My home office was already cluttered with two laptops, two desktops, one scanner, one CRT monitor, one LCD screen and a printer. Said printer died one day and I didn’t feel like having to the Medusa’s hair of computer wiring to replace it.
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I wouldn’t have to deal with cables with this new printer, since it is wireless. So I unplugged my old clunker and removed it. Then I set up the Brother Printer HL5370DW. In the interest of completeness, I should mention that this device boasts three connection methods beyond the wireless for both Macintosh and Windows systems: USB, parallel (Windows only) and wired LAN. A quick glance at the instructions shows these other options needing nothing more than following the wizard on the included installation CD.
None of those options seemed as daunting as the wireless installation that I chose to hook the printer up to my home network. This method has 10 letter-sized pages of procedures to follow, in contrast to the one or two pages for the wired methods. But having the procedures sequentially lettered, and illustrated with the actual wizard screens simplified the process tremendously. I just had to go through the wizard and consult printed instructions as needed. The one glitch came from an incorrect network name. After I fixed the network designation, the install completed successfully.
Subsequent installations for my laptops went far more easily. I simply commanded my Windows 7 system to add a printer from the “Device and Printers” option of the Start button. The operating system found the HL-5370DW and installed it, without my having to use the installation CD.
The printer measures 9.7” high by 14.14.6” wide by 15.1 inches deep, and weighs over 25 lbs. It is light enough to sit sturdily on a plastic, tabletop printer stand. The dark-and-light-gray device has no external protrusions that can be damaged accidentally. It has only two buttons:
1) Go is for starting print jobs.
2) Cancel is for canceling print jobs.
A line of five small lights above the buttons might have become too complex to interpret, but a stick-on label shows seven of the most popular lighting combinations, and their associated error messages.
The paper tray holds up to 250 sheets, while a feeder tray, revealed by opening a door, handles up to 50 sheets. Between them, you can put such media as plain paper, cut sheets, envelopes, labels, business cards, card stock and bond papers. You can use such sizes as A4, folio, letter or legal. Reliability is rated at 1,000 pages per day, and the consumables consist of a drum (with a yield of 25,000 pages) and toner cartridge, which comes in standard (for 3,000 pages) and high yield (for 8,000 pages) versions.
I’ve used the printer for a few months now to create documents like letters with two-sided printing, business envelopes, black-and-white photos, and 100 pages of script. All printed with almost no hiccups. I think the paper jam light has come on twice in that time, though no jams existed. Pushing the Cancel and Go buttons cleared any problems. The device seems to print at its declared 32 pages per minute and 1200 by 1200 dots per inch. However, to save on ink, I typically override the default resolution of 600 DPI and print at 300 DPI.
It’s been a great convenience being able to print from anywhere in house with my netbook. Our overnight guests also delight in being able to print from their laptops in their rooms, without having to bother with wired connections.
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Amount Paid (US$): 199.99
Operating System: Windows