Brother HL-5370DW Workgroup Laser Printer Reviews

Brother HL-5370DW Workgroup Laser Printer

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Brother HL-5370DW Laser Printer: A Great Printer for Productivity

Sep 16, 2009
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Paper Handling:

Pros:Print quality, print speed, connection and networking options, easy set up

Cons:Does not support wireless N

The Bottom Line:

This is an excellent workhorse of a printer for anyone with only text printing needs. It’s fast, easy to use, and has enough features for any home or small business.


My husband and I rarely used our last two printers. When we first met, my husband had an old inkjet in his apartment. We rearranged the computer room a few times and eventually took the printer away since we printed so infrequently. We found no need for a printer for several years, until a do-it-yourself wedding project turned out to be more complicated than we anticipated. We had problems trying to print on metallic paper using my mother's home printer. In an attempt to find a solution, my husband and I purchased an all-in-one inkjet printer. The printer didn't further our progress on the project, and it was rarely used for the next year.

In May, I began taking several online classes and found I preferred to print my lessons and highlight the most pertinent points. Since inkjet ink smears when you highlight it, my husband printed some of my lessons on his laser printer at work. When we realized how much use we had for a laser printer, we purchased the Brother HL-5370DW Laser Printer. We have been very happy with it!

Design


The Brother HL-5370DW Laser Printer is small for a laser printer marketed toward small businesses. The printer measures 14.6 inches wide by 15.1 inches deep by 9.7 inches high. It fit easily on the small wooden hutch next to my husband's computer desk. The reasonable size would probably fit any space, as it was even smaller than our previous all-in-one printer. The unit weighs 20.9 pounds, not that these printers are intended to be portable.

This printer has a light grey casing with dark grey plastic accenting the top and bottom. There isn't a large emphasis on the style of it, but it's sleek enough not to look out of place in any home or office setup. The power cord was sufficiently long to reach our surge protector, which is about four feet from the printer. This printer is Energy Star Qualified, which is a stipulation for all of our technology purchases when possible. With all of the electronics we have, our electric bill is regularly $200 per month in our apartment. We don't want to give that bill more reason to go up! The manufacturer lists this printer as consuming 6 watts when sleeping, 75 watts when ready for printing, and 675 watts when printing.

This printer has two paper trays. The bottommost paper boasts a 250-sheet capacity with 20 pound paper. We usually use 24 pound letter-size paper and are able to squeeze in around 200 sheets at a time. This paper tray can support 16-28 pound paper and letter, legal, executive, A4, A5, A6, B5, and B6 paper sizes. It is very easy to load by simply sliding out the tray, inserting the paper, and gently pushing it down. The finished documents exit onto an output tray at the top of the printer, which has a capacity of 150-sheets. This has been more than sufficient for our usage. Even when my husband volunteered to print hand-outs for my sister-in-law's junior high school students, we had no need for a higher capacity output tray.

The second tray is an all-purpose tray which allows for straight-through printing to the rear of the printer to accommodate thicker paper. We have not really had much application for this fold-down tray. It has a 50-sheet capacity, allowing for 16-43 pound paper in letter, legal, executive, A4, A5, A6, B5, B6, envelope, and custom sizes. There are two optional paper trays that can be purchased separately and added on, but we did not look into them since they are not necessary for our usage.

Setup


I was dreading setting up this printer. Every wireless printer we have ever come into contact with has been a disaster. A few years ago, my husband offered to hook up a wireless printer for his family. Three printers later, my husband and another computer technician-friend could not find a way to get the printer to function wirelessly. They ended up hooking it up to a main computer and sharing it through the network. Every wireless printer experience we have had since has been similar. Much to our surprise, hooking up our Brother HL-5370DW Laser Printer was a breeze!

This printer offers several different options for connecting it to your computer or network. The device can be connected via hi-speed USB 2.0 (cable not included) to a computer, to be used individually by that computer or shared over a network. Parallel connections are supported for backwards compatibility with older systems. The printer may also be networked using an Ethernet or wireless connection. The printer supports wireless 802.11b/g. This was our one complaint about the printer, since we have a wireless n router and though the router is backwards compatible, having any devices that use the older standards reduces the speed of the entire wireless network. Since I'm the primary wireless user, with my husband's desktop and most of our home entertainment center now hooked up with wired connections, I decided it was a drawback I was willing to overlook.

The printer comes with a CD-ROM and boasts one-touch setup for some routers. My husband preferred to run the utility while the printer was connected to the router with an Ethernet cable. He downloaded the latest drivers and set-up utility from the manufacturer's website and had the printer set up within five minutes. It was detected instantly by our network and my husband had no problem entering our encryption key. I ran the wireless setup utility on my laptop, followed the prompts, and was immediately able to start printing wirelessly from my laptop. We were happy that the printer worked with our WPA2-PSK wireless network security. The printer also supports WEP 64/128, WPA-PSK, LEAP, and EAP-FAST network securities.

The minimum computer requirements can be found on the manufacturer's website at: http://tinyurl.com/o3lnua. The printer software is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. Between all of our computers, my husband and I were able to successfully use this with Windows XP and Vista.

Performance


The Brother HL-5370DW Laser Printer has suited our printing needs perfectly. This printer is monochromatic, which was fine for us since we primarily print text and all of our picture-printing is done through printing labs or a home photo printer.

The print quality is excellent. This printer has a maximum print resolution of 1200 x 1200 dots per inch. The text is very crisp, with no stray marks or dots on the page. I am able to highlight text without smearing the ink, which makes studying much easier on my eyes. One of the reasons we chose this particular model was the duplex printing, since printing two-sided documents would save us money in paper and reduce our waste. This has had the added benefit of reducing the amount of space my schoolwork takes up, as space is always an issue in our tiny apartment. We recently purchased two file cabinets, which have been filling up much more slowly since we purchased this printer.

The printer responds very quickly when printing from any of our computers (both wired and wireless).  There is little to no lag time at all. The box lists a print speed of up to 32-pages per minute. Each lesson I print is usually 40-50 pages, and I'd say it takes less than two minutes to print them. Overall, I'd estimate we print about 700-800 pages per month, which is on the lower end of the recommended monthly print volume for this printer. In addition to being fast, this printer is also very quiet. When I print wirelessly from our living room, I can't hear when the document has finished printing. Thus far, we have experienced no paper jams while using this printer.

This printer has two toner cartridge options; the TN-620 and the TN-650. The latter is a standard-yield cartridge that will last approximately 3,000 pages. After two months of use, I'd say we've printed a little more than 1,600 pages and the included standard-yield cartridge is still going strong. We purchased an extra with the printer for $75 and I expect that will be our only toner cost for the remainder of the year. The high-yield TN-650 costs $119 and should last approximately 8.000 pages. Loading the toner was very straightforward. I only had to fold down the front panel and another panel that stretches over the top, and slide the toner in.

Price


At the time of purchase, this printer was priced at $249.99. We used a 10% off coupon so our cost was actually less. I'd say the performance and features were fitting for the price. The printer comes with a one-year manufacturer's warranty.


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 224.99
Operating System: Windows and Macintosh


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