Brother HL-L3290CDW Review

Brother HL-L3290CDW Review - Quick Verdict

The Brother HL-L3290CDW is an excellent printer and comes with an affordable price which makes this a good choice for a ton of people. With a good PPM and a decent running cost, this model here is perfect for the long terms. The lack of ADF and Ethernet is bothersome but that’s not a dealbreaker in any way. If you’re looking for a neat, affordable printer for your home office or small office, then this one is an excellent choice.

  • Impressive print speeds
  • Desirable print quality for the price
  • Excellent support for mobile devices
  • No support for ADF and Ethernet connectivity

Author's Rating

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Overall

The Brother HL-L3290CDW is a multifunction printer that is aimed at small home-based offices and small workplaces. Within its category, this basic printer offers good speeds and the output quality for both text and graphics is impressive.

The Brother HL-L3290CDW printer is more affordable than the HL-L8360CDW model which prints in color and is also faster than this model. For light usage, this printer is perfect when all you need is just scanning and copying a few pages at a time. How good is this printer? Let’s find out.

Design

Laser printers are notorious for taking up a lot of space in the office. Though they come with a multitude of uses, their positioning would always give a thought or two. The Brother HL-L3290CDW, in comparison, takes a lot less space and gives you some extra room to play with.

The Brother HL-L3290CDW has dimensions of 14.5 x 16.1 x 18.7 inches and weighs around 47.8 pounds. You could say that even this model is bulkier than other expensive ones on the market but that is to be expected.

When talking about the design, it is to be noted that this model doesn’t use a traditional laser apparatus to tell the printer where to fuse toner on the paper. Instead, it makes use of LED arrays that are a lot smaller and cost-effective.

One of the best parts of this printer is the control panel. It is beginner-friendly and you can get used to it in a very short period. The panel comes with few buttons and if you’re used to playing with user interfaces, you’ll figure out this setup in a few minutes. There is a provision to configure the printer via a built-in web site that gives you the option to set up users and user permissions.

Paper Handling

The Brother HL-L3290CDW comes with a 250-sheet main drawer which is not that bad. There is also a one-sheet override tray above the main drawer which is essential. In comparison, the MFC-L3770CDW comes with a 250-sheet and a 30-sheet multipurpose tray. One advantage here is that this model gives you more paper storage than others in the same price range.

The Brother HL-L3290CDW comes with a monthly duty cycle of 30000 pages. The recommended monthly print volume is around 1500 which is pretty easy to achieve if you’re in a small office. These numbers are pretty much the same when compared with the competitors, no ups or downs here.

Connectivity and Security

The Brother HL-L3290CDW comes with Wi-Fi connectivity. You can also connect the printer to your PC with the help of the USB 2.0 port and Wi-Fi direct. The Wi-Fi direct option allows the printer to interact with devices (smartphones and tablets) that are neither connected to the router or the network which is handy.

The Brother HL-L3290CDW model doesn’t support Ethernet which is a bit of a disappointment. The lack of NFC support also put this model a step back.

The printer also comes with other connectivity options for specific devices. It supports Apple Airprint, Google Cloud Print, Morpia, and iPrint&Scan which Brother’s own service. These options make working with mobile devices much easier.

The security features on the Brother HL-L3290CDW are not that advanced. You can protect your documents with a PIN which is pretty basic. One improvement here is that you can assign PINs to the scanner as well. You can also filter users based on username, IP addresses, SNMP, and other network protocols.

Brother HL-L3290CDW printer

Print Speed

The Brother HL-L3290CDW comes with a print speed of 25 pages per minutes (ppm) for both black and white pages. With a simple test, the printer maxes out at 23.8 pages per minute which is a bit slower than what Brother promises. The printer is, however, faster than the HP M180 and the Canon MF634CDW models.

If you constantly print complex color documents (Excel, PowerPoint, and Acrobat) containing graphs, charts and other business-level graphics as well as photos, this printer is the perfect candidate for the job. If you blend color printing results with the previous results, you’re getting a final score of 10.8ppm which is not that shabby, to be honest. The score is much better than the ones achieved by the models mentioned earlier.

Business-Quality Output

The ability to give good quality output is one quality that all the Brother LED-array printers share. The Brother HL-L3290CDW model is no different in this regard. The text output from this printer is excellent and is very legible even when the size is about 6 points. This is more than acceptable when it comes to commercial and business requirements.

This printer provides graphs, charts, and other business graphics with solid fills and well-aligned gradients with just a few discernible imperfections. Hairlines on outputs and other rules are well-delineated, and embedded photos are precise and have exceptional details.

Running Costs

Running costs is one of the most important factors when considering a printer. Here, you’re spending around 2.6 cents for black pages, and 15.5 cents for color making this printer not so cheap in terms of running costs. But when you put this alongside other printers in the same category, the Brother HL-L3290CDW comes out with flying colors.

If you want to print 100 or 200 pages a month, then this Brother HL-L3290CDW model is a pretty good choice when it comes to saving running costs. But when the number of pages you print increases, then you should expect the running cost to go up as well.

Bottomline

The Brother HL-L3290CDW is an exceptional printer, though the absence of an ADF and Ethernet make it a difficult choice over other laser printers. That is not a dealbreaker in any way, though. It is amazingly fast enough and prints like a boss. The page speed and running costs put this machine in a clearly good spot among its competitors.

If you want more features and would like a printer that can scan or copy multipage documents or have better connectivity, then you would have to spend at least a $100 more which makes for an expensive printer. The Brother HL-L3290CDW is an affordable alternative to most printers out there and does all the work as well.

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