Review of the Brother HL-L3210CW at PCMag

  • PROS

    Good text and photo quality. Wi-Fi Direct mobile device support. Respectable paper capacity.

  • CONS

    No Ethernet connectivity or auto-duplexing. Lacks support for Web Connect printer apps. Graphics print quality below average.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    Brother’s HL-L3210CW is a capable, if basic, color laser-class LED printer for small offices where tight budgets require some corner-cutting.


The Brother HL-L3210CW ($199.99) is a step down from its sibling, the Editors’ Choice HL-L3270CDW. Designed for small offices, both single-function color laser-class printers have the same paper capacity, volume ratings, running costs, and several other like features. What you give up for the $50 price difference, though, is significant, including an easy-to-use touch-screen control panel, plentiful connectivity options, and high-quality graphics output. In other words, it’s worth weighing feature set versus price when considering the HL-L3210CW over its more expensive sibling.

Read the entire article at PCMag



 

Dell B1160w Mono Laser Printer Review and RatingsVisit a U.S. supermarket in summer, and you may well see two kinds of watermelons for sale: the ordinary, enormous kind, alongside small, round versions dubbed, amusingly, “personal watermelons.” Those one-man melons always give us a grin—if only for the hokey marketing—but that hasn’t stopped us from tucking one under an arm and heading to checkout.

The same goes for laser printers. “Personal lasers” are nothing new, but seldom have we seen laser printers light enough to lug around and small enough to fit on even the most modest patch of desk. (Inkjet printers, that’s another matter: See for example, our recent review of the HP Officejet 150, a full-fledged portable all-in-one model.) In fact, until now, we knew of only one—Samsung’s $129-list ML-2165W, which we reviewed back in April 2012. Not only did this monochrome printer’s diminutive size impress us, but we also appreciated its fast performance and great-looking output.

Dell has followed suit with its own—well, sort of its own—little powerhouse, the B1160w. We say “sort of” because the B1160w is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) model built by Samsung for Dell. In essence, it’s the ML-2165W in Dell’s clothing. Except for Dell’s signature all-black case (as opposed to the Samsung model’s beige one) and a slightly different control panel, these two models look very much the same on the outside. They also perform similarly and deliver the same excellent output.

Dell went Samsung one better, though, by offering the B1160w at a slightly lower list price, and by selling the printer’s toner cartridges at a lower cost per page (CPP). In addition, if you don’t need this model’s Wi-Fi connectivity, you can opt for a USB-only version, the B1160, for just $99. (That said, we’ve seen the ML-2165W sold on some online outlets of late for as little as $69.99. Shop around carefully if you’re considering one of these models, since you might score a real bargain.)Dell B1160w Mono Laser Printer Review

Like any low-cost “personal” laser printer, the B1160w has a few shortcomings. It’s a single-function monochrome printer, after all; all you can do with it is print black-and white-pages. Conversely, for the same price or less, you can buy a relatively feature-rich multifunction color inkjet printer that prints, copies, scans, and perhaps also faxes. But then, with an inkjet, you’d forfeit this model’s laser-quality text printing, fast print speed, and high—for a printer in this price range, anyway—recommended monthly duty cycle. (“Duty cycle” is the highest number of prints the manufacturer says you can print in a given period without prematurely wearing out the printer.) In addition, also consider that a similarly priced multifunction inkjet will be about twice the size of the B1160w, so one of this model’s primary attractions is its trim dimensions.

Don’t let the B1160w’s small stature fool you, though. It prints monochrome text, business graphics, and gray-scale images with the high quality you’d expect from a laser printer, at speeds comparable to some other higher-priced laser machines.

Read the full review at Computer Shopper.



 

Dell B1260dn Review and Ratings As the summer of 2012 heats up, the monochrome (black-and-white) laser printer market is suddenly on fire. In recent weeks, a bunch of printer stalwarts, including HP, Brother, and Dell, have offered to send us not just one, but a bunch of new laser models for review—ranging from entry-level single-function devices to pricier multifunction machines (capable of printing, copying, scanning, and faxing), and everything in between.

One of the first of the wave to hit our labs was Dell’s entry-level $149 B1260dn, a mono laser model. The B1260dn is the third model up, in terms of price, speed, features, and print-volume rating, in a group of five monochrome lasers that the computer giant launched in late June. The two less-expensive siblings, the $99 B1160 and $119 B1160w, are “personal” laser printers similar to Samsung’s $129.99 ML-2165W, which we reviewed back in April 2012. Dell’s two new higher-end machines, the $249 B1265dnf and the $599 2355dn, are multifunction devices. (We’ll be taking a look at the B1160w and the B1265dnf over the coming weeks.)

While the B1260dn prints fast and churns out good-looking output (both common traits among today’s laser printers, budget models or otherwise), the operative term here is “entry-level.” The low up-front purchase price of economically priced laser printers usually buries their real cost: the toner. With these models, their manufacturers make a profit on the back end, when you buy replacement cartridges. In addition, low-cost laser printers usually have relatively low maximum monthly duty cycles. (“Duty cycle” is the number of pages the manufacturer says you can print each month without excessive wear on the machine.)

All the signals around the B1260dn flash “budget laser”: the $149 selling price, a somewhat high cost per page (CPP), and a fairly low 20,000-page-per-month duty cycle. If your small office or small business prints significantly more than 10,000 pages each month, you’d be better served by a more expensive model, such as Samsung’s $299.99 ML-3712DW, which we reviewed earlier this month. That impressive little single-function monochrome laser printer has an 80,000-page duty cycle, and, if you shop around for toner, it delivers a CPP that’s under 2 cents.Dell B1260dn Review

All of this is not to say that the B1260dn is subpar printer—quite to the contrary. It’s just not a high-volume workhorse designed to print thousands of pages every day. Laser printers in this class are simple devices, designed to do one thing—print, and lots of it. In that regard, this model doesn’t break new ground or advance monochrome printer technology, but it keeps the price pressure on its competitors. And, once again, it’s speedy and prints great-looking business documents, as well as gray-scale graphics and photos. It’s also easy to use, sturdy, and dependable. We can’t ask for much more than that from a laser printer at this price, apart from a lower CPP.

If a low-cost, printer-only laser is what your small office or business needs, and your print-volume needs are moderate, this model is a strong pick. However, over years of service, a more expensive high-volume model may actually cost you less, overall. It all depends on just how much you print. (More math on that later.)

Read the full review at Computer Shopper.