Mono laser printers are still the backbone of business printing, in everything from home offices to corporate departments. Brother's HL-5340D is definitely at the lower end of this spectrum, but offers a high print speed and duplex print as standard, while still sitting well below the £200 mark.
What is there to say about the look of a mono laser printer? It's trying very hard not to look boxy and Brother has done a reasonable job with a case in two-tone grey and an interesting slatted top surface, something of a departure for an office printer.
A couple of flip-up stops are designed to prevent paper slipping off the front, but in our tests we had no trouble with both stops folded shut. Indeed, the front one is quite awkward to open.
The control panel consists of a column of five warning LEDs, all of them dual-colour green and orange. There are lights for an open back cover, as well as for low toner, worn drum and lack of paper. Two buttons to start and cancel jobs are the only physical controls.
A 250-sheet paper tray slides out from the bottom of the printer's front and a 10-sheet multi-purpose tray folds down above that, to run special media. A click-open panel on the left-hand side gives direct access to the machine's memory socket, so you can add extra storage. At the back are dual sockets for USB and parallel connections - there's no network support as standard on the HL-5340D.
Installing the consumables is very simple, as there's a two-part drum and toner cartridge which slides into the machine from the front, once you've folded down the front cover. The drum has a good service life of 25,000 pages, while the toner cartridges are available in two capacities, of 3,000 and 8,000 pages.
Software support is also easy to set up, and there are drivers on the supplied CD for Windows and Mac OS X. Linux is also supported, though you need to download drivers separately from the Brother website.
The standard driver includes useful facilities like multiple pages per sheet, watermarks and booklet printing, though this last involves manual rather than automatic duplex print. Automated duplexing is standard on this printer, so it's something of a surprise that it isn't supported in the booklet option.