Brother is now the number two supplier of laser printers in the UK, second only to HP, and provides a wide range of machines from the personal through to the departmental. Its HL-6050D is at the workgroup level, is rated at 24ppm and has duplex printing built in.
It’s somehow comforting to see a new printer decked out in good old office cream; so many have resorted to greys, blacks and silver. This is a moderately-sized laser printer, though it does have a 500-sheet paper tray at the bottom and the facility for a second tray of the same capacity as an option. There's also a 100-sheet multifunction tray which folds down from the front. All pages feed to a depression in the printer's top surface.
The control panel consists of a 16-character LCD display, with a dual-colour – orange and green – backlight to indicate correct working and any waiting or error conditions. There's a four-way wheel to control menu navigation and three buttons marked Go, Job Cancel and Reprint. Each of these last three has its Braille equivalent below the printed label.
The Reprint button does pretty much just that, printing the last document to be sent to the printer, without having to send it again. This is handy if you first send a proof sheet, check it through at the printer and then want to go ahead with a number of copies. This facility would be even handier, though, if it was combined with a USB socket on the front of the machine, so you could walk up and print confidential documents.
Fold down the whole of the front cover and you have access to the two-part toner and drum cartridge. The toner cartridge plugs into the drum cradle and has a service life of 7,500 pages. The drum itself should manage 30,000 pages. This is very straightforward from a maintenance point of view and the two sockets at the rear, for USB 2.0 and parallel cables, provide standard connections. Both Ethernet and wireless adapters are options.
Software installation for a local connection is simply the printer driver, which includes both PCL 6 and PostScript Level 3 emulations.