Review : Brother HL-L6200DW Monochrome Wireless Laser

MacNN Rating:

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Product Manufacturer: Brother

Price: $217

The Good

  • Quick printing with high print quality
  • Feels durable
  • Wireless printing makes multi-user printing easy

The Bad

  • Only prints in monochrome
  • Still a little large for average home use
We're back at it again, testing another printer to see how it stacks up against our expectations. Today, we're focusing on the small business or home office printing scene, by testing out a small but mighty printer that hopes to save users money without sacrificing performance: The Brother HL-L6200DW, a wireless, monochrome laser printer.

Size and design

So, we've already established that you're in need of a printer that can handle a lot of work but doesn't need you to sell a kidney to get your hands on, or require you to build an addition to house it. That's where the HL-L6200DW comes in. It's a squat printer that is designed with the business-folk in mind, offering decent print speeds and features that are office-friendly, in a footprint that feels reasonable.



It stands just under a foot tall, 15 inches wide, and 16 inches deep, meaning that it should fit comfortably on a small table in the corner of an office, though we do think that it's a little large to fit on an average desk. It weighs in at a reasonable 26 pounds without paper, so most office furniture should be able to support it with no problem. We think that this design is very home-office and small-business friendly, and after living with it for a while, could even see it for personal use if you're the type of person who needs to print quite a bit of papers (eg: college students, hobbyist writers, or the like.)

Office products, such as printers, often are relegated to the most boring of colors, typically some form of light grey or beige, but the HL-L6200DW comes in an attractive graphite color, and while this is first and foremost an object of function and not form, we appreciated the way that it looked, feeling considerably less "sterile" than other office printers we've used.

Print speed and print cost

If you own a business, there are usually a few things things you're concerned with: getting things done quickly, correctly, and done within your budget. The HL-L6200DW helps you by being both quick and cost-effective. In terms of speed, it'll print out upwards of 48 pages a minute for standard all-text pages. As always, there's a bit of warm-up time, which we'd estimate that it's just about ten seconds for the printer to spring to life once you click the print button on your computer or phone which, all things considered, isn't too bad.



If you're looking to get the most bang for your buck, there's a replacement toner cartridge available that is high-yield, and should get you somewhere around 12,000 "standard" prints before it needs to be replaced, though the "starter" toner cartridge included with the printer will get you about 3,000 pages. Looking to cut costs even further? Why not cut paper costs in half! The HL-L6200DW features two-sided printing, which is especially great if you're printing text-heavy documents like forms or employee packets, but not wanting to be ecologically and financially irresponsible.



Quality and quantity

As for print quality, it's pretty good for a monochrome printer. You can print in resolutions upward of 1200x1200 dpi, which seems like a bit of overkill for a printer that only prints in black, though if you've got detailed graphs or charts, or print on premium glossy paper for some reason, this is might be more useful than it was for us.



We like the sheer quantity of paper that this printer holds, which is 520, or just a little more than a ream of paper. This means that you'll be able to do a decent amount of printing without having to worry about constantly replacing what you've put into it.

Wireless, sweet wireless

Do you remember the days of when your printer had to be physically attached to your computer? We like to refer to those as "the dark ages." Even printers that are wired into the network are still a pretty big hassle, but we're happy to inform you that the HL-L6200DW is a wireless printer that, as long as it can receive wireless signal, is happy to print just about anywhere you put it.



The setup was beyond easy, and with the downloadable setup wizard available from the Brother website (as well as included in CD form), we found that we had our printer set up to work with both our computer directly and able to work wirelessly with our home network in under 10 minutes, from start to finish.



Not only does it print wirelessly from computers, but if you've got your phone or tablet on the same wireless network, you can print easily from AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, the Brother iPrint&Scan app, Cortado Workplace, and Wi-Fi Direct. We thought this was a great solution for those times when you just need to quickly print a PDF, image, or email from your phone without the hassle of logging into your computer.

Addressed durability concerns

Maybe it's the squatness of the printer, or maybe Brother addressed some design concerns we ended up having with their larger printer, but the HL-L6200DW feels very solidly designed. It feels like it could stand up to normal wear and tear without giving up the ghost, and we certainly didn't feel like there was a need to treat the printer with kid gloves just because we were loading paper into it. If you expect your printer to print quite a lot, and if you expect it to be handled by lots of people, this feels far more durable than we expected, and we appreciated it wholeheartedly.



The verdict

While we're not going to say that this is the sort of printer you're going to want to use for typical home use, but if you've got a home office or small business, this is probably one of the better products you could buy. We especially liked the squat footprint and how sturdy it feels, and we'd like to think that the HL-L6200DW is built to last quite some time. If you're in the market for a new monochrome printer, you can snag the Brother HL-L6200DW from Amazon for just under $217.

-- Amber Neely (@SurferAmber)