer's status.

Brother HL-5380DN controls
The single line LCD screen can glow different colours to indicate the printer's status.

The control panel also has a Secure Print button. Via the printer's driver, you can send jobs to it that include a pass code. It will then store the print task until someone presses the Secure Print button and enters the correct pass code. This is handy for when you need to print off sensitive documents that you'd rather other people in your office didn't see.

The bottom houses a standard cassette-style paper tray that can hold up to 250 sheets of paper. There's also an optional tray that can be added at the bottom to double the capacity. Above the main paper tray is a pull-down flap that opens to reveal a second multi-purpose tray. This can take up to 15 sheets at a time and is handy for printing envelopes and other non-standard paper types.


There's sadly no Wi-Fi built in and it isn't available as an option. However, the rear is home to an Ethernet port, as well as the USB socket, so you can hook it into your network if you want to share it with other PCs.

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