Brother HL-L3270CDW Laser Printer Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8.1
Reviewed Jun 26, 2020 at 08:15 am
Brother HL-L3270CDW Laser Picture
5.6
Family
7.1
Small/Home Office
7.4
Student
8.0
Black & White
5.7
Casual Photo
Type Printer Only
Technology Laser
Wireless Yes
Color Yes
SuperTank
No

The Brother HL-L3270CDW is a decent printer for both home office and student use. It has an impressive printing speed and a low cost-per-print even if you are completing large printing jobs. It also has a big input tray that can hold a good amount of paper and it includes a display screen that can be raised to the user's preference. It has an excellent design which makes it easier to remove paper jams from the back. Unfortunately, this printer doesn't include a scanner and if you need to print photos, there's a lot of banding in the colors.

Our Verdict

5.6 Family

The Brother HL-L3270CDW is a sub-par family printer. When used to print photos, there's clear banding in the colors and the quality of the image is poor. The colors are decent, and it has an excellent cost-per-print but doesn't include a scanner.

Pros
  • Solid build quality.
  • Fast print speed.
  • Low cost-per-print.
Cons
  • Doesn't have a scanner.
  • Banding and leakage when printing photos.
  • No supports for external storage devices.
7.1 Small/Home Office

The Brother HL-L3270CDW is a satisfactory printer for home or small office use. It has a remarkable black and color page yield. It also has a great build quality, and its design makes it easy to remove paper jams from behind the printer. It also has a solid, plastic build.

Pros
  • Solid build quality.
  • Fast print speed.
  • Low cost-per-print.
Cons
  • Doesn't have a scanner.
7.4 Student

The Brother HL-L3270CDW is a reasonable printer for students. It's excellent for printing essays or long bodies of work and has good color accuracy. It has great connectivity and an outstanding mobile app. Additionally, its cost-per-print and print speed are both impressive.

Pros
  • Solid build quality.
  • Fast print speed.
  • Low cost-per-print.
Cons
  • Doesn't have a scanner.
  • No supports for external storage devices.
8.0 Black & White

The Brother HL-L3270CDW is a great printer for black and white use. Although this printer can print in color, it's much more suited for black-only documents, as the cost-per-print remains low even if you print a lot. It also has an impressive printing speed.

Pros
  • Solid build quality.
  • Fast print speed.
  • Low cost-per-print.
Cons
  • Doesn't have a scanner.
5.7 Casual Photo

The Brother HL-L3270CDW is an inadequate printer for printing photos. While the colors seem crisp and clear, there's a lot of banding throughout the entire photo. It also doesn't support 4" x 6" paper and cannot print on glossy paper.

Pros
  • Solid build quality.
  • Fast print speed.
Cons
  • Banding and leakage when printing photos.
  • 5.6 Family
  • 7.1 Small/Home Office
  • 7.4 Student
  • 8.0 Black & White
  • 5.7 Casual Photo

Check Price

White MFC-L3770CDW
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
8.5
Design
Build & Design Quality

The Brother L3270CDW has an impressive design. The body of the printer is mainly built with a plastic that gives it a hard and sturdy feel. Both the input and output tray are well-designed with manual length and width sliders that adjust to the paper's format. The cover can also be pulled down to give the user easy access in case there is a paper jam. Additionally, unlike the Brother HL-L2390DW, the power cord is detachable, making it easier to replace if ever it's damaged. Unfortunately, because this printer doesn't have a scanner, the output tray remains exposed and uncovered on the top of the printer.

Design
Dimensions
Height 9.9" (25.1 cm)
Width 17.3" (44.0 cm)
Depth 18.1" (46.1 cm)
Weight
40.3 lbs (18.3 kg)

The Brother HL-L3270CDW is a fairly compact printer that will easily fit on a desk. It's much shorter than the Brother MFC-L3770CDW because it's missing a scanner.

7.5
Design
Display Screen
Display Screen Yes
Display Screen Size
2.6" (6.7 cm)
Touchscreen Yes

The Brother HL-L3270CDW has a good, easy to navigate touch-sensitive display screen. It has a quick response time and has good visibility whether you're using it seated or standing. It can be raised to your preference but doesn't include a left or right swivel. Unfortunately, the resolution of the screen isn't very sharp, and the background is grainy.

