Brother HL-L8350CDW review

Poor colour speeds and average quality, but a good-value printer with great mobile support

Price
£195
  • Good security functions; Value for money;
  • Slow colour printing; Quality isn't as good as it could be;

Small businesses looking for a feature-packed colour laser will have an eye on Brother's HL-L8350CDW. For less than 200, it offers both wired and wireless printing, a claimed 30ppm print speed and top-notch mobile device and cloud support.

AirPrint is enabled by default,and it only took a minute to link the printer to our Google Cloud Print account, via a quick registration service on the well-designed web interface. Using Brother's iPrint&Scan iOS app, we could then print directly from our iPad's camera roll, iTunes file sharing, a web page and even straight from the camera.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The latest version supports iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote and OneDrive, and we had no problems logging in to our Dropbox account, remotely viewing our files and printing them.

Brother provides worthy security measures, too: enabling the secure function lock allowed us to create up to 100 PIN-protected user accounts. We could set a page-count limit for each one, and decide whether they were allowed to print in colour, or to use the printer's USB port.

After we disabled colour printing for some users, colour-mode jobs simply wouldn't print for them. They didn't receive an alert on their PC, although a warning message flashed up on the printer's display panel. They could only print by selecting the driver's mono setting.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The web console detailed the number of pages printed by each user, and we could set a lock on the printer's control pad to stop them fiddlingwith settings. Alas, Active Directory authentication isn't supported: if you want this you'll need to step up to Brother's 9000 series of lasers.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Users can also secure their own print jobs by assigning a PIN from the driver panel. They can then walk up to the printer, select their name from the display panel and enter the PIN to release the job.

Quoted print speeds proved achievable for mono prints. Our 30-page Word document was delivered in 58 seconds; in duplex mode it completed at 14.5ppm. The time to first page was between nine and 12 seconds, extending to 20 seconds when the printer had to wake from deep-sleep mode.

Colour proved more of a challenge: frequent pauses while printing our complex 24-page DTP document dropped the overall speed to only 10ppm. The HL-L8350CDW is a noisy printer each page is heralded by a cacophony of whirrs, clicks and clunks and output quality is variable.

Text is pin-sharp, and the Brother handled the tiny 0.1pt and 0.2pt gaps between blocks of black well; however, we found mono photos lacking in detail and marred by banding, and we could see little difference in quality between the driver's 600dpi and interpolated 2,400dpi settings.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Colour printing was better: although banding was still evident, colour photos were vibrant with good levels of detail. Reports with large graphics were equally eye-catching, and our colour chart showed smooth transitions across complex fades.

Brother offers three capacities of consumable: standard cartridges yield very high print costs, with mono and colour pages working out at 2.2p and 13p respectively. The extra-high-yield 6,000-page cartridges drop mono and colour costs to a more acceptable 1.6p and 8.2p per page.

While Brother's HL-L8350CDW loses points for average print quality and slow colour speeds, it remains a tempting choice for small businesses. It offers plenty for a low price, and Brother's mobile and cloud printing features can't be faulted. 

This review first appeared in PC Pro magazine issue 253

Verdict

While Brother’s HL-L8350CDW loses points for average print quality and slow colour speeds, it remains a tempting choice for small businesses. It offers plenty for a low price, and Brother’s mobile and cloud printing features can’t be faulted.

600 x 600dpi A4 colour laser

30ppm colour/mono

400MHz CPU

128MB RAM (max 384MB)

2 x USB2

10/100 Ethernet

802.11n wireless

Duplex

250-sheet drawer

50-sheet MPT

Monthly duty cycle, 750-4,000 pages

410 x 486 x 313mm (WDH)

22kg

1yr on-site warranty

RUNNING COSTS

Featured Resources

Top 5 challenges of migrating applications to the cloud

Explore how VMware Cloud on AWS helps to address common cloud migration challenges

Download now

3 reasons why now is the time to rethink your network

Changing requirements call for new solutions

Download now

All-flash buyer’s guide

Tips for evaluating Solid-State Arrays

Download now

Enabling enterprise machine and deep learning with intelligent storage

The power of AI can only be realised through efficient and performant delivery of data

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/printers/29013/best-printers
Hardware

Best printers 2020

18 Dec 2019
Visit/hardware/peripherals/354337/lexmark-c3224dw-review-cheap-but-not-necessarily-good-value
peripherals

Lexmark C3224dw review: Cheap, but not necessarily good value

14 Dec 2019
Visit/office-printers/26919/choose-the-right-colour-printer-for-your-business
Hardware

Choose the right colour printer for your business

29 Nov 2019
Visit/hardware/peripherals/354206/kyocera-ecosys-p6235cdn-review-no-lightweight-laser
peripherals

Kyocera Ecosys P6235cdn review: No lightweight laser

26 Nov 2019

Most Popular

Visit/infrastructure/server-storage/355118/hpe-warns-of-critical-bug-that-destroys-ssds-after-40000-hours
Server & storage

HPE warns of 'critical' bug that destroys SSDs after 40,000 hours

26 Mar 2020
Visit/software/video-conferencing/355138/zoom-beaming-ios-user-data-to-facebook-for-targeted-ads
video conferencing

Zoom beams iOS user data to Facebook for targeted ads

27 Mar 2020
Visit/cloud/355098/ibm-dedicates-supercomputing-power-to-coronavirus-researchers
high-performance computing (HPC)

IBM dedicates supercomputing power to coronavirus research

24 Mar 2020
Visit/software/355113/companies-offering-free-software-to-fight-covid-19
Software

These are the companies offering free software during the coronavirus crisis

25 Mar 2020