Brother HL-2170W Review
Currently available in the hundred dollar price range, the now discontinued Brother HL-2170W is one of the most affordable ways to add a wireless printer to one’s home office or small business. With reasonable print speeds and performance specifications, this personal laser printer is a great choice for small businesses with print demands that exceed those that an inkjet could handle.
The most significant upside to the Brother HL-2170W is its built in wireless print technology. With a wireless router built in, setting up multiple PCs to the device is extremely fast. Wireless is also the ideal network format for households due to the fact that It prevents the need to wire an entire house for Ethernet. The Brother HL-2170W is also perfectly capable of connecting via its single USB port and, due to its low price, ignoring its wireless router through this style of setup is a forgivable crime.
While the Brother HL-2170W is certainly not the fastest printer on the market, it does offer a respectable first page out time that falls just under 10 seconds. Its maximum monthly duty cycle is also acceptable at 10,000 pages, though Brother recommends printing only 250 to 2,000 pages per month for optimal performance and maximum product live. If problems do occur with the print hardware, there is always the one year included warranty to fall back on.
Along with the Brother HL-2170W’s standard paper tray, the unit also comes complete with a very hand single sheet bypass slot. With a multipurpose slot such as this, special media types are not only compatible with the printer, but users can load them without having to unload their standard paper supply found in the storage tray. Compatible special media types include card stock, transparencies, envelopes, and custom letterhead.
Among other things, the Brother HL-2170W is also very compact, boasting one of the smaller footprints in its category. Though the printer performs at a near professional level thanks to laser print technology, it comes in an inkjet sized package with dimensions of only 14.5"x14.2"x6.7" (W x D x D) though, when shipped, the carton dimensions total 18.7"x17.9"x14.2" (W x D x H). The device also weighs a mere 15 pounds out of box, making it easy to maneuver around and, unlike larger models, it is easy for a single person to lift.
While the Brother HL-2170W’s print speed of 23 page per minute is borderline acceptable within this printer’s price range, the slow speed still makes the device unfit for anything more than light print demands. This stripped down monochrome laser printer is suitable for a small business alone, and is not expandable in any way.
The unit’s 250 sheet paper capacity, while acceptable, cannot be added to with additional trays and the printer’s built in memory is not expandable either, though it rests at a reasonably solid 32 MBs. The device’s CPU operates at 181 MHz: another mediocre performance speed. This minimalistic unit also lacks dedicated controls and an LCD display, making it a little too bare bones for some operations.