Office equipment maker Brother has embarked on a sweeping revamp of its SOHO (small office and home office) and small business printer line.
First up are new monochrome laser printers that sport the same prices as their predecessors, but include new functionality such as built-in automatic duplex (two-sided) printing, support for mobile device printing and speeds of up to 32 pages per minute (ppm). One model includes single-pass duplex scanning, a handy feature that helps make short work of a stack of documents that require digitizing.
Replacing the company's popular single-function HL-2270DW printer is the new HL-L2360DW. A hands-on preview of the unit revealed a compact device that can sit unobtrusively on a desk, printing station, or filing cabinet—deliver crisp, black-and-white documents.
Affordable Laser Printing for Small Business
The Brother HL-L2360DW ($149.99, August 2014 availability) features automatic duplex printing, Ethernet and USB ports, and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi support with a one-line LCD display that guides you through the configuration process. An adjustable 250-sheet tray allows the printer to accommodate either letter or legal paper.
The Brother MFC-L2740DW all-in-one small business laser printer.
A lower-priced version, the L2320D, provides single-device, USB-only printing at 30 ppm for $119.99. For $199.99, buyers can opt for the multifunction HL-L2380DW with a 2.7-inch touchscreen and single-sheet, single-sided copying and scanning.
Brother's new MFC-L2740DW all-in-one monochrome laser printer ($299.99, September 2014 availability) adds hands-off, single-pass duplex copying, scanning and faxing courtesy of a 35-page document feeder. You can scan directly to popular cloud services with the printer's 2.7-inch color touchscreen and the company's Web Connect technology that links with popular cloud services including Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive and Evernote.
Two other models join the MFC-L2740DW, the MFC-L2700DW ($199.99) and the MFC-L2720DW ($249.99), both of which lack the MFC-L2740DW single-pass duplex copy, scan and fax capabilities. The MFC-L2700DW has a two-line LCD display and print speeds 27ppm while the MFC-L2720DW pumps out printed documents at 30 ppm.
Eric Dahl, director of marketing for SOHO products at Brother remarked in a statement that the printers "offer greater value through enhanced wireless setup, mobile device connectivity, and print speeds—all while maintaining the pricing that makes them accessible to nearly any SOHO budget."
Business Smart Inkjets
Want color? Brother also unveiled a new Business Smart multifunction inkjet printer, the MFC-J4420DW ($169.99, September 2014 availability), with print speeds of 18 ppm color and 20 ppm black—enough to rank as among the fastest inkjet printer in its price range.
The Brother MFC-J5620DW Business Smart Plus multifunction inkjet printer.
Despite its modest dimensions, the MFC-J4420DW can handle ledger-sized 11-inch by 17-inch printouts using a single-sheet bypass slot in the back. Brother's Landscape Print Technology, as the name suggests, stores and manages paper in a landscape orientation. This approach yields a shallow, desk-friendly printer with a depth not much bigger than the short side of an 8.5-inch by 11-inch sheet of paper.
Other components include a 50-sheet paper tray (8.5-inch by 11-inch), automatic duplex printing and a 20-sheet automatic document feeder. A 2.7-inch color touchscreen with Web Connect, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi support, and a USB 2.0 port round out the MFC-J4420DW's feature set.
The MFC-J4620DW ($179.99) ups the ante with NFC (near-field communications) printing and scanning, which Brother introduced last year, and a bigger 3.7-inch touchscreen control panel. The lower-priced MFC-J4320DW ($149.99) is a virtual clone of the MFC-J4420DW minus the automatic document feeder.
Finally, Brother unwrapped a new line of multifunction inkjets, Business Smart Plus. Anchored by the MFC-J5620DW ($199.99, October availability), the new printer line features the company's new Multi-Purpose Tray.
During an in-person preview, Dahl demonstrated how, with a quick tug, the tray expands—Transformers style—to fit paper sizes up to 11-inches by 17-inches. The tray can hold up to 80 sheets of 8.5-inch by 11-inch paper or 5 sheets of 11-inches by 17-inches paper.
According to the company, the MFC-J5620DW has the fastest print speeds in its class, at 20 ppm color and 22 ppm black. A 35-sheet automatic document feeder lets you scan, copy and fax multi-page documents without having to hover over the unit. The MFC-J5620DW will be joined by the MFC-J5720DW ($249.99) with single-pass duplex scanning and copying, a second paper tray and an upgraded 50-sheet document feeder.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Small Business Computing. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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