Key Features: Fast, 38ppm speed claim; Separate drum and toner cartridges; Duplex print as standard; Legacy parallel port; Very high yield, 12,000 page toner
The main governing factor in the price of a mono laser printer is its speed, so to find a machine like the Brother HL-5440D, which is specced at 34ppm, for under Rs. 18,000 is unusual. Aimed at small businesses who have no need for wireless connection, but want low running costs, the Brother HL-5440D is an evolution of the company’s earlier desktop lasers.
Brother HL-5440D Design
A squashed cube, with rounded vertical edges, the Brother HL-5440D printer looks very functional and businesslike. The simple control panel is a column of LEDs for toner, drum, paper, back cover and general errors, with two lozenge-shaped buttons coloured green and pink to start and stop print jobs.
The output tray is a recess in the printer’s top cover and the feed tray, with a capacity of 250 sheets, pulls out from the bottom of the front panel. Above that is a pull-down cover, which forms a 50-sheet multipurpose tray. It has a slide out and flip over support, so you can load special media up to A4 in size. You can add up to two extra 250 sheet-trays, for a total paper capacity of 800 sheets.
At the back is a ubiquitous USB socket and a legacy parallel one, but there’s no wireless link, so no easy way to print from phones or tablets.
Brother HL-5440D Features
The Brother HL-5440D uses a two-part drum and toner cartridge, rated at different replacement frequencies. The two clip together and slide down into the centre of the machine, once you’ve pressed a button in front of the output tray and folded down the machine’s front third.
Toner cartridges are available in 3,000, 8,000 and 12,000-page capacities, while the drum is good for 30,000 pages. These are high yields for a machine at this price and, combined with the comparatively large paper capacity, imply low maintenance costs.
There’s very little in the way of support software, other than a pretty straightforward driver. This is available for Windows, OS X and Linux and the driver supports poster prints, multiple pages per sheet and A5 booklet printing, as well as watermarking with predefined or custom text.
Duplex print is standard on the Brother HL-5440D and our 20-page document printed duplex took 1:13, a speed of 16.4ppm. This speed and the single sided results are all good for this class of machine and subjectively prints come through without much wait. The five-page text and graphics print was marginally quicker than the text only test and a 15 x 10cm photo on A4 took 16 seconds.
The prints we saw from the machine were good in parts. Text print, from the default 600dpi engine is crisp and densely black even at small point sizes – 1200dpi is available as a maximum, but has to be selected. Greyscale fills for business graphics are smooth, with a fair range of different shades to represent colours in an original.
Brother HL-5440D Verdict
The Brother HL-5440D is a good, down-to-earth, mono laser printer which does pretty much what it says on the box. The print quality is good for text, but mediocre for some greyscale fills, particularly in photos. Duplex print is a cost saver, but the main one is the low cost of drum and toner, making this a very economical machine to run.
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