Design
In The Box

  • Set of toner cartridges:
    • 1 x TN223 Black toner cartridge/drum unit
    • 1 x TN223 Cyan toner cartridge/drum unit
    • 1 x TN223 Magenta toner cartridge/drum unit
    • 1 x TN223 Yellow toner cartridge/drum unit
  • Power cable
  • Setup CD
  • User guide

9.3
Design
Cartridge
Photo Cartridge
No
Number Of Color Cartridges
3
Black Cartridge Model
TN-223BK
Tested Black Page Yield
75.00 prints
Estimated Black Page Yield
1425 prints
Color Cartridge Model
TN-223C/M/Y
Tested Color Page Yield
70.00 prints
Estimated Color Page Yield
1604 prints
Third Party Cartridge
Yes
High Yield Cartridge
XL
Drum Unit
A Separate Unit

The Brother MFC-L3270CDW has an excellent cartridge system. The toner is separate from the drum unit, so you won't have to replace the drum when you replace the toner. However, once you need to replace a cartridge, it has to be replaced by a brand new Brother cartridge and not one that has already been used in another machine. According to the manufacturer, this is to ensure that Brother can monitor the machine's toner consumption and provide the best possible image quality. According to Brother, the drum unit is rated to last for 18000 prints.

This printer accepts third-party toner cartridges; however, using them may void your warranty.

0
Design
Scanner
Scanner
No
Scan Flatbed
No
Scan Sheetfed
No
Automatic Document Feeder
No
Duplex Scanning
No
Scan Resolution
N/A
Scan Color Depth
N/A
Flatbed Scan Size
N/A
Fax
No
Copy
No

The Brother MFC-L3270CDW doesn't include a scanner. If you need a scanner, check out the Brother MFC-L2750DW.

Printing
8.5
Printing
Cost Per Print
Black Cartridge Price
57.49 US$
Color Cartridge Price
217.47 US$
Black Only Printing
0.040 US$/print
Color Printing
0.136 US$/print
Photo Printing
0.319 US$/print
Ink Subscription
Optional

The Brother HL-L3270CDW's cost-per-print is amazing. Similar to the MFC-L3770CDW, if you print mainly in black, the cost rises slightly as you print over a certain number of pages, but the cost of printing in color rises significantly the more you print. The HL-L3270CDW is also eligible for Brother's Refresh Auto-fulfillment ink service, where the company will track your toner levels and auto-ship a replacement when necessary.

8.2
Printing
Printing Speed
Black Only Text Document
16 PPM
Color Document
26 PPM
Photo Printing Time
18.0 sec
First Page Out Time (Black Only)
14.0 sec
Duplex Printing
Automatic
Input Tray Capacity
250 pages

The printing speed on this printer is great. It takes longer to print the first page, but subsequent pages are much faster. The output tray can hold up to 150 sheets of paper. It can print color documents faster than black only. However, if you only print black-text documents, the monochrome Lexmark B2236dw has a much quicker printing speed.

7.7
Printing
Color Accuracy
Average Color dE
9.29

The printing color accuracy is good; however, most colors are inaccurate, just to different degrees.

If you want a printer with better color accuracy, then check out the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw.

5.0
Printing
Photo Printing Quality
Borderless Printing
No

The Brother HL-L3270CDW is one of the better performing laser printers for photo printing that we've tested so far, but the overall quality is still poor. While the colors seem crisp and clear, there's a lot of banding throughout the entire photo. There's also severe graininess around the faces. Note that the printer can't print on 4" x 6" paper, so glossy 8.5" x 11" paper was used instead.

These results are based on the actual physical photo, not the scanned image provided for reference above, which may not be representative of the printer's photo print quality.

Printing
Printing Size
Letter (8.5" x 11") Yes
Legal (8.5" x 14") Yes
Tabloid (11" x 17") No
A6 (105mm x 148mm) Yes
A5 (148mm x 210mm) Yes
A4 (210mm x 297mm) Yes
Photo (2" x 3") No
Photo (4" x 6") No
Photo (5" x 7") No

The Brother HL-L3270CDW has an adjustable input tray that supports most standard paper formats, from letter to legal. However, it can't print large documents such as tabloid size or small photos.

