Reviewed on: March 2015
Any busy office that needs a colour printer which can take a pounding. With a recommended max cycle of up to 5,000 pages a month this HL-L9200 Brother printer is tailor-made for demanding offices.
Features & Connectivity
Whilst neglecting the typical copier and scanner functionality you do get a lot of perfect-for-a-busy-office features:
- Wireless & Ethernet connections
- AirPrint and Cloud print compatability
- 2 paper trays & multi-purpose tray
- 4.5cm touchscreen
- 2-sided printing (Duplex)
- Windows, Mac and Linux compatible
The 2 paper trays, one 250-sheet and one 500-sheet, give you ample paper storage for an office and cannot be valued enough. With the additional 50-sheet multi-purpose tray you have everything you need in a capacity that won't hassle the office with frequent top-ups. When using the multi-purpose tray a flap folds down on the reverse of the printer (pictured below) to let the media out, so it won't need to bend.
Interestingly, the touchscreen actually has some "hidden" buttons below it. When you're using the menu options you'll have navigation buttons illuminate on the panel below it (next to the power button). This really helps the usability and actually looks quite smart.
Wireless setup is very easy, using the included WPS button with your router, and you can find yourself printing wirelessly in mere seconds. You've got a front-facing USB port too, if you need it. Apparently there's some issues installing the printer onto Mac & Linux machines (the guide pages are hard to find etc) but we had no trouble setting up on Windows 7 so can't really comment.
Print Speed & Quality
Brother claims the HL-L9200cdtw does up to 30 pages per minute (ppm) and, surprisingly, it comes pretty close. Lasers are typically quite slow to print the first page due to needing to warm up, but the HL-L9200cdtw can get the first page out in close to 10 seconds, and larger print runs approached 25ppm. Even duplexing (2-sided printing) is pretty speedy, nearly 12ppm which is barely a slow down at all.
So what of the quality? In short, it does not disappoint. The HL-L9200cdtw showed really crisp text with dark blacks and colour documents were bright and cheery, perfect for any presentational documents and handouts. Even more photo-based images showed a great level of detail that, though 'proper' photo printers are better, is more than good enough for business use and better than you'd expect.
Unless you need proper photo reproduction, in which case we'd recommend looking at HP's X476dw inkjet printer that behaves like a laser, this Brother printer is more than good enough quality wise and you'll be suitably impressed.
Cartridges & Running Costs
Strangely, this Brother printer only takes one capacity of cartridge - normally you see standard capacity for 'normal' users and higher capacity versions for heavy users. The HL-L9200 gives you one capacity of up to 6,000 pages for each colour, a decent size but too big for smaller offices using this printer, it could feasibly last over half a year so keeping a spare is harder to judge and expensive.
These larger cartridges translate into superb low running costs though. Black prints come out at a mere 0.8p per page, better than the vast majority of colour lasers available, and even full colour prints are only 1.8p per page at time of writing. You'll be hard pressed to find cheaper running costs in a machine built for medium-to-large offices that costs under £1,000 to buy. Big thumbs up for this Brother.
There's live pricing for the cartridges at the bottom of this review, or you can see a full list of the Brother HL-L9200cdwt toners here.
Who Should Buy This Printer
Any medium-to-busy office would be well suited to this printer, with a lifecycle of up to 5,000 pages a month and great print quality tailor made for them. Just make sure you have someone strong in the office to move it, 30kg never felt so bulky...