Brother HL-3070CW LED Printer

Mar 8th, 2010 | By Simon

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I have yet to mention whether or not this printer is dot matrix, inkjet, laser or LED. The truth of the matter is that Brother calls this an LED printer. Unlike a laser printer, an LED printer works on the principle of the LED flashing or pulsing to create the image on the print drum/belt. LEDs typically have fewer moving parts which will increase reliability and are generally cheaper to manufacturer lower resolution printers. For a 600 or 1200 DPI printer, it would mean you physically need 600 to 1200 LEDs in a one inch line. It becomes costly to make a 1200×1200 DPI printer but not so expensive to make a 600X2400 DPI printer by having the 600 DPIs pulse quicker to make it an effective 2400 DPI.

Now back to the topic at hand, the Brother HL-3070CW is a Color LED printer based on the use of LEDs instead of a laser. This won’t impact the print speed but will have an impact on the print quality if you magnified your print out.

I’ve printed 5 color pictures and 2 Word documents in both normal and fine mode, can you spot the difference?

Normal: Download uncompressed original files here.

Brother HL-3070CW Brother HL-3070CW

Brother HL-3070CW Brother HL-3070CW Brother HL-3070CW Brother HL-3070CW Brother HL-3070CW

Fine: Download uncompressed original files here.

Brother HL-3070CW Brother HL-3070CW

Brother HL-3070CW Brother HL-3070CW Brother HL-3070CW Brother HL-3070CW Brother HL-3070CW

One thing I noticed is the color gradient. There is a better transition between shades with the fine compared to the normal. This would simply be because more dots are being imprinted per line. Where the fine print mode allows you to see more colors in the picture as well, some of these details get blurred together with the normal print mode. That said, if you’re not printing photos and just plan on printing plain text with the occasional color graph or image, I would suggest you stick with the normal print mode.

Since each toner cartridge is independent, the print speed is independent of whether or not you print black and white or color. The biggest difference will become how you setup the printer. If you connect it to your LAN using a network cable you will achieve the maximum speed of 17ppm. If you connect the printer to your network using a WiFi connection, your speeds will vary. It takes longer for your computer to transfer a color print job to the printer than for a black and white text file. The print speeds reflect this.

Brother HL-3070CW

Brother HL-3070CW

To determine the print speeds, I printed a 30 page black and white Word document and a 30 page color Word document and timed how long it took from the moment I pressed the print button until I got my first sheet. I then timed how long it would take to finish printing the last 29 pages. The time to print the last 29 pages was used to calculate the PPM.

Power consumption is another popular topic for me. The last thing you really want is for a printer in your house to ring up the hydro meter. With the LED printer, the power consumption should be less than a conventional laser printer. We can see a warmup load of 691W and only 500W required for printing. The printer still requires 8W while sleeping and 12W while standing in the Ready mode. If you only do the occasional print job, it would be worth flipping the power switch to completely turn off the printer.

Brother HL-3070CW

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