The Brother HL-L9200CDW is a device that is a part of Brother’s Business Colour Laser printer series. It was launched along with other great Brother devices such as MFC-L9550CDW, MFC-L8850CDW, MFC-L8600CDW, HL-L8350CDW, and HL-L8250CDN. We’ve reviewed all other printers in this series but two – one we’re reviewing right now and the other we will get to later.
The HL-L9200CDW is a single function colour laser A4 printer that is all about practicality. It is designed for offices that have medium to high volume printing needs. Offices that need more functions such as scanning, copying, and faxing will need to look at the multifunction devices in the same series. As our title suggests, there is very little wrong with the Brother HL-L9200CDW. It is a very accomplished printer that does exactly what is advertised on the can. Here’s our review.
Strengths of Brother HL-L9200CDW
There is a lot that the Brother HL-L9200CDW has right. This is precisely why it is so popular amongst businesses that have high volume printing needs. In fact, the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) has come up trumps with every core value that a colour laser printer should have with the Brother HL-L9200CDW.
First and foremost, let’s talk about printing capacity. Printing capacity depends on two things – paper handling capacity and print speed. The HL-L9200CDW performs excellently in one and commendably in the other. With the standard variant of this device, you’ll get a total paper handling capacity of 300 sheets split between a 250-sheet main paper tray and a 50-sheet multipurpose tray.
However, you’ll have the option of pushing this capacity to 800 sheets by the addition of the 500-sheet optional paper tray. Keep in mind, though, the addition of said tray will have a significant impact on this device’s dimensions and weight. Incidentally, there’s a trim available that has the optional tray as standard. You’ll find this model designated as the Brother HL-L9200CDWT.
In terms of print speed, the Brother HL-L9200CDW is on par with most of its competitors. It is formally rated to print at a speed of up to 30 pages per minute (ppm), irrespective of whether you print in colour or not. Monthly duty cycle of a printer can also have an impact on how much volume it can handle, even though the impact is minor. Regardless, the Brother HL-L9200CDW offers a good maximum monthly duty cycle of 5,000 sheets. The minimum monthly duty cycle recommended by the OEM is 1,000 sheets.
Connectivity is something that offices with heavy print volume requirements almost always need as a supplementary feature. After all, with high volume printing needs, it is obvious that multiple users will need to be connected to the device at the same time. This means advanced connectivity options. The Brother HL-L9200CDW offers some excellent connectivity options. You can connect to this device through three channels – USB 2.0, Ethernet, and wirelessly.
For multiple users, nothing is better than wireless connectivity. When it comes to wireless connectivity, it is also worth pointing out that the Brother HL-L9200CDW supports Wi-Fi Direct i.e. direct connections between mobile devices and the printer. In terms of mobile platforms, the HL-L9200CDW supports everything under the sun including Air Print, Google Cloud Print, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, Sky Drive, Mopria, and a slew of Brother apps.
Having connectivity and high volume printing options both is well and good but print quality is also important. The Brother HL-L9200CDW doesn’t disappoint in this category either, which is a surprise considering that it is a laser-class printer. Text documents printed by this device will display dark black characters that are clear and crisp while colour prints will show the kind of vibrancy that is quite rare in laser printers. The real shocker, though, was the photo printing quality. While this device comes nowhere close to dedicated photo printers, it still does a good job printing images when compared to its competitors.
With a device in this market segment, you expect features like automatic duplexing. Since the Brother HL-L9200CDW has done virtually everything right, you’ll be glad to know that you’ll be able to automatically print double-sided with this device. You will have to compromise on the speed, however. Automatic duplexing brings down the speed to 12 ppm.
Weaknesses of Brother HL-L9200CDW
There isn’t a lot wrong with the Brother HL-L9200CDW, so we’ll admit that we’re grasping at straws here. The OEM could’ve done better with the pricing mechanics of this device. Even though the HL-L9200CDW is neither too costly to buy nor too expensive to run, it’s also not the cheapest in the market segment. If we had better weaknesses, we would probably be neutral about the pricing.
You’ll be able to get the Brother HL-L9200CDW anything around $480 in the open market which is smack in the middle of the acceptable segment. The problem is that, at Inkjet Wholesale, we’re offering this device for only $465. This brings the Brother HL-L9200CDW closer to the lower end of the benchmarked spectrum of pricing in the market.
A minor flaw could be that the OEM has built this device to accept only one size of cartridges – super high yield toner cartridges. These “super high yield toner cartridges” have a total yield of 6,000 sheets at the internationally accepted standard of 5% coverage. Despite this, the operating costs of the Brother HL-L9200CDW are not the best in the market. Again, they aren’t the highest but they aren’t the lowest either. They do vary on the basis of where you source your cartridges, though.
For example, when you use genuine or OEM cartridges, you can expect to pay around 11.79 cents for every page printed. This makes the HL-L9200CDW slightly expensive. On the other hand, if you use generic or compatible cartridges with the Brother HL-L9200CDW, you can bring down this cost to as low as 9.4 cents per page. This cost makes this printer a very good purchase for businesses. What you do need to ensure, though, is that you buy your generic cartridges only from a reliable place like Inkjet Wholesale.
The other flaw and this one is the only real flaw of this device, is that it is extremely big, cumbersome, and heavy. In other words, the device is not only heavy but also very large. In its standard variant, it will measure about 410mm in width, 486mm in depth, and 313mm in height but if you go for the optional paper tray, you will see these dimensions go up to 410mm x 495mm x 445mm. The same story holds true for its weight which is 15.9 Kg for the standard variant and 30 Kg for the upgraded variant.
The build of this device is also fairly sturdy and durable, except for the retractable multipurpose tray, which feels flimsy. The appearance of the Brother HL-L9200CDW, however, is extremely neutral, which is just another way of saying dull. The light grey plastic of this device may be inoffensive but it is also uninspired. Then again, why would you need hippy colours in your office?
Key Features of Brother HL-L9200CDW
The Brother HL-L9200CDW comes with an inbuilt RAM of 128 MB. Like paper capacity, you can have this expanded to 384 MB by opting in for the additional 256 MB. This RAM combined with the processor in this device means that it can generate the first print at under 15 seconds from the ‘Ready’ mode and under 35 seconds from the ‘Sleep’ mode. These first print times are independent of whether you’re printing in colour or monochrome.
The OEM has also paid attention to convenience and usability with the Brother HL-L9200CDW. It comes with a tilting LCD colour touchscreen spanning 4.5 cm. Under this screen, and quite well hidden, are navigation buttons that only come alive with backlighting. Other buttons on the device’s control panel are ‘Power’ and ‘WPS’. On the front side of the device, you’ll also find a USB port that can accept flash drives containing photos or documents that have to be printed.
The Brother HL-L9200CDW comes with the OEM’s proprietary BRAdmin Professional 3 management software. This software suite, while only functional for Windows Operating Systems, allows printer owners to restrict access to individual printer functions for specific users, setting page limits for specific users, and even setting passwords where necessary.