Brother HL-L6200DW Monochrome Business Laser Printer

Print fast and cheap monochrome pages

Brother HL-L6200DW Monochrome Business Laser Printer
Brother HL-L6200DW Monochrome Business Laser Printer. Photograph courtesy of Brother

Brother’s PR rep called me all excited the other day about an all-new line of laser and laser-class printers. That was good news, because we hadn’t heard from Brother’s laser printer group in quite a while. Good news, that is, as long as these new machines hold up to the usual “faster and cheaper” hype.

If the first one out of the chute, Brother’s $249.99 MSRP HL-L6200DW Business Laser Printer is any indication, this new Brother line-up looks promising indeed.

Design and Features

Let’s face it, it’s difficult to spruce up a single-function monochrome laser printer. And that’s certainly true of today’s review unit. At 14.7” across, by 15.3” from front to back, by 11.3” high, and weighing a light (for a laser machine) 26.3 pounds, it’s small enough to sit beside you on most desktops, but keep in mind that this is one busy printer (or with it's 100,000 monthly duty cycle, it should be).

Like most monochrome printers, this one has no control panel to speak of, instead, only a one-line readout, a few buttons and status LEDs. As for connectivity interfaces, the HL-L6200DW supports Wireless 802.11b/g/n, Gigabit Ethernet, Hi-Speed USB 2.0. For mobile device connectivity, it supports AirPrint, Google Cloud Print 2.0, Mopria, Brother iPrint&Scan, Cortado Workplace , and Wi-Fi Direct.

As a business printer, you’ll also find a few security features to help you restrict unauthorized printing and to help protect sensitive documents. Some of those features are: Secure Print, Secure Function Lock, Enterprise Security (802.1x), IPSec, and SSL/TLS.

Performance, Print Quality, Paper Handling

It’s not often that I come across a $250-printer rated at 48 pages per minute, or ppm. If all you print is straight text pages—such as, say, receipts, instructions, legal or real estate documents, and so on, comprised of fonts default to the printer, you could very easily break 40ppm. I actually broke 48ppm, finally getting about 51ppm, but that was after some somewhat painstaking trial and error attempting to find the perfect document for this printer. (Why? Darn good question.)

When you throw in images, graphics, and somewhat extensive text formatting, things start to slow down quickly. As for print quality, Brother laser printers tend to print text well, near-typesetter quality, and graphics typically look good, too. Photographs (on color printers, anyway), however, seldom print well on laser printers, especially black-and-white printers. I’d say that this Brother’s photos resembled newspaper-quality grayscale images—about as good as gets for black-and-white laser output.

As to paper handling, out-of-the-box you get a 520-sheet capacity cassette up front, as well as a 50-sheet override tray, for a total of 570 pages from two sources. If, however, you need more volume and/or versatility, you can add multiple drawers in combinations of 250-sheets ($179) and 520-sheets ($209), for a total capacity of 1,610 sheets.

Cost Per Page

While there’s several things to like about this printer, its cost per page, or CPP, is extremely competitive. The cartridges for this beast come in three yield sizes: 3,000 pages, 8,000 pages, and 12,000 pages. If you buy the highest-yield cartridges at the MSRP of $149.99, your per-page cost of operation will be a very low 1.25 cents. Frankly, I haven’t seen a small laser machine like this with so low a CPP—ever.

The End

Brother seems to have received the message—home-based offices and small and medium businesses (SMBs) aren’t really interested in shelling out hundreds, even thousands each year on consumables. Until products like this, toner has been much too expensive of late.