The last Brother printer we’d reviewed was a multifunction printer, so we’ve decided to review a single function model, this time, out. The object of our affection today will be the Brother HLL8350CDW colour laser printer. This is a device that is most suited to micro or small offices that project high volume printing in their future. The HLL8350CDW is actually quite a good device but, at the same time, we should add that it isn’t exceptional.
The strengths of the Brother HLL8350CDW, as you must’ve figured out by now, revolve around high volume printing but they don’t really stand out. Just like nothing stands out about this printer on the positive end, nothing stands out on the negative end either. Most of the flaws of this printer would most probably be of no consequence to you unless you have some specific requirements. Essentially, this is a no-frills colour laser printer designed to deliver high volumes of printed documents. Here’s a more detailed review of the Brother HLL8350CDW.
Strengths of Brother HLL8350CDW
If there was to be one thing that we were allowed to mention about the Brother HLL8350CDW, then we would hone in on its speed so fast that you’ll only see a blur. This is a fast printer. It is rated at 30 pages per minute for both colour and monochrome documents. Critically and for the most part, the Brother HLL8350CDW actually delivers on this promised speed in practice. This is faster than most other printers that are currently available in the market and fall in the same segment. The speed of the Brother HLL8350CDW is also important because the speed of a printer has a big say in the volume of pages it can process along with other facets such as paper capacity and duty cycle.
These other two elements also support this printer’s high volume personality. This printer’s total possible paper capacity is 800 sheets. This is higher than most of its competing printing devices. The standard configuration of the Brother HLL8350CDW has a paper capacity of 300 sheets divided between the 250-sheet paper tray and the 50-sheet multipurpose tray. An additional 500-sheet paper tray, though, is available as an option. With respect to the monthly duty cycle, this printer is rated at a maximum of 4,000 pages per month and a minimum of 750 sheets per month.
Like most modern day laser printers, the Brother HLL8350CDW comes standard with the auto duplexing facility. This is a boon since it saves money through reduced paper and power consumption. The default setting in this printer is simplex printing, so you’ll have to activate duplex printing to avail it. The speed, as is obvious, goes down when you do this. With duplexing on, this printer spits out about 7 ppm.
Weaknesses of Brother HLL8350CDW
Writing about the flaws of the Brother HLL8350CDW almost makes us feel like we’re nit-picking. It’s not that there aren’t any flaws but the fact that whatever flaws there are, are fairly minor in nature. For instance, the HLL8350CDW doesn’t support Linux at all and this is something that can be a deal breaker for people who use open source or even believe in the principles behind open source software programmes.
Another, similarly minor, flaw of the Brother HLL8350CDW is that it doesn’t give users the option of using a touchscreen. The control panel of this printer is dominated by a 2-lines, 16-characters LCD screen. The LCD screen is accompanied by a few buttons that are on the smaller side of the acceptable scale. Furthermore, the LCD screen doesn’t tilt. All this combines to make control panel use tedious and even annoying because you have to use small buttons to go through elaborate menus while bending over the LCD screen. The Brother HLL8350CDW is also set up to refuse commands from users when one of its cartridges runs out.
This means that if the black cartridge runs out and you have all colours full, the printer will demand that you install a new black cartridge before it will deign to print anything, regardless of whether your document needs black ink or not. What is worse, however, is that the printer does this even when one of the colour cartridges runs out. This can be incredibly annoying especially if you just need a monochrome, plain text document. Finally, it is worth mentioning that this colour laser printer is much louder than its competitors. While this isn’t a big issue, it could be another little aspect of this printer that could be irksome to some users.
Key Features of Brother HLL8350CDW
The graphics of the Brother HLL8350CDW colour laser printer follow its established theme i.e. they are neither smashing nor worth trashing. When it comes to printing text and typography, this printer falls in the acceptable range of its class. This means that you can use text printed from this printer for virtually anything with the exception of desktop publishing. The same stands true for graphics and photo quality – acceptable but not exceptional. Officially, this printer is rated to produce a maximum print resolution of 2400 x 600 dots per inch (dpi). In theory and practice both, the Brother HLL8350CDW has better output quality than its lesser brother, the Brother HLL8250CDN colour laser printer.
In terms of dimensions, the Brother HLL8350CDW is fairly compact coming in with a width of 410mm, depth of 486mm, and height of 313mm. This device doesn’t weigh too much either at 15.8 Kg. From the perspective of connectivity options, the Brother HLL8350CDW does quite well. It offers Wi-Fi Direct functionality and mobile printing compatibility including AirPrint and other similar services. Moreover, the device will also allow you to print directly from a USB flash drive which can be put in a port conveniently located at the front of the printer.
The total cost of ownership of the Brother HLL8350CDW again falls in the average category. If you prefer to use genuine cartridges, then you should be prepared to pay around 23 cents for every printed page. On the other hand, if you don’t have any qualms using generic printer cartridges, then you can save a pretty penny by getting every page for only 17 cents. Since the quality is the same either ways, why would you want to pay more?
Most people don’t worry about the internal memory of their printers. However, if you’re not one of those people, then you’ll want to know the memory capacity of the Brother HLL8350CDW. In its standard configuration, this printer comes with 128MB of internal memory but you will have the chance to boost that with the optional 256MB add-on. Thus, you can have a maximum internal memory of 384MB.