As we’ve noted in a few printer reviews of late, 2012 has seen the line between sharp-printing color lasers and color inkjets get mighty blurry. Some inkjet models claiming “laser-quality output,” such as the $399.99 Epson WorkForce 520 and $199.99 HP LaserJet Pro 8600 Plus, really do print business documents on par with high-volume laser models, in terms of quality and speed. In addition, these new high-volume inkjets perform their magic at very reasonable per-page costs.
Historically, small and home offices have chosen laser printers because they print faster and cost less to use over the long haul, despite their somewhat hefty upfront purchase price. Nowadays, though—due to the trend of high-volume, low-cost-per-page inkjet models—you typically have to buy a relatively high-volume (and high-priced) color laser printer to see much speed or per-page cost benefit. Many lower-volume (and lower-cost) color lasers no longer have the speed and operational-cost advantages over their inkjet counterparts. The case in point is Brother’s $299.99 HL-3075CW, a color LED printer.
Although technically an LED printer is not a laser printer, it looks and acts just like one. The difference between LED-based devices and laser printers centers on the basic print technology. Instead of lasers, LED-based machines use an LED array (an array of light-emitting devices) that charges the page image onto the print drum. Printer makers substitute LEDs for lasers because they have fewer moving parts, are smaller and lighter, and cost less to manufacture. Otherwise, LED models are much the same as laser printers, including their use of toner.
Overall, we liked the HL-3075CW. It printed great-looking business documents and images at respectable speeds for an entry-level LED printer. However, it has a relatively low recommended monthly print volume, and the high cost of its toner cartridges make for, compared to its inkjet counterparts, a high cost per page for both monochrome and color prints. We wouldn’t recommend it as a serious pound-’em-out workhorse printer; it’s best for occasional and light-duty color printing.
Read this review at Computer Shopper