Mobile App and Connectivity
8.0
Mobile App and Connectivity
Connectivity
Ethernet
Yes
USB Input To Computer
Yes
Bluetooth
No
Wi-Fi via Router
Yes
Wi-Fi Direct
Yes
External Storage Support
No
Apple AirPrint
Yes
Mopria Print Service
Yes

The Brother HL-L3270CDW has great connectivity. The only wireless feature that it doesn't include is Bluetooth support. That shouldn't be that much of an issue because the printer is NFC capable and supports Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service. Unfortunately, the printer doesn't support external storage like a USB or SD card.

10
Mobile App and Connectivity
Mobile App Print
Mobile App Yes
App Name Brother iPrint&Scan
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Photo (JPEG, PNG)
Yes
PDF
Yes
Microsoft Office Files
Yes
Text Files (TXT)
Yes
Webpages (HTML)
Yes

The Brother iPrint&Scan app is exceptional. It supports nearly every file type and can access the printer's settings to check on the printer's ink levels. It also supports NFC, so you can quickly connect your mobile phone to the printer.

Compared to other printers

Brother MFC-L3770CDW Laser
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Brother HL-L3270CDW Laser and the Brother MFC-L3770CDW Laser are two very similar printers. They both have outstanding build quality, print fast with a low cost-per-print, but neither is the best choice for photo printing. The main difference is that the HL-L3270CDW doesn't come with a scanner, while the MFC-L3770CDW does.

Lexmark B2236dw
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Lexmark B2236dw is a slightly better laser printer for printing in black and white than the Brother HL-L3270CDW Laser. The Lexmark can yield slightly more pages from its toner cartridge, it's cost-per-print is more affordable, and it has a quicker printing speed. That being said, the Brother can quickly print in color, it has a better display screen, and its color accuracy is quite good too.

HP LaserJet Enterprise M507dn
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Although the HP LaserJet Enterprise M507dn and the Brother HL-L3270CDW are both laser printers, they're made for different purposes. The Brother is a lot more versatile, as it has a scanner and it can print in color. The Brother also has better connectivity options and mobile app support, but the HP is a better printer for printing black and white documents as it prints faster and its toner cartridge can yield a lot more pages.

HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Brother HL-L3270CDW Laser and the HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw are very similar in their overall performance. The main differences are that the Brother has a higher black and color page yield, making it slightly more cost-effective over time. The Brother also has a better mobile companion app, but the HP has more connectivity options, as it supports USB thumb drives.

Brother HL-L2395DW Laser
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Brother HL-L2395DW Laser is a better printer than the Brother HL-L3270CDW Laser. The HL-L2395DW has outstanding cost-per-print and printing speed, and you can print a large number of copies on a single toner cartridge. It also includes a scanner, but the scanner doesn't have an automatic feeder.

HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

For most uses, the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw is much better than the Brother HL-L3270CDW Laser. The HP has a better display screen, it yields more black and color pages, and it prints faster. The HP also has support for external drives and it has a full-feature scanner. The Brother's cost-per-print is slightly lower, but keep in mind that the drum unit is separate and will need to replaced eventually, which can be costly.

Brother HL-L2370DW
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Brother HL-L3270CDW Laser is a better overall printer than the Brother HL-L2370DW. The HL-L2370DW can only print in black, while the HL-L3270CDW is a color printer. Neither option includes a scanner, but the HL-L3270CDW has good color accuracy.

Brother HL-L2390DW
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Brother HL-L2390DW is a better black and white printer than the Brother HL-L3270CDW Laser. It has a low cost per print, an excellent printing speed capability, and includes an impressive black page yield. However, the HL-L3270CDW can print in color and has a better display screen.

Canon imageCLASS MF445dw
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Canon imageCLASS MF445dw and the Brother HL-L3270CDW Laser are meant for different uses. Although the Brother's ability to print in color is a big advantage, its lack of a scanner makes it less suitable for most small offices. Also, the Canon can yield more black pages from each cartridge and it prints a lot faster. The Canon's toner cartridge costs slightly more, but that's because it also contains the drum unit, which is a separate unit on the Brother.

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