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.
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.
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.