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Brother HL-4040CN review



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Brother HL-4040CN
  • Brother HL-4040CN
  • Brother HL-4040CN
  • Brother HL-4040CN
  • Brother HL-4040CN
  • HL-4040CN Laser Printer (20 PPM, 2400x600 DPI, Colour, 64MB, PC/Mac)


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User Score:

Brother has recently revamped its range of laser printers and all-in-ones. The HL-4040CN fits in as a high-end personal or medium-level workgroup colour laser printer, with a couple of useful extras.

The HL-4040CN is big and square cut, but maintains a modern look with inset panels of dark blue and silver. The control panel is set on the left-hand side and includes a two-line by 16-character LCD display, with a coloured backlight. This shows green, yellow or red to indicate different status conditions.

A blue panel folds down from the front of the machine to provide a 50-sheet multi-purpose tray and below this is a 250-sheet main paper feed. It's a bit disappointing there's no optional secondary tray to increase the capacity of the printer. There's no optional duplexer, either, though the print driver includes instructions for manual duplexing.

The control panel includes a couple of extra buttons, as well as the usual menu-navigation square. In fact, the four buttons in the square have been rather oddly allocated, as you move through menu options with the up and down keys, go up a level with the left-hand key and return with the right-hand one. There are advantages in sticking to the conventional approach.

Two new keys link with extra features of the printer. Reprint automatically reruns the last job that was sent to the machine, which is a big timesaver, particularly if the printer is used in an office. Security is maintained because you can send any job with a password, which is required for a reprint from the printer. Direct Print combines with the USB socket on the front of the HL-4040CN to provide prints from a USB drive or a PictBridge camera.

This printer uses the same colour laser engine as Brother's DCP-9040CN All-in-One and in fact it's the first one developed by the company. Previous colour laser offerings have been rebadged from other suppliers.

For a colour laser printer, the HL-4040CN is particularly easy to set up. Pull down the front cover, slide out the tray holding the four toner cartridges and each of them drops into position, but like putting files in a filing cabinet. It's noticeable, though, that there's no keying to prevent putting the wrong colour toner in the wrong slot. If you do this, the printer gives some very strange colour combinations.


October 14, 2008, 6:25 pm

I am the first to say I am not a computer expert, so I thought I would have problems... and I did. This is my first Laser Jet printer. I have always used an Epson Ink Jet Printer. With the Epson, I can print anything. Just click on contol, print and enter. No such luck with the Brother 4040CN Printer. First of all, I can not print a Word Document, like I can with Epson, nor can I print from ACDSee. I get a message that says to save a *.xps format. When I click on 'save' nothing happens.

I have a new 3 month old computer with a Vista operating system

So I look for customer support.

Try and find that is also not an easy task, and I never did find any help.

So now I have a very nice new Laser Brother printer that only prints out a test page.

Fortunately I kept my Epson printer so I can still print anything and everything.

I researched for two months trying to buy a good printer, and I must say, there is a lot of useless help out there.

The botom line I was looking for was and is, what is an economical printer to have.

I am sick and tired of being manipulated by Internet people that spin stories about products.

It has an automatic reprint of the last job. Who really cares about 'that'.

I just want an 'economical to operate' printer.

Everyone knows printer companies make their fortunes on ink or toner, and so they deep discount the printer.

Finally, I took a chance and decided on the Brother 4040 CN Laser Jet printer, only because it was new and I could not get any real information about it. It prints many pages a minute, is a little noisy, and uses 550 watts of power to operate, and other details, that matter little.

Included in the hardware package when you buy the computer is a connection wire that has a USB connector on one end, and another end that does not connect to the printer. The printer has a USB connection inlet. But the wire supplied does not hae a USB connection on both ends.

Probably if I was a super detective I could really find out what I am looking for. But I did not. I found out everything else, but not a comparison cost to operate. So I bought it anyway, installed the software in my computer, and that was the end of my forward progress.

So, it is NOT so easy to set up as all the reviews suggested, and not so easy to find support.

I am sure some skilled computer navigator will criticize me for my lack of knowledge, and my reply would be, write a better detailed installation direction for people like me.

So, until I find more information, I will continue to use my Epson ink jet printer.

Just click on 'control'and 'p' and 'enter' and you have a nice print.

The Brother 4040CN printer does however, look nice.

Mike Suther

July 16, 2010, 4:36 pm

just as a word of note, the person that wrote the previous review obviously cannot read an instruction book as in the first few pages it explains how to set up the printer in baby speak. as printers go this is a very simple and straight forward machine. As with anything new the temptation is to assume you can setup a high quality piece of equipment that you know nothing about without reading the instruction book. if you want to get the best out of any product it helps to read an instruction book. As the previous reviewer wrote it comes with a USB cable that is designed to fit in the b fitting found on the machine just where the instruction book said it was, as for the USB port on the front of the unit this is used for direct print from a camera or a USB stick. the print quality of this printer is superb, it is crisp and clear which is the most important thing, althought this model does not come with auto duplexing the model above does but you pay for it, you can manual duplex. it is worth remembering that this is the base model of this paticular type of printer. it is a robust unit that is designed to be the work horse of any small to medium office. the networking makes it an ideal choice. I use mine at home shared between me and my wife. i use windows 7 64 bit where as my wife uses win vista 32 bit. At the end of the day if you use high yield cartridges it will last a long time. I understand that the previous reviewer had issues but i found the comments to be very annoying as many of the comments made were down to lack of knowledge, as for contacting brother, there are two ways one is using the driver disc that comes with the printer or go to the support page on the Brother web site. If i had to give a score out of 5 I would give it 5+ as it is very reliable and very good quality output. At the end of the day you have two reviews one that contradicts the other all I can say is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but please do not judge a printer on the review of someone who has not been bothered to read the basic instruction book.


September 17, 2010, 3:29 pm

I too had no issues connecting this up. I have it plugged into a wireless bridge and once it was up I set a permanent IP address and reconnected.

Drivers and packages into Windows 7 64 bit no problems, drivers for Linux again no issues and it was the latter that led me to buy this printer (£200 at the time of purchase) and also it comes with 1500 page cartridges.

Issues, colour prints can look washed out but that can be sorted by setting colour settings to vivid or normal rather than auto (by default I leave it to lower settings). Then printing went a tad odd with colour balance off. Brother support excellent, ran through some diagnostics and sent them some test prints. They sent back a new magenta cartridge and problem solved.

To summarise, this is a great printer that works in Linux with great output and a super starter set. (At the time of writing Brother has a £75 pound cash back.) Replacement bits are costly but at the prices you can find online you can probably simply replace the printer.

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