The best Brother printer
Even though we live in a digital age, we still need printed pages of paper. Though the majority of us use far less printed paper than we did a decade ago, it's rare to find someone who has stopped using paper altogether.
If you need a new printer to handle any kind of printing needs, it's important to stick with a trusted brand. You also need to think about how you will be using the printer, determining whether print speed or print quality is more important to you.
One of the best brand names for printers is Brother. You may think of sewing machines when you think of Brother, but it has made printers and multifunction devices for decades. Our favorite Brother printer is MFC-L2700DW, which gives a home office all the versatility it needs.
Considerations when choosing Brother printers
When selecting a Brother printer, you have to make one significant decision before shopping: Laser or inkjet printing technology.
Inkjet printer: An inkjet printer uses tiny droplets of ink to create text and images on a page. Inkjet printers easily print in color, so they're often preferred for photography printing. Brother manufactures some inkjet printers, but it focuses more on laser printers.
Laser printer: A laser printer delivers fast print speeds and sharp test printing. It places tiny toner particles on the paper to create the text or image. It's considered more of a business printer, but it can serve as a home printer, too. The majority of laser printers use black toner only, but some can print in full color.
Some Brother printers can do more than print -- they can create copies, scan documents, or send and receive fax messages.
A printer's resolution is measured in dots per inch. A 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution is great for text documents. Photos look better at a 4800 x 4800 dpi resolution. More resolution is always preferred for better print quality.
Brother measures the print speed of its machines in the number of pages per minute they can print. Understand that many of these numbers are measured under optimal conditions, including draft mode printing, which has below average image quality.
If you have a busy office, you want a paper tray that's large enough to hold 100 or more sheets of blank paper. Then you won't need to reload the paper tray as often.
Brother printer prices
The least expensive Brother printers cost between $50 and $100. These are basic monochrome laser printers or color inkjet printers. Mid-range printers cost between $100 and $200. You can find multifunction laser and inkjet devices that work fast in this price range. The priciest Brother printers cost $200 to $400. These are the fastest printers made for busy home offices or small businesses. Color laser printers often fit in this price range, too.
Q. Am I limited in what devices I can use to send print jobs to these Brother printers?
A. You should be able to print from computers, tablets, and smartphones. You may need to download an app to use certain devices, but the printer should work with almost any device.
Q. Are laser printers better for text documents or photographs?
A. Because the majority of laser printers only print in black, they're typically used for text documents. However, if you want a black-and-white photo printed, the laser printer can create a quality print. Color laser printers work easily with either text or photo prints.
Brother printers we recommend
Best of the best: Brother MFC-L2700DW Monochrome Laser Printer
Our take: Excellent all-around multifunction printer that delivers speed and performance levels perfect for a busy home office.
What we like: Laser print quality is outstanding. Machine works fast, whether it's printing, copying, or scanning.
What we dislike: Not made for busy offices with dozens of people using the machine at one time.
Best bang for your buck: Brother HL-L2300D Monochrome Laser Printer
Our take: Inexpensive price for a speedy laser printer that does basic jobs adequately.
What we like: Unit can handle multiple types of paper, including card stock. Wireless connectivity is easy to set up and use.
What we dislike: May struggle to keep up in a busy office setting. No copier or scanner features.
Our take: Costs a little more than some bargain-priced printers, but it delivers a bit of extra print speed that's handy.
What we like: Unlike some inexpensive printers, it can hold a few hundred sheets of paper in the tray. Can print on both sides of the paper.
What we dislike: Printer's power cord is permanently attached to the printer.
Kyle Schurman is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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