October 2008

Product Showcase

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Brother – HL-2140

Brother has a longstanding reputation in the world of printers and the new HL-2140 is the latest one. A monochrome laser printer – aimed at both home and office users – it promises low cost reliability and improved looks along with a small footprint.

Design and Features

The Brother Printer HL-2140 is a relatively compact printer, especially for a laser printer and also does not occupy a lot of space. Its dimension are; 14.5″(w) x 14.2″(d) x 6.7″(h). The body is two toned and quite rugged. Installing the toner cartridge is easy like in all other Brother laser models, just open the hatch and slide it in.

It has one input tray each for envelopes and letter-sized papers and can be adjusted for different paper sizes. Its input capacity is 250 sheets and output is 100 sheets, which is really good for office environments. Paper is to be placed with the side to be printed facing down and the print out gets deposited in the output tray with the printed side face down.

Three status LEDs provide information about paper jams, no paper, toner status, drum errors or if the machine needs a service call. There’s a separate button for canceling prints, error recovery, form feed and reprints apart from a power button at the back. The back opens up to allow easy access to the rollers, so paper jams would be easy to clear up. Practically anyone can pop open the back and clear jams in seconds.  The HL-2140 has 181 MHz processor and 8MB of memory, which is quite sufficient for a monochrome printer. This is paired with a high-speed USB interface to connect to computers. The printer comes with a single CD for the driver software providing drivers for Windows and Mac OS X 10.2.4 and above. The drivers are released under the GPL license so there is an upside.

The driver interface is relatively simple and gives you control over orientation, manual duplex, watermark, scaling, job spooling, sleep time, macro, header-footer print, density adjustment and error message printout. There is also a toner saving option to conserve toner. It takes under 10 seconds to initialise once the printer was turned on.

Being a monochrome printer, its appeal for the casual home user might be limited. However, it is aimed at the home-office user as well. It is a low-end printer priced at INR 5900 and it is reasonably stylish and remarkably fast, maintaining 23 PPM consistently. It takes 460 watts while in operation and 80 watts in standby.  It goes into sleep mode in between prints during which it consumes 5 watts. There are two toner cartridges available for this – the Standard Yield TN-2130 and the High Yield TN-2150, which have duty cycles of 1,500 and 2,600 respectively. The drum and toner units are sold separately despite the printer being a low-end model. This is beneficial because one can replace them separately and can save on maintenance costs.  The drum unit is priced at INR 3,925, the standard toner at INR 1,550 and the high yield one costs INR 2,235. Thus, the cost per page of this printer is lower than INR 1.20 and the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is far better than any other competitive model available in the market.

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