High-speed storage for hi-res photos and videos on the go!
Brother International (Aust) HL-2040
- Small size, fast
- Not great graphics prints
If your quantity and quality needs are modest, the Brother HL-2040's sticker price will make it at home on your desk.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
The Brother HL-2040 laser printer would fit comfortably in an office that's tight on space and on budget. Its footprint is slightly larger than that of similarly priced models, but it looks more like a scaled-down professional laser printer than a souped-up personal printer. For instance, a proper paper drawer built into the base of the printer can hold up to 250 sheets of paper.
A manual bypass slot lets you print on different paper, such as letterhead or legal-size sheets, or on thicker media, such as envelopes (which you can't load into the main paper drawer). This approach is fine for occasional use, but it does require you to feed items one at a time, so printing a thousand envelopes for a mass mailing wouldn't be fun. If you expect your print demands to grow over time, bear in mind that the HL-2040 lacks any upgrade options for additional paper trays or double-sided printing.
Heavy users need to be wary of the HL-2040's consumables costs, too. Its toner cartridges may seem reasonably priced, but they yield only 2500 pages (according to Brother's estimates). A larger sibling (the Brother HL-2070N) includes built-in Ethernet that would be useful for a small office, and costs only a little more; but both models use the same expensive consumables.
The HL-2040's control panel has a ready light, three warning LEDs and a single Go button for operations such as waking the printer from sleep mode, clearing an error condition or cancelling the current print job. This range of options may seem simple, but the software driver gives you all the control you need from your PC. Like other low-cost printers that depend on Windows for processing, this one leaves the rendering of your pages to Windows, but it still achieved very good performance scores in our tests. It printed text pages at a speedy 16.6 pages per minute, and its output rate of 10.1ppm for graphics is above average for a small-office printer, too.
At its default settings, the HL-2040's text quality is perfectly adequate for everyday use. In our tests, I saw some fuzziness in the finest characters and jagged edges on diagonals, but closely spaced bold characters (which challenge so many lasers) remained separate. Line art was too grainy for my liking, and a greyscale image suffered from a blown-out appearance, in which dark areas became too dark and highlights washed out completely.
The HL-2040's printed Quick Setup Guide isn't colourful, but it explains the installation process efficiently. The chart on the front cover guides you through the options, but you'll need to ignore choices that apply only to other Brother printers in the same price range. A full User's Guide is included in PDF format on the software CD-ROM.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 ASUS TUF FX505 (Ryzen 7) review: Tolerable trade-offs
- 2 Oppo A5Xs review: Cutting corners
- 3 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 4 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 5 Xiro Drone Xplorer V by Rapoo review
Latest News Articles
- Brother pitch themselves at SMBs with new 'Inkvestment' options
- Canon unveils its latest range of Pixma Inkjet printers and CanoScan scanner series
- Epson Launches First Double-Sided A3+ 4-In-1 Inkjet EcoTank Printer
- Epson launches new Expression Premium Photo Range
- Epson Australia Unveils New Expression Home Range of Printers
PCW Evaluation Team
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
- Huawei P40 Pro review: Breaking Point
- Dell XPS 13 (2020) review: A deft upgrade that doesn't break what doesn't need fixing
- How Australia's Telcos and ISPs are reacting to increased coronavirus connectivity demands
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies