REVIEW: Brother HL-4070CDW Color Laser Printer

Wireless!Like Tris Hussey, I received a comic from Darren Barefoot back in November with an offer to review a new Brother color laser printer. Unlike Tris, I am really late with my review! In any case, I jumped at the chance and have had the printer for a couple months now.

There were a few options to choose from (all part of the new color laser lineup) but it was an easy decision for me – the Brother HL-4070CDW has wireless connectivity! So that’s the one I received.

My first impression was "wow, where the heck am I going to put that?" The printer is gigantic, as is the box it came in. We’re talking 75 pounds of printer. It was immediately clear that this is a business printer, not a consumer one. It has been sitting on my kitchen table ever since. But because it’s wireless, I have been using it!

Setup took me quite a while, but it was no fault of the printer. I didn’t have a network cable long enough to go from the kitchen table to the router, nor did I have long enough USB or parallel cables (isn’t that odd, that a fancy new printer with wireless still has a parallel port? because it’s for "business" I guess). And while I have the popular Linksys WRT54G Wireless-G router, it’s one of the earliest revisions, so it doesn’t have the "SecureEasySetup" feature. That left me with some complicated wireless notebook setup routine, or entering the details manually via the LCD and buttons on the printer itself. I opted for the latter, and eventually got it working. I think an improvement would be some sort of USB-key support, where the installer on my computer would copy something to a USB-key that I could plug into the printer for setup.

LCD Information Panel The Printer The gigantic box it came in Parallel ports? Seriously?

I despise installing printer software, but the setup for this printer was pretty painless actually. No problems, and it didn’t install a bunch of unwanted crap. I think I’ve had a few too many horrible experiences with HP software, and that has left a bad taste. Fortunately Brother decided to keep it simple.

Oh yeah I had to stick in the toner cartridges too, but that was really easy. New printers these days are pretty idiot-proof with the labels and tape that must be removed, and the cartridges themselves clicked nicely into place. They sent me the standard yield cartridges which can print 2500 black and white copies, and 1500 color. The high yield cartridges bump that up to 5000 black and white, 4000 color.

Inside the front Now for the actual printing! Bottom line – the quality is superb. The color pages I have printed look wonderful, with really sharp, bright colors. The black and white pages are good too, nice and crisp. My main complaint applies to all laser printers – I hate how the pages are curved! Because of the heat used during the printing, the pages don’t really lie flat, they curve with the shape of the printer. Not a deal-breaker, but you don’t have that problem with an inkjet. I didn’t do an official timing, but printing black and white pages full of text seems pretty close to the advertised 21 pages per minute.

I’ve used laser printers before, and there’s one problem I’ve always had – paper jams! That’s all I can remember about the laser printers of the past. Fortunately, I haven’t had any paper jams with this printer. I have even stuck thick paper (like the greeting card quality) on top of normal paper in the tray without any problems.

How about the wireless? No surprise here – I absolutely love the ability to print wirelessly! It’s just so useful. Whenever I can cut a cord I will. It gives you more flexibility about where you can put the printer too. The printer has a sleep mode, which it goes into after a period of inactivity, but it wakes up when I send a job, even wirelessly (which I guess is obvious, but still seemed somewhat surprising for some reason).

As I said, this printer isn’t meant for the home user. It’s big, heavy, and expensive (MSRP $629.99 CDN). That said, it’s a wonderful printer for business users. Cartridges cost about $85 for standard yield, and $160 for high yield. That’s probably quite a bit more cost-effective than an inkjet. Business users who need to take advantage of the wireless capabilities should especially check this printer out. If I was doing a lot of color printing in an office setting, the Brother HL-4070CDW would definitely be on my list of printers to consider.

8 thoughts on “REVIEW: Brother HL-4070CDW Color Laser Printer

  1. Questions re this printer-Brother HL4070CDW
    How is it for envelopes – that is an issue with me – not a lot at a time but an issue non the less. Do you have to change the tray to accomodate them? Do they jam? How many can you do at a time?
    I think I’m going with this printer but I need to know about the envelopes.
    Thanks-you were a big help!

  2. That’s a really good question! I decided to try it out today, and I can tell you that it works excellently! I used Microsoft Publisher 2007.

    All I had to do was open the multipurpose (MP) tray, and stick in some envelopes. You can’t do too many at a time, I think 3 is the limit. Hasn’t jammed on me yet!

  3. This printer has been great. Nice to just punch print two sided out of Publisher and have it just feed the puppy right back in and come out like it is supposed to without any add on accessories. I was surprised how fast the yellow cartridge is empty, but I’m a realtor and ought not be surprised as I probably ran through more color copies than I realized before it is time. Going for the high yield cartridge; which hard to find just the toner refill. At last not too worried with high yield cartridge plus I can keep in place their warrant. That reminds me, the first one I bought did not work on start-up. But the service depatment was going to come out. Upon furhter notice that they hadn’t come out, the manager wanted to just get me back up and running so immediately shipped out another new one and I returned the other one in that box. That was good service I thought. The crisp of laser is overall great. Some gradient marbling with big green banners for mine, but it actually doesn’t distort lines, just marble, which actually looks fine. Pictures are clear and nice. I have found a replacement cartridge high yied yellow for $80 to work 4000 copies this time instead of 1500. All in all, I think I will be happy over and above stupid ink-jets I was fiddling with.

  4. We just set up our new Brother 4070CDW yesterday and for some reason the print quality isn’t as sharp as the sample it puts out. What can we do to get better (darker) print on our machine?

  5. This might be a strange query, however I am a vegetarian, and I’m trying to find printer toner which don’t have some animal suffering. I gather that many compatible toner cartridges contain perhaps ingredients which are tried out with animals, or are manufactured with animal stuff. Does anyone know of toner brands which are completely artificial?

  6. A bit outdated, but still a pretty decent printer for it’s time. Also the good thing is that Brother provides free lifetime tech support on their machines.

    For toner you may want to check out the following company for reasonable prices. They offer a 6 month warranty on all their compatible cartridges and also provide live US based telephone tech support for 6 months from the date of purchase.

  7. Brother HL-4070CDW  is color laser printer. So it useful to take color prints. It’s main advantage is that  It has wireless connectivity. If you have wireless connectivity in PC then you can connect this printer to PC without wire.

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