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Brother HL-4150CDN review

Could this new colour laser printer tempt you away from your inkjet?

Our Verdict

A solid laser printer with some handy features, but isn't as good an all-rounder as we were hoping for

For

  • Solid text printing
  • Good networking capabilities
  • Cost effective
  • Useful secure printing facility
  • Windows, Mac and Linux-compatible

Against

  • Very bulky and heavy
  • Large footprint
  • Miserly standard paper tray
  • No wireless connectivity
  • Photo reproduction not great

It's surprising how cheap colour laser printers have become. The new Brother range starts at only £260, though this particular model is a little more expensive at £445. The Brother HL-4150CDN can be connected through USB or Ethernet, and can serve one to 10 users.

It has built-in LCD screen, a 250-sheet tray with an option for an extra 500 sheets and a 50-sheet multipurpose media tray for envelopes, thin card and more. For sensitive documents, there's PIN-protected printing.

Windows 7, Vista, XP and 2000 are supported out of the box, as is Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later, with Linux drivers available to download from http://solutions.brother.com. Duplex printing is catered for, and you can print PDF, TIFF and JPEG files from a compatible USB drive.

The Brother HL-4150CDN promises up to 24 pages per minute, with the first page out in under 16 seconds. We found these figures a little optimistic.

Our 20-page test document printed in around one minute and 10 seconds, with the first page ready in 22.3 seconds. With Duplex switched on, it printed in one minute and 35 seconds, which is slower than the claimed seven pages per minute, but far from sluggish. Our photo test card printed in 23.3 seconds.

Print quality was pretty good for a laser printer of this price. Text printing was clear and vivid, with even the smallest point sizes perfectly readable. It could've been a little darker, but without comparing it side by side to a print-out from a more expensive laser printer, you're unlikely to find fault with the Brother HL-4150CDM.

Colour documents also printed very well, with clear text, good contrast and very little banding. Colours were rich and accurate, and shading well realised. It was less capable when reproducing photographs. The images were a little grainy, the grayscale ramp very banded and colour reproduction was definitely over-dark.

To be fair, photo printing is hardly the main reason for buying a colour laser printer, but it's worth bearing in mind if you print a lot of documents containing photos.

A secure printing option keeps sensitive documents away from prying eyes. After entering a four-digit number on your computer, the print job is passed to the printer, but not actually printed until you enter the same code on the HL-4150CDN's screen. Very useful if your printer is networked and shared.

As well as being inexpensive to buy, the Brother HL-4150CDN is reasonably cost-effective to run. Taking the higher-yield toner cartridges at the prices offered on Brother's website, the cost per page of a black and white print-out is 1.73 pence, and colour pages at 12.29 pence (both figures offered without the cost of the paper itself).

Perhaps the colour cost is a little high, but it's bound to fall as the printer series achieves market penetration and net-discounted cartridges arrive.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLaser Printer
Green CompliantYes
EthernetYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Standard Input Media Capacity300 sheets
USBYes
Maximum Mono Print Speed (ppm)25
Maximum Color Print Speed (ppm)25
Product FamilyHL
Maximum Print Resolution2400 x 600 dpi
Brand NameBrother
Form FactorDesktop
Print ColourColour
Duplex PrintingAutomatic
Media SizeA4, A5, A6, B5 (JIS), B5, B6, Letter, Legal, Executive, Folio, Custom Size
Duty Cycle40000 pages per month
Recommended UsePlain Paper Print
Number of Input/Multipurpose Trays Installed2
Number of Input Trays Supported3
Maximum Input Media Capacity800 sheets
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Height313 mm
Width410 mm
Depth486 mm
Media TypePlain Paper, Recycled Paper, Envelope, Bond Paper, Label, Thin Paper, Thick Paper, Glossy Paper
Product SeriesHL
ManufacturerBrother Industries, Ltd
Product ModelHL-4150CDN
Product NameHL-4150CDN Laser Printer
Processor Speed400 MHz
Manufacturer Part NumberHL4150CDN
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.brother.co.uk
Marketing Information

However busy your office gets, it's important to always look professional - and the HL-4150CDN certainly has the features to do just that. With fast 24 pages per minute print speeds and a large 250-sheet paper capacity, you'll save valuable time, while the handy double-sided printing feature will help you save up to 75% on paper costs. Its full network connectivity makes sharing between a small workgroup easy too, with the built-in LCD screen allowing for set-up of PIN-protected printing, so sensitive documents can be kept private.

Platform SupportedPC, Mac
Package Contents
  • HL-4150CDN Laser Printer
  • 1 x Black Toner Cartridge
  • 1 x Cyan Toner Cartridge
  • 1 x Magenta Toner Cartridge
  • 1 x Yellow Toner Cartridge
  • Quick Set Up Guide
  • Drivers & Software CD
  • User Guide CD
Limited Warranty1 Year
Standard Memory128 MB
Weight (Approximate)21 kg