12 Monochrome Laser Printers


As we've said in every installment to this multi-part printer buyer's guide, we remain impressed by the features, functions and capabilities that relatively modest amounts of money will buy in a printer. This collection of a dozen monochrome lasers (including two MFC units, along with 10 straight-up printers that include one tabloid model) is certainly no exception. Two of these units offer built-in 10/100 network interfaces via RJ45 as standard features, while all offer USB 2.0 for direct attachment to a single PC. Half of these units even include parallel interfaces, as well.

For all the units we worked with for this review, as with the color lasers, we liked what we saw much more when we didn't factor photo or complex-graphics printing into our evaluations. In fact, none of these monochrome devices compares well with photo output you get on a cheaper color inkjet printer. That observation aside, text output, speed and cost per page for output is way better on a laser than on an inkjet Compare Prices on Monochrome Laser Printers.

Leaving aside the expensive and very-capable GCC Elite XL 40 for the moment, we were particularly impressed with four units here: the Brother 5250DN offers a great combination of speed, features, and cost, as does the Kyocera Mita FS-1030D. We'd rate these as "great" for SOHO situations where print volume and quality are both important. On the other hand, we liked both the HP LaserJet 3050 All-in-One and the Canon imageClass MF4150 for their nice combinations of price, print quality and options. Both printers are ideal for small or home offices where low volume output and multifunction needs coincide. Those with tabloid aspirations should consider the GCC Elite XL 40 carefully; it's one of a very few low-cost printers that handles such paper for under $5,000, and the only one we know of that retails for under $2,000 (though just barely). But any of these printers will do for printing text, and all of those we didn't mention in this paragraph are still worth a once-over, nevertheless.

Join our discussion on this topic

  • Maybe I am reading it wrong but this printer offers a separate image drum compared to its toner drum. They come apart and you can buy toner separately. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but the toner might last 2500 pages, but the drum is good for 10,000, so why replace the drum if it isn't ready? The other personal laser printer I was looking at only had one replaceable part, drum/toner together. This was the main reason I got one, I could control my cost better.
  • Sorry, previous comment was for the Brother HL-2040.
  • Brother HL Printers 2040

    Brother HL-2040 is a compact monochrome laser printer designed for both small office and personal use. Brother HL-2040 features a built-in memory of 8MB, 250-sheet paper capacity tray and affordable printing supplies. Compatible Brother HL-2040 toners are known for its quality and inexpensive price tag. As such, Brother HL-2040 toner cartridges are able to generate 2,500 pages of high quality printouts at top 5% coverage.