My First Review

Once upon a time, I got this cool printer (the Brother HL-4070CDW1) to review. Then some months went by in which I used said printer. And now, a review:

Quality of Printing

  • This printer prints pretty damn nice. The printouts are sharp and clean and the colours are, well, very colourful. I even printed up photos and they turned out very clear (as evidenced by this photo of a photo that I printed and then photographed2).
  • This printer prints fairly quickly. Definitely faster tha the printers I use at work.
  • This printer gives off some nasty, chemical smell when it prints. The printers at my office do too, so maybe all laser printers do this, but it’s just weird to have that smell in my apartment.

Fancypants Features

  • I chose this printer, from a list of possible printers to review, because it was wireless. I have both a desktop computer and a notebook computer3 and I wanted both of them to have easy access to the printer. Also, I figured that I already have too many wires in my life. And the wireless feature appears to work seemlessly, and is pretty damn quick.
  • Duplexing. I heart duplexing. It saves paper and it means that all the piles of papers I carry around are half the size that they would be if I was only printing on one side of the page. This printer duplexes without you having to do anything crazy, like print up all the even numbered pages then reload the paper and print up all the odd numbered pages4. Plus, I didn’t experience any page jamming, which I’ve often had to deal with for other printers in various places that I’ve worked.
  • Printing directlt from a USB memory stick. You put your USB stick into the USB port and then follow the instructions on little screen on the printer to select what file you want to print, what paper size you want to use, etc. And then it prints. Just like that. So easy a monkey could do it. Of course, the first time I tried it, the screen turned a very scary red and told me “Needs more memory.” But I didn’t have time to deal with it then and so I just left it and when I tried again the next day, it worked just fine. So who knows what was up with that.

Ease of set-up

  • This is really my only complaint about the printer. As I mentioned before, this printer was hella confusing to set up. I wasn’t exaggerating when I said that the “Quick Set Up” Guide was 70 pages long. In truth, I probably could have figured it out on my own, rather than having a friend set it up for me but (a) I like the path of least resistance and (b) I like the path of least resistance. I’m just saying that I wouldn’t expect my parents, or other less tech-y folks, to have any clue how to set this baby up.


  • I’m a hippy environmentalist-type, so I care about such things as how much packaging a product comes with. But I haven’t bought a new printer in well over a decade, so I can’t actually compare this printer with, like, any other printer in terms of packaging. It came in a big box, packed in styrofoam and with lots of plastic bits which appeared to be protecting things inside the printer from getting wrecked during transport. My guess is that you can’t really pack it safely with much less than what it had, but seriously, shouldn’t we have some sort of biodegradable styrofoam and plastic by now?
  • Did I mention that the big box was big enough for me to fit in?

Update 3 March 2008

After completing my review, I was informed that Brother was not asking for the printers back from the bloggers who were reviewing them.  We weren’t told about this beforehand – in fact we were told that the printers were to be returned to Brother once the review period was over.  Which rocks, because had we known that we got to keep the printers in the end, it would have seemed like a bribe.  I gave my honest review of the product and then got the pleasant surprise that I got to keep it.  Especially after I went to all that work of having my friend set it up for me 🙂  I’m posting this disclaimer here in the interest of transparency, so no one thinks there is anything untoward going on.  And also because I wanted an excuse to use the word “untoward.”  That is all.  As you were.
1If you check out this link, you’ll notice that they talk about the “street price” of the printer. Are they trying to compare this printer to crack?
2Damn, my neice is cute. That pic was from when I visited T.O. when she was 18 months old. Damn cute.
3Because clearly having two computers doubles my productivity.
4Seriously, I’ve had to deal with printers like that in the past. And then the papers would all jam when you tried to do this.

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