Basic Monochrome Laser
I have to state right from the start that I was surprised at the arrival of the Brother HL-1110 printer for review. It was not the model I was expecting and had requested following my recent briefing with Brother. Plus this model arrived in a plain brown box rather than the usual blue and white Brother box. But maybe Brother is taking the opportunity to offer me the chance to compare a competitive product to the Samsung M2022W which I reviewed recently.
In appearances there is definitely some similarities as both devices adopt a basic box shape with a computer grey and black top colour scheme. The Brother unit is slightly larger with dimensions of 340 x 238 x 189mm (W x D x H) in its closed-up state which then expands to 340 x 360 x 235mm (W x D x H) once the front mounted paper tray, with its capacity of 150 sheets, is lowered and the top positioned paper output flap is extended.
One immediate important difference between the Samsung and Brother models is with regards to the connectivity options available. With the Samsung unit you have a choice of wireless or USB while the Brother unit restricts the user to just using a USB linkage to the computer. That limitation apart, setting up the Brother HL-1110 is both straightforward and quick once you have removed the three strips of restraining tape. The supplied toner cartridge slots into the inside of the printer with access being gained by raising the top of the unit.
Both the power connection socket and USB port are located at the rear of the unit which means that you will need a little extra space at the rear to accommodate these connections. Controls for this printer are located at the front of the unit on the right side. This area is referred to as a Control Panel which does seem rather grand for an area that consists of a single button and two LED lights. The button can be used to turn on or off the printer plus carry out tasks such as cancel, error recovery and form feed. The two LED lights provide various error and ready conditions depending upon the colour displays and flashing sequence.
A wizard on the supplied CD leads you through the process of installing the necessary print driver and setting up the USB connection between the printer and host computer. Also included on the CD is the printer’s User Guide in PDF format and some tools that might prove useful. According to the User Guide, the printer automatically goes into sleep mode after a period of inactivity. It will then be woken up when it receives notification of an incoming print job. Unfortunately this did not happen with the review unit and I would have to turn on the printer manually.
The print driver supplied with this product offers the user a three-tabbed interface covering various settings. The basic tab deals with the three levels of print quality. Your choices are Draft, Normal and Fine. Other settings include selecting the paper size and type with a choice of Graphics, Text or Manual print settings. There is also an option to print up to 25 pages on a single sheet of paper. You would really need excellent eyesight to make use of this feature.
Switching to the Advanced tab, there are options to scale the size of the document plus add a watermark, header and footer, and select the eco print mode. The third tab contains various pre-set print jobs that include Paper save, Toner save, 2-sided and booklet printing. You can add your own types of print jobs to the list.
Using a 589-word document, I ran print tests using the Draft, Normal and Fine settings. In Draft mode I achieved 20.5ppm while both Normal and Fine modes produced 20ppm. Close examination was required to detect the different between these modes. While Fine mode was definitely darker with the text, I would still be happy to use any of them for most tasks. With a two-page document, printed side-by-side on a single sheet of paper, I was also able to get 20ppm (opting for just Normal print mode). Switch to a large monochrome image, the print speed drop slightly to 19pmm. It was noticeable that the paper felt warm to the touch after each of these print runs.
As mentioned earlier, this is a basic monochrome laser printer. Apart from the various print options, it does not possess any additional features such as a Cloud printing facility. Brother has priced this compact unit at £66.00 with replacement toner cartridges, rated at 1000 pages, costing £41.99. However a quick check of Amazon.co.uk revealed the printer listed at £55.90 and the toner cartridge at £29.44.
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