Brother HL-L3295CDW Color Laser Printer Review: Fast, High-Quality Color Prints

This color laser printer is perfect for your small business needs.

Brother HL-L3295CDW Color Laser Printer Review: Fast, High-Quality Color Prints

Key Takeaways

  • Brother HL-L3295CDW has 31PPM print speed, making it a cost-effective option for small businesses.
  • Ink may be pricier than tank-based printers, but quality, speed, and built-in features justify the cost.
  • Easy setup, two paper trays for different paper types, and reliable wireless connectivity make it a solid choice.

The Brother HL-L3295CDW color laser printer is built for small business and home office use. You’ll find an impressive print speed of up to 31 pages per minute (PPM) for both color or monochrome, and the built-in wireless and duplexing features work well out of the box with just about any modern computer or smartphone. While this model is on the pricier side of color laser printers, the ink comes in at quite a bit more affordable than competing brands, making it a compelling option.

Brother HL-L3295CDW Color Laser Printer Review: Fast, High-Quality Color Prints

Brother HL-L3295CDW Color Laser Printer Review: Fast, High-Quality Color Prints

Brother HL-L3295CDW Color Laser Printer

Brother's HL-L3295CDW Color Laser Printer packs a print speed of 31 PPM for both black and color pages, has a 250-page capacity in the main tray and 30 page in the multipurpose tray, and features built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. With AirPrint compatibility and duplexing as stock features, this printer is perfect for your small or medium business as well as home office use.

Brand Brother Type Laser Color Printing Yes Scanner No Document Feeder No Pages Per Minute 31 Connection Wi-Fi, ethernet, USB Tray Capacity 250 Pros

  • 31PPM printing
  • One of the cheapest color laser printers per page
  • 2,600-page yield
  • Easy setup with AirPrint

Cons

  • Poor photo quality compared to inkjet
  • More expensive ink compared to inkjet

$370 at Amazon$369.99 at Brother$369.99 at Staples$369.99 at B&H Photo Video

An Affordable Color Laser Printer When It Comes to Ink

Brother HL-L3295CDW Color Laser Printer Review: Fast, High-Quality Color Prints

Laser printers have typically had a higher price of admission, but a much lower per-page print cost, whereas inkjet printers were cheaper, but had high-priced ink. Fast-forward to today and there’s a newcomer on the scene with tank-based printers, delivering full-color printing as low as $0.01/page. This, in a way, has taken over the scene when it comes to color printing. Tank-based printers are cheaper and cost less in ink on average compared to any other printer. But, laser printers still hold the top stop for a few reasons, namely print speed and quality.

That’s where the Brother HL-L3295CDW comes in. The printer itself clocks in with a $370 initial cost, which includes 2,300 pages of full-color printing in the box. The printer is AirPrint compatible, sets up in minutes, and also has full duplexing capabilities.

While you might be able to find tank-based inkjet printers to print for $0.01/page, this Brother clocks in at $0.17/page. This sounds expensive until you compare it to other color laser printers. The HP Color LaserJet Pro M283fdw costs $0.26/page for ink, and the Canon Color imageCLASS LBP632Cdw will set you back the same $0.26/page. Even Brother’s own HL-L3220CDW, a similar laser printer from the same brand, costs $0.20/page. This shows how affordable the HL-L3295CDW is on a per-page basis, making it one of the best choices for color laser printers in your small business or home office.

The Brother HL-L3295CDW Delivers High-Quality Full-Color Prints and Even Does Photos

Brother HL-L3295CDW Color Laser Printer Review: Fast, High-Quality Color Prints

Given that color laser printing is much more expensive than tank-based printing these days, is it really worth the extra cost? Well, I’d say yes, in a few specific areas. If you want to print photos and high-quality glossy images, while this printer does do that, it’s not really the best at it. I printed the same picture on the Brother HL-L3295CDW and my Epson ET-2803 and the Epson blew it out of the water. Yes, the Brother did print color, but the quality of the inkjet printer was just far superior. The colors were richer, the glossiness stayed intact, and it was just overall a better end result. But, the laser printer did print a full-color photo, and for a laser printer, did pretty well, I’d say.

But, that’s not the key focus here. The key to deciding between a color laser printer and an inkjet, and, more importantly, the Brother HL-L3295CDW and other inkjets on the market, is speed and normal page quality. White text occasionally had a little ghosting around it with the Brother HL-L3295CDW, when it came to full color prints or complex prints, it blows the inkjet printers away. Add to that, laser prints are dry immediately, while inkjet takes a little longer to dry once it’s printed and the Brother is the clear winner here.

