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Brother HL-2270DW review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £147
inc VAT

We can't fully recommend it based on the consumable prices we've seen. However, if they drop significantly, we could well be upgrading it to an award.


mono laser, 26ppm print speed, USB Hi-Speed, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n, 183x368x360mm

Brother claims that the HL-2270DW is the world’s most compact duplex (two-sided) laser printer, and we certainly can’t name a smaller one. As the top model in Brother’s new small laser range, which replaces the similarly diminutive HL-2100 series, it can also connect to a wired or wireless network. It arrives with a standard 1,200-page toner cartridge; other models in the range have smaller starter cartridges.

Made from hard, dark plastics, the HL-2270DW shouldn’t stand out either at home or in an office, but it won’t draw admiring glances. The two shades of dark grey used don’t quite match, with an inset output tray in black plastic, at the front of which is a small step to stop printed sheets from floating off. At least the flip down manual feed slot, finished in gloss black, lends a little class.

The manual feed slot lets you add envelopes or other special media one at a time. Selecting the envelope paper type in the driver switches the printer to a straight paper path that helps ensure they emerge without significant creases or curling. It’s a sensible approach, but you do need to release the back cover to use it, meaning that the printer can’t be positioned right up against a wall. For standard prints, there’s a 250-sheet paper tray.

It’s quick and easy to setup, but although the toner and drum are shipped in place, you need to pull them out and give them a quick shake before use. With no display, you might expect trouble getting the printer onto a wireless network, but you can either use Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) or let Brother’s installer help you. The latter configures the printer over either a temporary USB connection.

Brother HL-2270DW controls

The HL-2270DW’s speed is impressive. The first sheet of a typical job appeared in less than 11 seconds, with others joining it at just under 23ppm. In duplex mode this dropped to 11 duplex pages a minute. Brother’s driver opens with a simple Print Profiles tab that lets you quickly choose settings for common jobs, such as ‘Toner save print’ or ‘two-sided (duplex) print’. More specific settings live on the Basic tab, with the Advanced tab giving further control. The default results contain strong black text and well-detailed, crisp business graphics with well-controlled shading. Photographs were also good by the standards of mono lasers, with almost no banding.

With the printer just released, we could only calculate running costs using the recommended price of the new 2,600-page high yield toner. Based on this, each page costs a steep 2.7p even if you don’t need to replace the 12,000-page drum, and accordingly we can’t fully recommend the HL-2270DW, despite its many strengths. However, we’d expect prices to fall as supplies become available, in which case it will become a good choice for sharing in the home or a micro business.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Maximum native print resolution 2,400x600dpi
Maximum enhanced print resolution 2,400x600dpi

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A4 26ppm
Quoted warm-up time 7s
Quoted time to first page, mono 9s

Tested Speeds

Letter, time to first page 1.0 11s
25-page mono document – total time 00:01:06
Time for 24 pages mixed greyscale 1.0 1m 6s
Time for two greyscale 10x8in photos 1.1 40s
Time for six greyscale 6x4in photos 1.0 44s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfaces USB Hi-Speed, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n
Optional printer interfaces None
Size 183x368x360mm
Weight 7.0kg
Noise (in normal use) 53dB(A)

Paper Handling

Maximum paper size A4/legal
Maximum paper weight 163gsm
Standard paper inputs 2
Standard paper input capacity 251
Maximum paper inputs 2
Maximum paper input capacity 251
Output tray capacity 100 sheets
Duplex (code, cost if option) Yes


Printer technology mono laser
Language(s) PCL6
Supported operating systems Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7, Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later, Linux versions
Standard printer memory 32MB
Maximum printer memory 32MB
Other laser features and options None

Buying Information

Price £147
Price of 2nd paper cassette N/A
Capacity of supplied black toner 1,200 pages
Capacity of supplied drum(s) 12,000 pages
Warranty one year

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two greyscale 10x8in photos 1.1 40s
Time for six greyscale 6x4in photos 1.0 44s