This high-quality printer is great for home offices that need more than documents, but photos, artwork, and more. The automatic duplex printing is quick and simple. Prints wirelessly or through ethernet and USB. Compatible with Dash.
Replacement toner can be quite expensive - though it lasts an impressively long time.
Prints quickly and clearly. Wireless printing works well. Easy setup. Toner lasts a long time, saving money in the long run.
Doesn't come with a USB cord.
Ready-to-print out-of-the-box with up to o1 year of ink. This printer works well with mobile devices for easy printing on the go. Brother's ink cartridges are designed to deliver vivid colors quickly and efficiently. Easy-to-follow ink gauge.
Some confusion among buyers: cartridges use tank ink, but are not ink tanks.
The laser printer brings office-style copying and scanning to your home for a value. Great low-space option for limited space. Works on documents, envelopes, card stock, and more. Wireless printing is simple across devices.
No color printing for photographs, art, and cards.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Although the company got its start making sewing machines, electronics manufacturer Brother has become one of the biggest names in printers, competing with long-established brands like HP, Epson, and Canon. Brother has made a niche for itself in the printer market with affordability and ease of use, so if you need a printer that can produce high-quality output without breaking the bank, Brother printers are the best place to start.
Read our shopping guide for our take on Brother printers – the features you should look for, the specifications that matter, and the “gotchas” to avoid – and you’ll be all set to find the model that’s perfect for you.
The first decision to make when buying a Brother printer is whether you want one that prints with ink or one that prints with toner. Both have pluses and minuses.
Ink printers are more affordable than laser printers, and replacement ink is less expensive upfront than laser toner, though the cost per page is more in many models. Ink printers leave pages wet, which can lead to smearing before the ink dries, but they tend to produce better color and image quality. If you do a lot of printing in color, or you don’t have a lot of money to spend, an ink printer is still a solid choice.
Laser printers are pricier but typically print faster and with less risk of print imperfections. Color laser printers are especially expensive, and so is the toner, so some laser printers have high ongoing costs. If you need a printer for daily use or don’t need a color printer, Brother has multiple laser models that are surprisingly affordable.
Most printer manufacturers provide pages of statistics about each model, but when it comes down to it, there are three specifications that matter the most. When you’re comparing Brother printers, pay close attention to these key stats.
Dots per inch (dpi): This is a measurement of the resolution of an image or text that a printer can produce. For print work, a lower number (such as 200 dpi) is fine for readable text, but for images or photos, a higher number (such as 2,400 dpi) is recommended.
Pages per minute (ppm): This describes how quickly the printer can print. If you print a lot of long documents, this basically equates to how long you’ll be waiting, so it’s worthwhile paying attention to which models have faster ppm rates.
Brother offers a wide array of printers, each with a different set of helpful features, but some are better than others. Here are the features we consider essential.
Wireless printing: What used to be a luxury has quickly become a bare essential. Brother printers with wireless printing let you send photos or documents directly from your iOS or Android smartphone to be printed immediately. If you spend more time on your phone than you do at your desktop computer, or if you move around your house with your laptop a lot, wireless printing is a crucial convenience.
Double-sided printing: We love saving trees, and double-sided printing is one of the best ways to do it. It also saves money on paper, which will make a big difference if you expect to print large documents on a regular basis.
Scanning and batch scanning: While some Brother printers are “all-in-ones,” meaning they print, scan, and fax, other models simply offer printing and scanning without a built-in fax machine. Having a scanner can be incredibly useful, especially if your work involves signing a lot of documents. Having a batch scanner means you can scan multiple pages in a single job – a huge time-saver over scanning documents one page at a time.
Brother’s printers are priced to compete with better-known brands – and offer outstanding value in just about any price range. You can expect to pay between $50 and $350 for a Brother printer, depending on features.
Inexpensive: Between $50 and $99, you’ll find Brother’s best black-and-white printers (sometimes referred to as “monochrome”). Models in this price range don’t sacrifice much besides color, so it’s definitely possible to find a Brother laser printer with things like wireless printing for less than $100.
Mid-range: Between $100 and $199, Brother sells models that include features that other brands charge a lot more for. In this price range, you’ll see robust multifunction machines: Brother’s printer/scanner/fax machines that have laser printing, duplex printing, and WiFi. If you need a printer that produces above-average prints and includes nearly all of the bells and whistles, many of Brother’s best values are in this range.
Expensive: Between $200 and $350, you’ll encounter Brother’s printers for small businesses. Printers in this price range are built like tanks and work well in bigger network environments with a variety of devices. If you need a printer that will easily handle printing more than 50 pages a day, you’ll need to look at Brother’s most expensive options.
Research how much replacement ink or toner costs for each model you’re considering. Most printer manufacturers aren’t really in the printer business. They’re in the ink business. If you find a printer with an unbelievably low price, look up the cost of ink or toner for that specific model and you may find that some “amazing” deals will cost more over the course of ownership than models that require a higher upfront investment.
Before installing any software or drivers for your Brother printer, make sure your computer even needs them. Many operating systems can treat Brother printers as “plug-and-play” printers. For years, computer owners have wrestled with installing printer drivers – the software that enables your computer to interact with the printer – on their computers. Manufacturer drivers and software can be useful, but nowadays most major operating systems (including Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux) include drivers for a wide variety of printers, so all you have to do is plug the printer in. Before you start fussing with third-party software, test to see what your operating system can do on its own.
Q. Will a Brother printer work with my Mac?
A. Yes. All Brother printers are compatible with Mac OS X, either through Brother’s included software or OS X’s built-in plug-and-play printer functionality.
Q. Which looks better: paper printed from an inkjet printer or paper printed from a laserjet?
A. It depends on the specific printers, but in general, laser printers produce clearer documents and are less prone to the smearing that can occur on pages printed with an inkjet. Print clarity is measured in dots per inch (dpi), so if you’re trying to compare two printers to determine which will produce the better output, the model with the higher dpi is likely to be much sharper.
Q. Will photos look OK if I print them with a laser printer?
A. Yes! Although color laser printers are among the most expensive printers available, when it comes to printing photographs, they can produce some of the best prints available (although inkjets with multiple-color inks do a very good job as well). Just be careful when you’re looking at laser printers. In order for photographs to look good, the printer needs to have a high dpi rating. For color photographs, we recommend a model with at least 2,400 dpi.