Summary

Our Score

7/10

Review Price £175.98

Brother HL-3070CW - Colour LED Printer

Until recently, OKI was the only printer maker to use LED illumination in its printers, rather than a laser beam, but at the end of last year Brother introduced a range of LED-based printers using similar mechanisms. One example is the HL-3070CW. It's aimed at the SOHO market, though it sits at a slightly odd price between the entry-level, £150 colour printers and the ones aimed directly at businesses, which come in at £300 and above.
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Thanks to the compact LED mechanism the HL-3070CW has a surprisingly low profile and, although it's quite deep, it still has a very convenient footprint for the small office. There's a 250-sheet main paper tray with a flip-down, single-sheet feed directly above. All print jobs finish on the top surface of the machine. There's a pop-up paper stop, which you'll probably need to set even though each page then makes a slight scraping noise as it slides up the moulded surface.

Although slim, the control panel has all the necessary functions built-in. There's a single line, 16-character LCD display, with a good backlight and next to this is a square of buttons for menu navigation and then two to start and cancel print jobs. In between a button marked Secure Print enables you to send a print job but only have it execute after you've reached the printer and entered a PIN number.

There's a front panel USB socket, unusual in a colour printer in this price range, which can handle both PictBridge print from a camera and certain file types, such as PDF and TIF, from a USB drive. Navigation of a folder structure on a single line LCD display is a little awkward, particularly when filenames are shortened.
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Physical setup is very straightforward, as the top cover lifts to reveal the four combined drum and toner cartridges, which slot down into place with a minimum of fuss.

USB, Ethernet and wireless connections are available. Unless you have an automatic wireless connection system on your router, such as Secure Easy Setup, Wi-Fi Protected Setup or AOSS, you need to be able to connect the printer temporarily to your router via USB, or set a wireless PC to infrastructure mode for the duration of the setup. Neither of these techniques is straightforward.

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