Set against the frumpy Kyocera and plasticky Dell, the Brother HL-2250DN is a picture of elegance. The squat, rounded body is attractive and feels built to last, and it’s practical, too.
Inside, there’s room for a 250-sheet paper tray, which slots home with a reassuring thunk. That tray accepts paper up to 105gsm, and the manual slot just above accepts card
up to 163gsm.
It sits in the middle of the price range this month, but it stands out by being the only model to include Ethernet, which means you can share the Brother over a small network.
The Brother BRAdmin software permits the changing of printer settings over the network, and a web interface lets you see the printer’s current status, access log reports, view the print history, and check how much longer the replaceable drum unit will last.
Brother claims a 26ppm print speed, but the HL-2250DN didn’t reach that in our tests. One-sided prints emerged at a still-spritely 23.1ppm, while duplex prints slowed the output to 12.8ppm.
The price of the HL-2250DN is bolstered by low print costs. The Brother’s high-yield toner cartridges last 2600 pages – the longest of any model it is compared with in this latest printer roundup – and A4 pages cost only 2.6c each to print. That’s cheap, and after 10,000 pages it works out as the most cost-efficient printer, just ahead of the Oki B401d.
For print quality, the Brother sits in the middle of the pack. From reading distance, the text output is perfectly acceptable, and only finer examination reveals a slight lack of clarity compared to the best of the printers we've compared it with in this latest roundup, with excess toner causing slight fringing around characters.
Images and shaded graphs fare worse, though, with banding and coarse dithering obvious, and a severe lack of detail in dark areas of images. Upping the print quality to its maximum 1200dpi setting does little to improve matters.
With nippy print speeds, respectably low long-term costs, and Ethernet connectivity, this is an attractive package for small offices. However, if image quality is your main requirement then you will want to look at other offerings on test. If you just want to print text, though, its a winner..
Brother’s smart-looking HL-2250DN laser printer includes Ethernet connectivity, but average prints spoil the show