Brother HL-L6200DW’s fast and cheap-to-use single-function monochrome Laser

Brother's MFC-L6200DW - fast, inexpensive laser-quality prints.

For a while, it was looking like high-volume, business-grade inkjet printers were going to outpace their laser counterparts in nearly every way—especially in speed and per-page cost of operation. Some of today’s top-value inkjets for offices—notably, models in HP’s PageWide and Epson’s WorkForce families—have made a convincing case that there’s a new print-tech sheriff in town for those who don’t necessarily need true laser-quality text output, but need their pages quickly and cheaply. And it’s inkjet.

However, if today’s review unit, Brother’s $249-list HL-L6200DW Business Laser Printer, and a few other laser machines we’ve looked at of late are any indication, some laser-printer makers are fighting back.

We’ve looked at a slew of laser printers lately, including several from HP and Dell: monochrome and color, single-function and multifunction, entry-level and high-volume. And in that time, some single-function monochrome models, such as OKI Data’s $220-street OKI B512dn, have become (in terms of both purchase price and the ongoing per-page cost of operation) highly competitive, and therefore relatively good values. The HL-L6200DW falls into that class.

Brother HL-L6200DWThe HL-L6200DW is one of a handful of economical single-function (i.e., printer-only) monochrome models that Brother has rolled out recently. Most of these models have been smaller and not as fast nor as economical, apart from the $349.99-list HL-L6200DWT. That unit is essentially the same printer as the HL-L6200DW here, except for the addition of a second, 520-sheet paper drawer. A $100 premium for the second drawer, considering its $209 price tag bought separately at Brother’s online store, isn’t bad at all if you need that kind of paper capacity. But, then again, as you’ll see in the Setup & Paper Handling section later on, with this model you have a few expansion options that perhaps even outstrip the other aspects of this printer.

Single-function monochrome laser printers tend to be humdrum models, and while we are impressed with the HL-L6200DW’s cost per page (also discussed in the Setup & Paper Handling section), it’s the intangibles rather than the physical traits of this printer that set it apart. Aside from the cost per page, decent print speeds and print quality also formed our more-than-favorable impression of this little workhorse.

Granted, other single-function laser printers in the same price range are as fast or faster. But the difference is not enough to skew our assessment of this printer by much. With this laser’s 100,000-page-per-month duty cycle (the number of pages Brother says the printer should be limited to in any given month to forestall premature wear) and aggressively low cost per page (CPP), it’s worthy of our Editors’ Choice award.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.

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