The Brother HL-L2300D monochrome laser printer($119.99) is small enough to sit on your desk without taking up a lot of space and is limited to connecting via USB cable. The combination defines it as a personal printer for any size office. Despite the small form, however, it delivers a level of paper handling that would be suitable for sharing. Add in its fast speed and more-than-acceptable output quality, and it’s an easy pick as our Editors’ Choice low-cost, personal monochrome laser printer.
When it comes to paper handling, the HL-L2300D$79.99 at Amazon delivers a point-for-point match with the Samsung Xpress M2625D$98.99 at Amazon, another top pick. Both models offer a 250-sheet tray, a one-sheet manual feed, and a built-in duplexer (for two-sided printing). This should easily be enough for even heavy-duty use by personal printer standards.
Almost as important as the paper handling is the small size. The HL-L2300D weighs just 15 pounds, making it easy for one person to move into place, and it measures 7.2 by 14 by 14.2 inches (HWD). That gives it a slightly lower weight and size than the Samsung model, which is always a plus for anything that you plan to share your desk with.
Setup, Speed, and Output Quality
Setup is standard for a USB-connected monochrome laser. For my tests, I connected it to a system running Windows Vista. The printer’s engine rating is 27 pages per minute (ppm), which is the speed you should see when printing a text document or other file that needs little to no processing. I clocked it on our business applications suite (using QualityLogic’s hardware and software for timing), at 9.3ppm, which is a respectable speed for the price and engine rating, and just a touch slower than the Samsung M2625D’s 9.9pm. The HL-L2300D is essentially tied with the Brother HL-L2340DW$119.98 at Amazon, which is a similar model with Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct added.
Output quality for the HL-L2300D is just a touch below par overall, with text and graphics both a step below the ranges that include the vast majority of monochrome lasers. For text, that still translates to being good enough for virtually any business use, as long as you don’t have an unusual need for small fonts. For graphics, it makes the output easily good enough for any internal business needs, but not good enough for most people to consider it suitable for PowerPoint handouts or the like.
Photo quality is typical for a monochrome laser. You can certainly print recognizable images from photos on webpages, for example, but don’t plan on using the printer for anything more demanding than that.
If you want the convenience of being able to print wirelessly from your phone or tablet using a printer that’s connected to a single PC, you should take a look at somewhat more expensive models that support Wi-Fi Direct, like the Brother HL-L2340DW and the Samsung Xpress M2835DWBest Price at Amazon. If you simply want to print from a PC connected via USB cable, however, the HL-L2300D delivers a balance of speed, paper handling, output quality, size, and price that makes it an excellent candidate for a personal monochrome laser printer and our Editors’ Choice in the category.