Friday, January 18th, 2008

Giant printer arrives, is assessed, leaves


A couple of months ago, local blogging luminary and online marketing expert Darren Barefoot let me know about a promotion for the Brother HL-4070CDW color laser printer involving several local bloggers. In exchange for reviewing the printer on our blogs, we used (and in some cases presumably abused) the printer for a couple of months. My take? First off, the thing is a tank. It’s intimidatingly large and extremely heavy, and it honestly frightened the UPS guy when he delivered it to me. But what about, you know, the printing? Top notch, both in color and black and white. Never really had a problem with it….except for one time when I needed to print out the resume and the printer simply wouldn’t respond. That may have had more to do with my network connection than with the printer itself. And speaking of connections, the Brother has many, including network, wireless, and all the other standards. For a guy who generally wrestles with sub-$100 laser printers that don’t recognize anything other than their own inherent badness, it was nice to finally have a printer in the condo that actually WOULD print from whichever computer told it to, instead of retreating into spool queue hell. So all-in-all, I’d say the Brother HL-4070CDW is a decent printer, though I think it might be better suited to a big office and less for a guy who occasional prints out directions from Google Maps.

Warren Frey is a journalist, freelance writer, podcaster, video producer, and all-around media consultant currently based in Vancouver, Canada. His written work has appeared in such publications as Metro Vancouver, the Westender, Mac | Life and the Japan Times.

3 Responses to “ Giant printer arrives, is assessed, leaves ”

Darren Barefoot says:

Yeah, they’re pretty big, aren’t they? I’ll be curious to get back to Canada and actually, you know, lift one. Thanks for the review!

jabberwocky says:

Picture of size comparisons please.

Jean-Paul Samson says:

I bought a Brother laser printer five or six years ago, an HL-1870N. Never again, let me tell you. It is a black and white network printer with duplexer costing over $1000.

Brother didn’t license high quality fonts, instead using their own inferior versions. So I ended up shelling out another $150 to buy the font upgrade for the printer so printed text wouldn’t look like a cheap Chinese knockoff. And then there was the other problem…

Pages with substantial graphics content would take an hour or two to print. Yes, that’s right. A single page would take hours, if it ever printed at all. So I upgraded the memory to 144 MB, thinking this would solve the problem. No benefit whatsoever. So the printer was useless for outputting high-resolution graphics work. Brother uses their own knockoff PostScript interpreter, BR-Script. Maybe that was part of the problem.

And yes, I did do my homework. The printer was well reviewed at the time, offering good image quality and a useful feature set for a reasonable price. Next time, I’d probably look at buying a Xerox laser printer. We had one at my former workplace, and it was a speed demon.

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