Pros / The Brother MFC-L2740DW offers affordable black and white printing.
Cons / Document quality is good but not great.
Verdict / The Brother MFC-L2740DW is a multifunction black and white laser printer with affordable printing and good connectivity, but it’s a better choice if you don’t need pristine print quality.
The Brother MFC-L2470DW is a monochrome laser printer that offers scanning, copying and fax. While there are plenty of all-in-one laser printers on the market, this printer offers affordable printing and a compact design that makes it a good personal laser printer for the home office or dorm room.
As a rule, black and white laser printers are smaller than their color printing counterparts, since the printer only needs to accommodate one toner cartridge instead of four. The printer measures 16.1 x 15.7 x 12.5 inches and weighs 25.8 pounds. The 2.7-inch touchscreen is much smaller than most of the displays on home laser printers but is more than sufficient to tap and swipe your way through the menus and device settings as you use it.
In our print quality tests, the MFC-2740DW delivers good but not great printing. Text is legible down to a 3-point font, but in our 10-page text document we saw 22 errors. Almost every page was speckled with one or two pinprick sized spots of unwanted ink. When printing images or blocks of color, it printed a halftone pattern, as all black and white printers do; however, we saw heavy banding in images and unwanted shadowy spots where there should have been one consistent shade. Print speed was actually quite good, producing documents at 18 pages per minute.
Scanning and copying was middling, with decent capture of fine details, but it struggled to capture variations in shade and tone. Copies were particularly unimpressive, with documents coming out far too dark.
In all of our monochrome laser printer reviews, the biggest benefit of black and white printing is clear: There's no way to get color printing that matches the affordability of black and white. This is primarily due to the use of a single black toner cartridge. With standard size toner cartridges selling for just $44.99 and producing an estimated 1,200 pages, the Brother MFC-L2740DW has an average cost of 4 cents per page. High-capacity toner improves that per-page cost, with a slightly higher price but also a higher 2,600-page yield that works out to only 3 cents per page.
The printer has a single paper tray that holds 250 sheets of standard printer paper, which is average for single-tray systems. An automatic document feeder lets you scan, copy and fax multipage documents with a 35-page capacity, and automatic duplexing means you can print two-sided documents without having to manually flip any pages during printing.
The Brother MFC-L2740DW has all of the connectivity options we expected, with Ethernet and Wi-Fi for networking, support for Apple and Google mobile printing standards and the Brother iPrint&Scan app for better mobile document handling. However, it lacks an external USB port for printing directly from a flash drive.
Brother covers the MFC-L2740DW with a standard one-year warranty, and offers support via phone, email and live chat through the manufacturer's website. Online support options are sparse, but you will find an online user's manual and answers to frequently asked questions.
- Document Print Quality
- Black Print Speed
- Color Print Speed
- Scan Quality
- Copy Quality
- Cost Per Page (Standard)
- Cost Per Page (High Capacity)
The Brother MFC-L2740DW may not be the best black and white laser printer or quite as budget-friendly as some of the other personal laser printers in our review, but it does offer decent printing and multifunction capability for a reasonable price.