Review: Brother HL-2140 Monochrome Laser Printer

Although Brother is a Japanese printer manufacturer that has been around for awhile, it doesn't carry the brand recognition of other companies such as Canon or even Samsung.  Their monochrome printer products, however, are slowly gaining a foothold in the market because of their affordability and dependability.

Having purchased the Brother HL-2140 laser printer a year ago, I can confirm Brother's reputation as a solid device manufacturer.

There are many reasons why purchasing a laser printer is a better choice than getting an inkjet:

1. Low maintenance (compared to the clogging and regular cleaning inkets require)

2. Higher page yield - laser printers can go upwards of a thousand pages per toner and therefore has a lower cost overall without the fear of ink cartridges drying

3. High-quality monochrome printouts - inkjets would occasionally falter and produce banding or stained letters.  Monochrome laser printers produce consistent and professional outputs

4. Extremely fast and efficient output handling

As a printer junkie, I've owned 3 laser printers (1 Canon, 1 Samsung, and the Brother HL-2140) and 3 inkjet printers (1 Canon bubblejet, 1 Canon Pixma and an Epson) in the last decade or so.  In anecdotal experience, laser printers have lasted longer and more resilient to continuous use and abuse.

Admittedly, the previous laser printers I owned suffered from paper jams (Notably, the Canon model which I had to take to the service center to clean out the jammed bits of bond paper).  The Samsung's flimsy rails, on the other hand, suffered from mechanical problems and eventually had difficulty accepting paper.  The HL-2140 has not suffered any of these problems yet despite rigorous use.

Besides the benefits of laser printers outlined above, other exceptional qualities of the HL-2140 include the following:

1. Linux compatibility - Brother is one of the few hardware manufacturers that actually provide Linux drivers on their website.  (*I've successfully installed the HL-2140 on systems running openSUSE 11.x, Linux Mint 7-9 and Mandriva 2010)

2. Exceptional build quality - The Samsung I previously owned had a few flimsy parts including the manual feed slot, the output paper flap, and the paper tray which had trouble sliding back and forth

Monochrome laser printers have minimum features other than excellent paper handling capabilities because they are designed for only one function - and they do it very well.  Having a colour inkjet is handy for flashy documents, and they make a great second printer, but professionals and serious students working on text are better off with a monochrome laser printer like the Brother HL-2140 in the long run.


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