Brother Announces Color Laser Siblings

Known primarily for its expertise in monochrome laser and multi-function printers, Brother International recently entered the world of color laser printing with two product lines designed and built by its own engineers. Jeff Sandler, Brother’s director of marketing, called the company’s foray into new territory “a significant investment that will better meet the needs of small business customers.”

The two printers that make up the HL 4000 Series, the HL-4040CN ($399) and the HL-4070CDW ($499), share certain family traits including up to 21 page-per-minute printing in both color and monochrome, 2400 x 600 dots-per-inch print quality, Ethernet and USB 2.0 interfaces a 300-sheet paper tray. Both printers also offer a USB Direct Interface, which lets you print files from a USB flash drive without using a computer, and they support printing directly from PictBridge-compatible digital cameras.

Brother's HL-4070CDW color laser printer
Color Fast: Brother’s HL-4070CDW color laser prints up to 21 pages per minute and includes wireless networking.

In addition to the features shared with its sibling, the higher-priced HL-4070CDW includes a built-in 802.11b/g wireless interface, a parallel interface, built-in duplexing for double-sided printing, expanded paper capacity through an optional 500-sheet paper tray and a one-year on-site warranty (the 4040CN includes a one-year exchange warranty — you mail it back to Brother, and it sends out a replacement).

Both printers come with what Brother calls standard-yield toner cartridges — one black, which yields 2,500 pages — and three color cartridges (cyan, magenta and yellow), which each yield 1,500 pages. Standard-yield black cartridges sell for $59.99 and standard-yield color sell for $69.99 each.

Brother also offers high-yield cartridges in both black and color. Black yields 5,000 pages and sells for $92.99. Color cartridges yield 4,000 pages and sell for $129.99 each. Brother rates the drum unit for both printers at 17,000 pages, and sells replacements for $199.99.

According to Brother, the small- and medium-sized market has been looking for an affordable color laser for everyday printing and that the HL-4000 Series offers the balance between performance and value that small businesses want.

While the HL-4000 Series is the first-ever color laser series completely designed and built by Brother, Sandler says the company’s experience designing and building monochrome lasers provides a significant resource. “We have a tremendous amount of product development expertise,” said Sandler. “In addition, we’ve been integrating color technology into color lasers that were built by other manufactures but sold by Brother.”

The HL-404CN is available now with an estimated street price of $399. The HL-4070CDW will be available in June for an estimated street price of $499.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of

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