I handed my wife five test prints from both my inkjet printer and the Brother HL-L3295CDW, where she didn’t know which page came from which printer. It was easy for her to find the prints from the Brother. They were more vibrant, crisp, and better in every way. Except for the photo department. She initially thought the better photo print came from the Brother, as it had won every other category already. But, when it comes to photos, laser is just no match for inkjet. However, if you’re never going to print photos, or just rarely, then that’s not something to worry about really. In normal full-color prints (like thank you cards, flashcards, etc.) it does a superb job. And, for the occasional photo print, it does just fine.

Brother HL-L3295CDW Color Laser Printer Review: Fast, High-Quality Color Prints

One of the other things that I was most impressed with about the Brother HL-L3295CDW was the quality vs speed. With the ability to print at up to 31PPM, either black or full color, it’s drastically faster than even some of the best inkjet printers on the market. I started a 15 sheet job on the Brother and from the time I clicked “print” to the time it was done was 58 seconds. 28 seconds after the first sheet started coming out of the printer, the final one was complete. The first 30 seconds or so was the job transferring from the computer and the printer processing it. Compare that to the fact that my inkjet would take about a minute just to spit out a single sheet and that shows just how impressive the Brother is at print speed.

The printer with the closest print speed I could find from Epson is nearly double the price and comes in at 25PPM with the EcoTank Pro ET-5580. Sure, inkjet might win when it comes to photos, but if you’re printing text or normal images on normal paper day in and day out, there’s no matching the speed of the Brother HL-L3295CDW. I would start a print job on the inkjet, and then wait a few seconds, and then start the same job on the Brother, and the Brother would finish the job before the inkjet, even though it was at a disadvantage of starting late.

Setup Is Super Simple

Brother HL-L3295CDW Color Laser Printer Review: Fast, High-Quality Color Prints

Setup for the Brother HL-L3295CDW was nice and easy. You can do everything through the built-in touchscreen, and, while somewhat small, it was still easy enough to use. I connected the printer to my Wi-Fi network, and after a few minutes of auto-configuring things, it was ready to go. I could print to it through AirPrint on my iPhone or iPad, and it was immediately found by my MacBook and Windows desktop just the same. If you’d rather not use Wi-Fi, there’s also an ethernet jack available as well as a USB-B port if you want to go the wired route.

Trays Can Be Different Paper Types

Brother HL-L3295CDW Color Laser Printer Review: Fast, High-Quality Color Prints

You’ll find two different trays available here, the standard one, which holds up to 250 sheets of paper, and then the “multipurpose” tray that folds out from the front. The multipurpose tray can only hold 30 sheets at a time, but it’s got a wider range of compatibility, and a more limited use case. Going with the multipurpose tray, you can print a few more types of paper, like glossy photo, letterhead, and more. This is because the paper from the multipurpose tray doesn’t go through quite as many rollers as that from the normal tray, meaning it can handle a few extra types. Whereas the standard tray is really only made for standard paper and card stock.

One thing that I love about having the two trays is you can have them programmed for different types of paper. If you keep normal letter paper in the main tray, but occasionally print with card stock, then you can leave the multipurpose tray set to thick paper and whenever you fold it out and insert card stock, it’s ready to go. This is one use that I love for the printer, as I’m going to personally keep card stock in the main tray, and then, if I want to override what’s going through it, I can just put normal paper in the multipurpose tray and have it already programmed and ready to go without even having to think about changing a setting.

Should You Buy the Brother HL-L3295CDW Printer?

Brother HL-L3295CDW Color Laser Printer Review: Fast, High-Quality Color Prints

The Brother HL-L3295CDW color laser printer is a solid buy if you value speed over ink cost. While you can get something like a tank-based inkjet printer for around the same initial cost, and get printed pages for as low as $0.01/page, you have to deal with the drawbacks of slower printing speeds and wet ink that the Brother HL-L3295CDW doesn’t have to contend with.

With 31PPM printing speed, great quality full-color prints, built-in wireless connectivity, and duplexing from the factory, the Brother HL-L3295CDW is a solid choice for your small business. However, those who don’t really need insane printing speed might still want to consider the likes of tank-based inkjet printers instead. Those types of printers are typically more cost-effective on startup with the initial purchase, and are vastly lower cost when it comes to buying ink in the future.

Brother HL-L3295CDW Color Laser Printer Review: Fast, High-Quality Color Prints

Brother HL-L3295CDW Color Laser Printer Review: Fast, High-Quality Color Prints

Brother HL-L3295CDW Color Laser Printer

Brother's HL-L3295CDW Color Laser Printer packs a print speed of 31 PPM for both black and color pages, has a 250-page capacity in the main tray and 30 page in the multipurpose tray, and features built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. With AirPrint compatibility and duplexing as stock features, this printer is perfect for your small or medium business as well as home office use.

$370 at Amazon$369.99 at Brother$369.99 at Staples$369.99 at B&H Photo Video

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