Buying guide for best brother printers
Although the company got its start making sewing machines, electronics manufacturer Brother has become one of the biggest names in printers, competing with long-established brands like HP, Epson, and Canon. Brother has made a niche for itself in the printer market with affordability and ease of use, so if you need a printer that can produce high-quality output without breaking the bank, Brother printers are the best place to start.
Read our shopping guide for our take on Brother printers – the features you should look for, the specifications that matter, and the “gotchas” to avoid – and you’ll be all set to find the model that’s perfect for you.
Brother ink printers vs. laser printers
The first decision to make when buying a Brother printer is whether you want one that prints with ink or one that prints with toner. Both have pluses and minuses.
Ink printers are more affordable than laser printers, and replacement ink is also less expensive than laser toner. Ink printers leave pages wet, which can lead to smearing before the ink dries, especially if you’re printing photos. If you do a lot of printing in color, or you don’t have a lot of money to spend, an ink printer is still a solid choice.
Laser printers are pricier but typically print faster and with less risk of print imperfections. Color laser printers are especially expensive, and so is the toner, so some laser printers have high ongoing costs. If you need a printer for daily use or don’t need a color printer, Brother has multiple laser models that are surprisingly affordable.
Brother printer specs that matter
Most printer manufacturers provide pages of statistics about each model, but when it comes down to it, there are three specifications that matter the most. When you’re comparing Brother printers, pay close attention to these key stats.
Dots per inch (dpi): This is a measurement of the resolution of an image or text that a printer can produce. For print work, a lower number (such as 200 dpi) is fine for readable text, but for images or photos, a higher number (such as 2,400 dpi) is recommended.
Pages per minute (ppm): This describes how quickly the printer can print. If you print a lot of long documents, this basically equates to how long you’ll be waiting, so it’s worthwhile paying attention to which models have faster ppm rates.
- Pages per ink or toner cartridge: This is an estimate of the number of pages you can expect to print out of a single ink or toner cartridge before you have to replace it. Ink and toner are both pretty expensive, so the higher the number the better.
"Near-field communication (NFC) is a wireless protocol for devices similar to Bluetooth. Bluetooth has a wide range but typically slow data-transfer speeds. In contrast, NFC has a very short range but can transfer information faster. NFC-enabled Android phones can send documents to print to a Brother printer that supports NFC in a matter of seconds without having to pair any devices."
Brother printer features to consider
Brother offers a wide array of printers, each with a different set of helpful features, but some are better than others. Here are the features we consider essential.
Wireless printing: What used to be a luxury has quickly become a bare essential. Brother printers with wireless printing let you send photos or documents directly from your iOS or Android smartphone to be printed immediately. If you spend more time on your phone than you do at your desktop computer, or if you move around your house with your laptop a lot, wireless printing is a crucial convenience.
Double-sided printing: We love saving trees, and double-sided printing is one of the best ways to do it. It also saves money on paper, which will make a big difference if you expect to print large documents on a regular basis.
Scanning and batch scanning: While some Brother printers are “all-in-ones,” meaning they print, scan, and fax, other models simply offer printing and scanning without a built-in fax machine. Having a scanner can be incredibly useful, especially if your work involves signing a lot of documents. Having a batch scanner means you can scan multiple pages in a single job – a huge time-saver over scanning documents one page at a time.
Brother printer prices
Brother’s printers are priced to compete with better-known brands – and offer outstanding value in just about any price range. You can expect to pay between $50 and $350 for a Brother printer, depending on features.
Inexpensive: Between $50 and $99, you’ll find Brother’s best black-and-white printers (sometimes referred to as “monochrome”). Models in this price range don’t sacrifice much besides color, so it’s definitely possible to find a Brother laser printer with things like wireless printing for less than $100.
Mid-range: Between $100 and $199, Brother sells models that include features that other brands charge a lot more for. In this price range, you’ll see robust multifunction machines: Brother’s printer/scanner/fax machines that have laser printing, duplex printing, and WiFi. If you need a printer that produces above-average prints and includes nearly all of the bells and whistles, many of Brother’s best values are in this range.
Expensive: Between $200 and $350, you’ll encounter Brother’s printers for small businesses. Printers in this price range are built like tanks and work well in bigger network environments with a variety of devices. If you need a printer that will easily handle printing more than 50 pages a day, you’ll need to look at Brother’s most expensive options.
Research how much replacement ink or toner costs for each model you’re considering. Most printer manufacturers aren’t really in the printer business. They’re in the ink business. If you find a printer with an unbelievably low price, look up the cost of ink or toner for that specific model and you may find that some “amazing” deals will cost more over the course of ownership than models that require a higher upfront investment.
Before installing any software or drivers for your Brother printer, make sure your computer even needs them. Many operating systems can treat Brother printers as “plug-and-play” printers. For years, computer owners have wrestled with installing printer drivers – the software that enables your computer to interact with the printer – on their computers. Manufacturer drivers and software can be useful, but nowadays most major operating systems (including Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux) include drivers for a wide variety of printers, so all you have to do is plug the printer in. Before you start fussing with third-party software, test to see what your operating system can do on its own.
- Don’t stock up on more than one extra ink or toner cartridge at a time. Both ink and toner dry out, so if you buy too much ahead of time and you don’t need it for a while, your spare ink could end up useless. If you print fewer than 50 pages per month, don’t keep more than one spare ink or toner cartridge.
Q. Will a Brother printer work with my Mac?
A. Yes. All Brother printers are compatible with Mac OS X, either through Brother’s included software or OS X’s built-in plug-and-play printer functionality.
