Summary

Our Score

8/10

User Score

Review Price £314.02

We recently reviewed the Brother HL-4040CN colour laser printer and were generally impressed with this £300 offering in the SOHO market. It's more expensive sibling, the HL-4070CDW, has three upgrades on offer for the extra £200 in its asking price: duplex print, wireless connection and a PostScript emulation, in the form of Brother's BR-Script 3 page description language.

Physically, the two printers are very similar, though the HL-4070CDW has a cream front panel, to the HL-4040CN's dark blue. Both machine's have 250-sheet paper trays and pull-down, 50-sheet multi-purpose trays, and both use the same inline colour laser engine, so black and colour pages should take the same time to print.

The two-line LCD display uses a three-colour backlight, which turns green when the printer is ready or printing, orange when you're making setting changes and red in error states, such as when covers are open. A four-way square of control buttons is supplemented by Go and Cancel buttons and two for Reprint and Direct Print, more of which later.

The HL-4070CDW has four distinct ways of connecting to a PC: USB, parallel, cabled network and WiFi, with sockets for the first three set into the back panel. Installation and setup is pretty straightforward, particularly on the physical consumable side. Open up the front of the printer and you can slide out the tray holding the four toner cartridges. Each of these slots downward into the tray and their handles fold down to lock them in place.

Software setup from the supplied CD is also easy, though there are several different ways of setting the printer up for wireless networking. You can temporarily connect it to your wireless router; use SecureEasySetup if your router supports it or run the built-in setup wizard from the printer's control panel. We found this last method particularly easy, as the printer discovered our network immediately and made the necessary settings changes.

There's not much software supplied with the printer, other than the driver and wireless support, though BR-Script 3 does enable you to print any PostScript file, as an alternative to using the dedicated driver.

There are two functions of this printer worth particular mention. Direct Print enables you to print files from a USB memory drive or a PictBridge camera, while Reprint does what it says and re-runs the last job sent to the machine. This is a particularly useful function if you want to print one copy to check output and then run off multiples from the printer, without having to send the job again from your PC.

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