Brother has a fine range of mono laser printers, starting with personal machines and moving up though small business to larger workgroups and departmental devices. The HL-5380DN is a mid-range printer, faster than entry-level machines and with a bit more expansion potential, but then, it also has a higher price.
In many ways the look of this printer is similar to Brother’s other models, but it has one noticeable difference. It's small, well-designed control panel, set to the left of the paper output slot is wider than the surround and forms a small balcony, to accommodate a 16-character, single-line LCD display. It has three coloured LEDs as backlights, so it can show green, orange or red, depending on the status of the message on its display.
One of the features of the controls is the ability to enter a PIN to provide secure print, which only starts when you're by the machine. This kind of facility is normally only available in more expensive, workgroup devices, but can still be useful in any environment where confidentiality is important.
The main paper tray at the bottom of the machine takes 250-sheets, though an optional second tray can double the capacity. In addition, there’s a fold down and pull-out, 15-sheet multipurpose tray for special papers and envelopes.
There's a duplexer built in, which takes pages half fed out to the output tray and rolls them back in again to print the second side. This can save up to half your paper use and with paper at around £4 per ream, the savings can build up rapidly.
At the back are sockets for USB and 10/100 Ethernet, though there's no wireless facility. Brother’s software comprises network administration and a driver.
Folding down the front section of the printer from behind the multipurpose tray reveals the two-part drum and toner cartridge, which pulls forward from inside. The drum is rated at 25,000 pages, so in typical use you could expect to use eight standard toner cartridges or two and a half high yield ones, before having to change it.