A mono laser printer needn't be a hugely complex piece of equipment any more. The basics of the technology have been known for decades and its evolution has made it simpler and more compact. Brother's HL-2035 is an entry-level, desktop, mono laser, designed for use in a home office or possibly as a one-per-desk device in larger offices.
Although the HL-2035 sits very squat on the desk, its footprint is little smaller than its higher priced stable mates. The minimum size of a desktop printer is governed by the paper it has to handle but, having said that, there?s a large flap set into the top cover of this one, which flips forward to stop pages sliding off the nicely curved front edge. There?s a deep inset in the machine's top surface, which acts as a paper-out tray and there's little that's unconventional about the machine's overall design.
At the bottom of the front panel is a surprisingly capacious 250-sheet paper tray and there's a single-sheet multi-purpose feed positioned directly above this. The printer can take media up to 161gsm, so you'll be alright feeding envelopes and thin card through this slot.
There are four indicator lights and a single button on the left-hand side of the printer's output tray, indicating low toner, an exhausted drum, any paper jams and its ready status. The LEDs also cycle at switch on, while the machine is preparing to print.
Set up is as simple as opening the front cover and inserting the two-part drum and toner cartridge. This slides in easily and positively and the toner cartridge clips onto the drum section without difficulty.
There's little software provided, other than the drivers. There are versions for Windows, OSX and Linux, so Brother is trying to cover all the main bases.
If you regularly read printer reviews at TrustedReviews, you'll know what we think about quoted print speeds. All the main printer makers exaggerate the speeds of their machines, because all of their competitors do it. Brother is no worse than most, but we didn't expect to see the HL-2035 get close to its rated 18ppm. We were wrong.
Our five-page text document took 23 seconds to print, though there's a 13 second warm-up to add onto that, if the machine is sleeping, which it will be most of the time when you come to print. Most printers in the home are lucky if they get to print once a day.
The test result gives a print speed of 13ppm, which is over 70 percent of the rated speed. Although most office print jobs are around four pages long, we also run a 20-page job, to try and be fair to all printer makers and in the HL-2035's case, this took 1:15, giving a print speed of 16ppm. This is a pretty good result for an entry-level laser printer, particular one which costs under £60, and commendably close to the speed printed on its spec sheet.