Brother HL-4040CN Printer Review


Brother’s HL-4040CN printer was designed for small offices and home users. I tested out the Brother printer this weekend, and here is what I found:

Overall, the HL-4040CN printer has great print quality, decent speed, and plenty of useful features. The printer prints at about 21 ppm black, and a little bit slower ppm for color (it says 21ppm for color, but it’s probably more like 18-19 ppm). Black text was generally very crisp and color output was good, although there was a bit of yellowish, grainy, color-banding on large color images. I would say the quality is perfect for home users and office use, but not quite at the standard required to send out print materials to clients.

The Brother HL-4040CN is network-ready and offers additional features such as reprint and secure print, direct-print, USB port for cameras and flash drives, and has a great LCD control panel with basic functionality. The Reprint and Direct Print buttons allow you to print without touching your computer, which can be handy. The Brother printer also has a 250-sheet paper tray and a 50-sheet manual input tray, although the later is unmarked and hard to find. The high-yield toner cartridges are economical, but for a home user, it is a bit pricey to replace its four laser toner cartridges – It all depends on how much you print and what types of documents you print whether this printer is a great deal for you or not.

For its $350-$400 price range, the Brother HL-4040CN printer is a great deal for home users and small offices due to its easy and convenient features, great print quality and decent speed. Because of the quality of its average color imaging, it’s not the best match for users who need color images with excellent print quality.

Save Money on Ink and Toner Cartridges

Don’t you hate the fact that printer Manufacturers seem to rip us off with consumables such as ink and toner? It seems like they practically give away certain printers only to charge ridiculous prices on the ink and toner cartridges. Well don’t be discouraged; I have a few ways to save money on toner before and after you have purchased a printer.

After: If you already have a printer, there are a couple ways to save money on toner cartridges. First, if you see the “low toner” light on do not immediately replace the cartridge. Most often when that light goes off, the printer actually has enough ink to print several more pages – maybe even 50 or more. Just wait until the quality is actually reduced and then replace the cartridge. If you’re a home user and don’t really care about the print quality then wait until you can’t read the text anymore and replace the cartridge.

Also, as ridiculous as it sounds, shaking the toner cartridge itself actually lengthens the life of the cartridge. By taking the toner cartridge out and shaking it, you are actually waking up your cartridge for a few more print cycles. Lately, I’ve seen a few TV commercials poking fun at this practice, but they’re mentioning it because it actually works!

Before: If you are about to purchase a printer and want to save money on ink and toner take note of the tips to follow. Some printers come with the toner and drum unit as one and others they are separate. Because you usually end up replacing toner more than the drum, it will be more expensive if they are combined, so buy one that is separate. Always buy printers that have separated toners so you can replace them individually, otherwise you will be throwing your money away.

Another way to save money is to pay attention to the yield of the toner cartridge. The yield helps determine how many pages you can print before running out of ink or toner so it is important to understand what the yield number means. Yield is expressed as a number of pages printed at a certain amount of text coverage per page (i.e. 5000 pages at 5% coverage). The more pages the cartridge can print, the better. When buying a printer remember: the lower the cost of toner cartridges, the lower the total cost of ownership for the printer.

Generic vs. Name Brand Ink

Refill Ink Cartridge

In order to save money in hard times like these people often turn to generics to lower their costs. Ink is one of these items that people sometimes turn to generics because of their sometimes high prices. However, these cheaper generic ink cartridges may not be saving you money on printer supplies the long run. There are a number of factors to take into consideration when figuring out the ROI of your ink cartridge including prints per cartridge, longevity of prints, and quality of the prints. These factors actually make buying name brand ink over alternative “cheaper” options a better choice for you.

In addition, many of the re manufactured, refilled or generic cartridges can actually damage the printer itself. These ink cartridges are not designed specifically for you printer and have a tendency to bleed or spill into your printer causing damage and costing you more money in the long run.

You will actually save more money and time in the long run by buying the inkjet cartridges made specifically for your printer by the printer’s manufacturer, and this will ensure quality prints every time. One tip, however, to extend the life of the brand-name ink cartridges is to wait until the ink completely runs out versus replacing the cartridge as soon as the “low-ink” light comes on. This warning usually comes on well before you need to replace the ink.

You can visit HP’s website for more detailed information about the truth about discount ink cartridges.  They have even more fantastic photos and articles regarding the subject.