The printer driver does what you'd expect and supports three resolutions of 300dpi, 600dpi and 1,200dpi, as well as offering watermarks, multiple pages per sheet and manual duplexing, which Brother treats thoroughly, with a number of useful options.
Brother claims speeds of up to 20ppm for the HL-2070N, but as usual, this is wishful thinking. Our five-page text print took 23 seconds to complete, which coincidentally was the time for the text and graphics test, too. This gives a true, real-world speed of 13ppm for this machine, only around 65 per cent of the rather fanciful figure quoted.
In a typical home or small office environment, the speed is probably enough to keep most customers happy and the print quality of the machine will also keep them content. Text is clean with no signs of blur and at the default resolution is well up to mono output from more expensive printers.
We were also impressed with business graphics from this little printer, where the various greyscales were reproduced with little banding or patchiness and with a smooth gradation of tone.
Even the photographic test print, something most mono lasers hate, was better than average. Detail was sharp, the change of tone across the sky was relatively smooth and the only problem was a loss of detail in shadows, which were reproduced pretty black.
It's easy to work out how much it costs to run the HL-2070N, as there are only two consumables. The drum unit is rated at 35,000 pages and each clip-in toner cartridge should give you 2,500 pages, so you should only need to change the drum every 14 toner changes, or so.
With typical online prices of £40 for the toner cartridge and £50 for the drum, page costs come out at 2.42p for a five per cent text page. This is quite pricey for a laser printer, even a personal one, but then the purchase price of the printer itself is low, so total cost of ownership is in the middle of the field.
This is a neatly-designed, useful little mono laser printer, which despite its low-profile, takes half a ream of paper at a time and prints on it cleanly and reasonably fast. It's cheap to buy, though not especially cheap to run, but its versatile connection options should see it used in a number of different environments. Ideal as a home laser printer and good in a home or small office too.