Q. Which looks better: paper printed from an inkjet printer or paper printed from a laserjet?
A. It depends on the specific printers, but in general, laser printers produce clearer documents and are less prone to the smearing that can occur on pages printed with an inkjet. Print clarity is measured in dots per inch (dpi), so if you’re trying to compare two printers to determine which will produce the better output, the model with the higher dpi is likely to be much sharper.
Q. Will photos look OK if I print them with a laser printer?
A. Yes! Although color laser printers are among the most expensive printers available, when it comes to printing photographs, they can produce some of the best prints available (although inkjets with multiple-color inks do a very good job as well). Just be careful when you’re looking at laser printers. In order for photographs to look good, the printer needs to have a high dpi rating. For color photographs, we recommend a model with at least 2,400 dpi.
The 3 Best Brother Printers of 2021 Reviews
The best Brother laser printer for black and white printing that we've tested is the Brother HL-L2370DW. It's a simple, easy-to-use printer-only unit that feels very well-built and gives easy access to the toner cartridge and potential paper jams. It yields a superb number of black pages before the toner needs refilling, and the cost-per-print is remarkably low. Also, the printing speed for black text documents is incredible. Although it doesn't support Bluetooth, the connectivity options are great, like an Ethernet port, Wi-Fi, Apple AirPrint, and Mopria Print Service. The Brother iPrint&Scan companion app is fantastic and lets you print all the most common printable file types, check the toner level, and order new toner online.
Unfortunately, because it lacks a scanner, you won't be able to digitize old photos or scan and fax reports, so if you need to scan and want a printer with similar performance, check out the Brother MFC-L2750DW. Being a monochrome laser printer, it's terrible for printing photos, and you can't print on glossy photo paper. Also, because the drum unit is separate from the toner, it costs extra to replace it. That said, it's amazing for black-and-white printing, and it's also among the best laser printers we've tested.
See our reviewSours: https://www.rtings.com/printer/reviews/brother
Best Brother printers 2021: top picks from the big-name brand
Choosing the best Brother printer for your needs isn’t going to be easy because there are so many models out there, due to their popularity. Brother is one of the most respected names in printers, and it has a massive inventory encompassing all budgets and needs. This makes the task a bit difficult.
Still, the best Brother printers are worth the effort as they are some of the most brilliant printers on the market. These are some of the most reliable printing solutions out there for personal and business use, being sturdy and well-built while delivering high yields and keeping things affordable.
From some of the best all-in-one printers to the best inkjet printers and best laser printers, we rounded up the best Brothers printers out there. If you're after the best printer, it's likely that Brother will have a device for you, so read on for our picks. Alongside our price comparison too, this guide will help you find the most ideal one for your needs.
Best Brother printers at a glance
- Brother DCP-J1100W All-In-Box
- Brother MFC-J5330DW
- Brother HL-L5100DN
- Brother MFC-J5945DW
- Brother HL-L2350DW
- Brother MFC-J6530
- Brother HL-L3230CDW
- Brother MFC-J6947DW
- Brother MFC-L9570CDW
- Brother MFC-L3750CDW
1. Brother DCP-J1100W All-In-Box printer
Get three-years of ink and service with this unique inkjet bundle
Category: colour 3-in-1 inkjet printer
Print speed: 12ppm
Paper sizes: A4
Paper capacity: 150
Reasons to buy
+3yrs of ink included +Touchscreen interface
Reasons to avoid
-High initial cost -Slow to print
This is the first inkjet printer to be sold with three years-worth of ink and service included in the price and it represents great value for money. The printer itself is a capable three-in-one device that can print, scan and copy at a fairly high resolution and turn out crisp and colourful duplex pages at a reasonable rate. It’s not as fast as some of Brother’s other business-oriented printers, but the inclusion of four very high-yield ink cartridges make this the most economical of all the cartridge-based inkjets available. It comes with Wi-Fi Direct connectivity and a colour touchscreen interface for easy operation.
Read the full review: Brother DCP-J1100W All-In-Box
2. Brother MFC-J5330DW printer
A feature-packed MFD with A3 capability
Print speed: 22ppm
Paper sizes: up to A3
Paper capacity: 300 sheets
Reasons to buy
+Compact A3 printing+Vivid colour prints
Reasons to avoid
-Some photos take ages to print -Couldn’t update firmware via Wi-Fi
Given its ability to print on A3 paper, this is a surprisingly compact multifunction device, that will happily share a desk with your PC. It prints clearly in monochrome, while colour photos look quite vibrant on photo paper. The touchscreen is rather small and it’s not the fastest duplex printer around, but it hits a near perfect balance balance between quality, performance and features.
Read the full review:Brother MFC-J5330DW
This little grey box can really churn out the pages and despite the size, it will hold a lot of paper too. This makes it ideal for the small office with a high demand for black and white documents. The quality is consistent and the per page print cost is attractive. It’s light on features with no Wi-Fi or a front USB port, but what it does, it does very well.
4. Brother MFC-J5945DW printer
Laser busting inkjet crams in the features
Category: 4-in-1 colour laser MFD
Print speed: 22ppm
Paper capacity: 500 sheets
Paper size: up to A3
Reasons to buy
+A3 capability +High paper capacity
Reasons to avoid
-Inconsistent prints -Less economical than laser
This big Brother blurs the line between home printer and office printer by combining the fast print speed and high capacity of a laser machine with the superior photo finish of an inkjet. We would recommend it for both applications because although it is smaller than the laser equivalent MFC-L8690CDW, the inkjet MFC-J5945DW can handle A3 paper. There’s really nothing that this fully featured 4-in-1 can’t do and it carries out all tasks satisfactorily.
Read the full review:Brother MFC-J5945DW
5. Brother HL-L2350DW printer
Cheap and fast
Print speed: 32ppm
Paper sizes: Up to A4
Paper capacity: 250 sheets
Size: 13.27 x 8.66 x 7.01in
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Latest printer brother
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