Brother rates the HL-2132 at a top speed of 20ppm, which is very respectable for an inexpensive laser. Under test we got quite close to this with our 20-page text document giving 17.1ppm. The shorter, five-page test gave 12.0ppm and the draft version, actually a toner save rather than a full draft, also produced 12ppm.
The 5-page text and graphics print again produced 12ppm, so there's no problem with the speed of this machine compared to its competitors. A 15 x 10cm photo printed on A4 paper in the machine’s 1200dpi enhanced resolution took 14s.
Subjectively, the printer is quite quiet when printing, though we did measure peaks of 63dBA at 0.5m, which is about average.
Print quality on text, the primary task of this machine, is very good, with crisp, dark characters and no signs of jagged edges. Emboldened text is suitably dense and there's no toner spatter at all.
Business graphics are also well reproduced and there are plenty of grey shades to cope with colour originals. Solid fills are smooth and surprisingly free of any blotchiness, given the asking price of the machine.
Our test photo, while losing some detail in darker, shadowed areas of the image, was still reasonable, with plenty of intricate detail in lighter areas.
With the toner and drum cartridges available separately, running costs come out at 3.9p per ISO page. This is a little higher than some rivals, such as the Pantum P2000 that manages 3.2p, even though it typically costs £15 less than this machine.
The Brother HL-2132 may be the cheapest printer in the company's lineup, but it's a great cheap mono laser printer. It has a neat design with ample paper storage and a multipurpose feed. It's very easy to maintain and the two-part drum and toner cartridge means for a lot of its life you only have to buy toner.
Running costs are not the lowest we've seen from a low-cost machine, but the print quality is better than you might expect for a sub-£60 printer and its comparatively high print speed means you should never be sitting around waiting for print jobs.