Wireless Printer?
June 18, 2018 9:15 PM   Subscribe

I need a new wireless printer. I'd prefer to deal with it this week, but with a minimum of actual work to pick one. Tell me which one -- details inside.

Currently have a wireless Brother printer that's several years old and has been a super-solid workhorse for us but now suffers non-stop existential crises where it refuses to believe it exists on the network and therefore we can't print to it. (Current printer has been running like 8 to 10 years with no problems until this year.) Looking for a laser printer; will mostly use it to print recipes, school forms, and occasional work documents running to 80 pages. Definitely wireless. Easier set-up is better. I don't want to spend a ton. My husband would not be sad to have a copy function, but we have a scanner so I give zero shits about copying. Similarly duplex might be nice but I don't care enough to pay very much for it. Sturdy and problem-free like the last one is great! The footprint of the current printer is about 15" by 15", which fits the space we have available nicely and I'd prefer not to go much bigger if I don't have to. (Height doesn't matter, I can go as tall as necessary.) Tell me what we want!
posted by Eyebrows McGee to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I have the slightly older model of this Brother printer. If I was getting a new one, that's what I would get.
posted by fings at 9:35 PM on June 18, 2018


I have the Brother HL-L2340DW, which has been replaced by a slightly newer model. It's rock solid for me. No wireless or printing issues.
posted by cnc at 10:25 PM on June 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


The Wirecutter's top pick for wifi-enabled laser printing is the Brother HL-L2340DW, which has been discontinued and the newer model is the Brother HL-L2350DW. Dimensions are 14.2 x 14 x 7.2 inches according to Amazon and also the Brother site's specs page. (On preview, these are the same models mentioned by cnc.)

Details on their reviews, + runners up, and an option with copy/scan are in the Wirecutter laser printer reviews from April.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 10:33 PM on June 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


I also have a decade-ish old Brother and if I had to replace it I'd probably just get the current model.
posted by Standard Orange at 1:13 AM on June 19, 2018


Brother HL3140CW bought second-hand a few years ago. I don't print much at all (once a month), but it sits there sleeping until I print, at which point it wakes to life, does its duty, then goes back to deep slumber. Supports standard printing over wifi and Airprint from my iPad and iPhone.

The thing is a tank but easily the best printer I've ever owned.
posted by sektah at 2:46 AM on June 19, 2018


Team HL-L2340DW (just trips off the tongue, doesn't it?)

It is the only good printer ever.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:14 AM on June 19, 2018


HL-L2390DW here, I stepped up because I wanted the scanner/copier function. This was a replacement for an old HL-2270 that suddenly decided to do the same thing yours is doing... and as soon as I got a new one, the problem went away and now the old one's back to working just fine. I work my printers pretty hard so I guess I needed a backup anyway ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 6:05 AM on June 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


If your only problem is that the WiFi has been failing, based on Mary Ellen Carter's comment, I'm wondering if you only need to update a printer driver to keep the old printer working.
posted by SemiSalt at 7:52 AM on June 19, 2018


(I've had this problem with a similar vintage of Brother printer before (it stays in "deep sleep," right?). Upgrading from an Airport Express to an Airport Extreme, unexpectedly fixed it. Upgrading your WiFi to fix your printer seems a little excessive, but maybe updating the driver might help? Are you on a 5 Ghz band?)
posted by praemunire at 7:59 AM on June 19, 2018


If you can, try updating the firmware first -- I had an issue with an older Brother wireless printer, and the firmware update made all my problems go away (there was some kind of weird bug with deep sleep that was intersecting strangely with a new router, whereas my older router had a *different* bug that caused the printer bug to not appear, so I only noticed the printer bug when I had a bug-free router).
posted by aramaic at 9:03 AM on June 19, 2018


"I'm wondering if you only need to update a printer driver to keep the old printer working."

Have updated the driver and firmware a bunch of times, keeps happening, and I'm done dealing with it!

It's also developed an irritating squeak in its old age and squeals the entire time it prints. It's time! Sounds like another Brother from the same mother is the way to go!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:22 PM on June 19, 2018


Aaaaaand ordered. I went with the one with the copy/scan so my husband will quit whining about how much he hates our scanner!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:41 PM on June 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


I've got a pretty new (~9 months) HL-L2340DW. One thing I notice is that when it fires itself up at the start of a print job, it draws enough current to cause two lamps on the same circuit to slightly dim for a fraction of a second-- just a small but noticeable power sag. Not a big deal, but keep that in mind when you plug it in with other things. One benefit of a wireless printer is displacing it away from all your other electronics to a place it can call its own.

Seconding all of the above, though; it's well above satisfactory.
posted by Sunburnt at 1:35 PM on June 19, 2018


Oh wow, I'm glad it isn't just me having this weird problem. I'm going to check for a firmware update and maybe that'll do it. Or buy the one here!
posted by canine epigram at 2:00 PM on June 19, 2018


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