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I'm a lazy printer person, which means that I don't like having too many printer consumables or having to constantly replace paper in the tray and so on. When my last commercial inkjet printer died (it was a gifted freebie, hence the use of inkjet) I decided to research and purchase a top-notch budget black and white printer that would compliment my home office for the next ten years, with minimal consumables and a great price.
After reading about inkjet vs laser, I decided to opt for laser as the impressions per consumable is dramatically improved (value for money). The Brother HL-2140 stood out in terms of affordability, reliability and minimal upkeep.
Printing up to 22 pages a minute, the Brother HL-2140 is a bulky, but excellent budget home printer. It has a 250 sheet paper capacity, eliminating the need to keep constantly putting paper in and the manual slot allows the printer to take on labels, envelopes and cardboard with ease. It also seems to detect the use of the manual tray automatically so you won't get accidental printouts on paper when you intended it for the manual tray.
Consumables necessary to run the machine are very few - a large toner cartridge which costs around 9-18 pounds/AU$15-$30 (depending on where you shop) will keep you in business for many impressions. I purchased 2 extra toner cartridges as it saves me having to go and hunt for them when I'm ready to replace them. It's been a year since I bought the printer and I'm still using the original cartridge though. Look out for deals where they throw a cartridge in for free as well as a 12 month warranty.
The printer has a resolution of 1200dpi which is of an adequate commercial print standard for black and white photos - however the manufacturer recommends using the 1200dpi to improve your small fonts instead as the Brother HL-2140 is meant to be a great text printer, not a photo printer. Other features include 8MB memory and USB 2.0.
The controls and buttons on the printer are very very simple - if there's anything wrong, a big button flashes red. All you need to do is check the paper, check the file isn't too big and turn it off/on again. Luckily, turning it off doesn't result in losing the print job unless you leave it off for a few minutes.
The price of the Brother HL-2140 is very reasonable. I paid about 49 pounds/AU$80, (inc cartridge and warranty) which is very cheap. I have owned the printer for a year and had absolutely no trouble with it and highly recommend it for a home office which prints 20-100 pages per week (but not entire novels per week!)
The Brother HL-2140 is one of those rare products that offers amazing value for money as it is a quality product going cheap. I highly recommend it above other mono laser printers.
I bought this printer for use in my workplace. To be honest i deem it to be a little more expensive that its closest competitors with a similar HP (unknown name) coming in at about £15 cheaper, which was later revealed by the IT department whilst installing it.
The printer itself is quite reliable and has never put a foot wrong with prinitng quality or faliure itself. Being completely on display in a classroom it takes a fair bit of tamerping from the children and has not been ruined or broken. The speed is sufficient for the needs of a small office/ workspace.
It is quite a bulky printer but clearly well made. Only the front pannel is a little flimst and feels quite delicate (under the Brother logo).
The ink cartidges are quite cheap being about £20 compared to a similar but older Xerox model we have in which they are £75.
Basically its a printer and it prints. No thrills but it does the job