12 Monochrome Laser Printers

Canon ImageClass MF4150

The Canon imageClass MF4150 is one of two MFC machines we include in this Buyer's Guide. This device manages to combine reasonably-quick printing (up to 21 ppm), decent resolution (600x600, with software magic to deliver 1200x600 equivalent output), a built-in fax and copier that scales images from 50%-200% in 1% increments and a duplexer, all for between $200 and $250.

Despite its many capabilities, the MF4150 is compact and relatively sleek.

The automatic document feeder in the imageClass MF4150 handles up to 35 pages, and it also includes a 250-sheet input tray; the output tray accommodates up to 100 sheets. Because this MFC lacks any further optional paper handling, it's at the low end in terms of capacity and may not be well-suited for higher-volume situations. Toner cartridges for this device typically yield up to 2,000 pages and cost $70, which leads to a relatively high cost-per-page of 3.5 cents.

The Canon imageClass MF4150 has dimensions of 16.8" x 17.7" x 15.4" (42.67cm x 44.96cm x 39.12cm) and weighs 29.5 lbs (13.4 kg). Text quality is good but not great (we saw some loss of detail in fonts between 3 and 5 points in size, depending on the particulars), but it is certainly acceptable for printing documents and simple graphics. The detail and fidelity of photos and halftones do suffer, owing to dithering in solid areas (patterns in the dots not present in the original) and some jaggies on diagonal lines. But for what this all-in-one device does, and considering its price, it's an excellent value. Those who don't mind spending $150-$200 more for networking capability and more advanced image and fax handling features might also want to check out the Canon imageClass MF4690 instead.

  • 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.