Brother HL-8050 Printer Review
The Brother HL-8050 is advertised as a high-quality and cost-efficient printer that is ideal for a busy small workgroup, offering speeds of up to 35 pages per minute for monochrome documents. This device lacks some of the more advanced features included in its series model, the HL-8050N, which has the ability to print documents over a network. Despite this limitation, the unit is still worth consideration for individuals that don't want to increase their budget in order to quickly print professional-quality documents.
At first glance, this single-function device appears to have a very simplistic build, providing only a single-line monochrome LCD and an accompanying 4-way pad to navigate through menus and settings. The front panel also has LEDs that will notify users when paper or Brother HL-8050 printer toner are low, but this unit's lack of a more functional display interface keeps it from providing users more versatility and control over jobs. However, the control panel does include a built-in secure print function that will require users to press a button to print a sensitive document.
A size of 16x17x18 inches and weight of 45 pounds makes the HL-8050 one of the bulkier models in its class of monochrome laser printers, but this is in part due to its generous paper handling that can support 700 pages. Furthering the unit's appeal is the option it provides users to expand this already ample media supply to a maximum of 1,800 pages, which will elevate it to medium-volume printing. One such tray users can add is a duplex unit, which will allow them to automatically print double-sided on paper.
Those that don't opt for the HL-8050N for its network connectivity will only be able to print jobs straight from their computer when they connect it to the HL-8050 via its rear USB port. Users have much more opportunity to control and edit documents over their computer, as well as remotely mange the device through its embedded web server.
Despite using a simple system with only one black Brother HL-8050 toner cartridge, this device is able to print monochrome projects that have dense black text characters and crisp graphics with a maximum resolution of 1200x1200 dpi. This print system can also easily handle busy workgroups, since each Brother HL-8050 toner cartridge can yield up to 17,000 pages. While these toners have an high initial price, they will contribute to a low cost per page over time due to their high yield.
The fact that the HL-8050 prints at such quick speeds despite its asking price and the slower comparable output rates of its competition make it an appealing single-function printer. The device's minimal connectivity and front panel control features lower this appeal, but buyers that are more concerned with speed and having an expandable media capacity will benefit from this machine.