How do you choose the right printer? Inkjet, laser, or all-in-one model? Today’s printers are filled with features and use ink and toner in ways we have never seen before. It may seem easy to choose a printer, but choosing the right one can become quite daunting. There are a million questions to answer.
Do you need a basic printer? Should it have scanning and copying abilities? How much should it cost? What is the difference between a $200 and a $500 model? After you answer these questions, you are on the right path to buying a printer that will suit your needs.
There are a few things you might want to keep in mind. You will want to buy a printer that can deliver, regardless of whether it’s for your home or office. Also, consider if you want to print in color or mainly monotone.
In order to help you on your search, we decided to cover one excellent option in our in-depth Brother HL-L8360CDW Review. So, let’s take a closer look.
The HL-L8260 on steroids
The HL-L8360CDW is a color laser printer, and the price is reasonable for a printer of this caliber and class. But it can be considered expensive, especially for a home printer. It is well rounded, fast with good output quality and tons of perks. It’s like the HL-L8260CDW on steroids, which is also a superb printer option.
If we compare the two, the 8360 has more expandability with sheets and twice the memory. It also has a higher duty cycle, which means that it will last longer. With access to higher-yield toner cartridges, the running costs are lower as well. But that’s not all. NFC or near-field communication and a color touchscreen are great added features.
But most importantly, the HL-L8260CDW prints well at high speed.
Who does it suit?
Considering that it’s a moderate-to-heavy volume printer, it’s best suited for micro to small offices or workgroups. It’s a stylish printer with an off-white body and a black top. It measures 12.3 x 17.4 x 19.1 inches and weighs 4.1 pounds.
Due to the size and weight, it’s not very easy to move around, but you should have a designated space for it. The paper capacity is quite impressive, and it holds 300 sheets split between a 250-sheet cassette and a multipurpose tray for 50 sheets.
Room to grow
If 300 sheets aren’t enough, you can expand the paper capacity with three 250-sheet cassettes. If you still need more, you can increase it with two 500-sheet paper trays for a total of 1,300 sheets. Of course, this will add to the cost.
The impressive duty cycle of the HL-L8360CDW has a rating of 60,000 pages per month, but the recommendation is 4,000 pages per month.
In the last couple of years, connectivity on printers has vastly improved. Therefore, a wide range of connections is available on the HL-L8630CDW. It’s easy to configure, but the downside is that you have to choose between wired and wireless connections. You can’t use both interfaces at the same time.
The primary connection, however, is via USB, which makes it suitable for everyday use. If you need more connectivity options, you can use the built-in Gigabit Ethernet or the Wi-Fi Direct for seamless wireless printing.
A ton of cloud-based and mobility options are available. But the HL-L8630CDW supports NFC, which allows you to connect your smartphone or tablet to a hotspot on the printer.
To print directly from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or even OneDrive, use the Brothers Office Print Cloud app. Airprint is another app we highly recommend. It worked great for printing directly off our iPad and iPhone. Connecting to Google Cloud was easy, and we didn’t experience any issues when using the web interface.
Like the HL-L8620CDW, the 8630 allows you to print directly from a thumb drive, using a port located just beneath the control panel. One of the main features is the 27″ touchscreen making it easy to connect to the most popular cloud sites like Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc.
Print controls and security are excellent, using triple-layer security. You can configure up to 200 user accounts, limited to specific print features or functions. For example, you can restrict users to only use monochrome printing. You can even refuse their access to direct printing from particular pages on the internet.
Added security measures include LDAP and Active Directory Authentication. But the most impressive security feature is the NFC ID cards. If your access is limited, but you still try to access a restricted page or other functions that are blocked, a message will appear that says “Function Locked.”
Unfortunately, you don’t receive a local notification on your screen if you try to access a restricted print function, which could lead to many unnecessary calls to the support center if the user doesn’t know why their print jobs aren’t printed.
Another excellent security add-on is the confidential document feature. The printer will hold print jobs, and they will only print once the user enters a pin code on the printer.
If you want to set up a desktop publishing or graphic design environment, you can use HPs PCL6 or/and BR-script 3. Both of which are included and enhances the compatibility between printer and user. It also features Automatic Duplex Printing, an automatic two-sided printing feature that saves a lot of time.
Brother also provides free tech support, and it’s valid for the printer’s entire lifespan. Most printers only allow free tech support during the warranty period.
Quick as a flash…
With a maximum print speed of 33ppm for both black and white and color pages, the HL-L8630CDW is quick even by modern standards. However, if you print more complex graphic designs or photos, you will see a decrease in speed to around 11ppm, which is still considered fast for this class’s printer.
Above Average Print Quality
When printing text and graphics, the print quality is above average; however, when printing photographs, we found that the quality is slightly below average compared to other printers in this class. The quality is more than enough for most businesses who print brochures or other marketing material.
When we say below average, we don’t mean hideous or unattractive. At first glance, we couldn’t spot any errors, and we had to look closely to find them. We did, however, find some loss in details here and there and minor color shifting. In a few pictures, we saw slight graininess, but overall, it was good.
Potential to Save
The higher-yield toner cartridges allow printing of up to 6,500 pages for both black and the three color-cartridges Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow. If you print using only monotone color, you can print 4500 pages and 4,000 pages using only colors.
This allows you to save on the per-page cost compared to standard cartridges. If you are printing thousands of pages each month, you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the printer’s lifespan.
Stellar Performance and Value
The HL-L8360CDW delivers excellent value for money. The print speed and the print quality, combined with the lower running cost, make this a superb printer. If you also consider the high duty cycle of 4000 pages per month, all the added security features, and expanded mobile connectivity. You have a great deal for most offices, particularly if you print more than 1000 pages per month.
Pros And Cons Of Brother HL-L8360CDW
- Easy setup.
- High-yield toner cartridges.
- Mobile and cloud printing.
- Excellent print quality overall.
- Fast print speeds.
- Low running costs.
- Highly expandable paper capacity.
- Latest security features.
- Very large.
- Doesn’t support 11″ x 17″-sized paper.
Looking For More High Quality Printer Options?
If so, check out our in-depth Best Photo Printers Review, our Best Color Laser Printers Reviews, our Best Printers for Art Prints, our Best Black and White Printers Review, and our Best Portable Photo Printers Reviews.
Or, how about our comprehensive Best Printers for Envelopes Review, our Best ID Card Printer Reviews, our Best 3D Printers Review, our Best Printer for Mac Reviews, and our Best Printers for Photos Review in 2021.
Brother HL-L8360CDW Review – Our Verdict
HL-L8360CDW is an excellent printer. We recommend it for small to medium offices with a large printing capacity per month. It can be expensive for a home printer, and it’s quite big and bulky, so there are better choices available. It’s a single function printer, meaning it cannot scan or copy. If you are looking for an all-in-one printer, you can take a look at our Best All In One Printers Review.
With that said, the HL-L8360CDW, with its touchscreen, and security options, is a winner in our eyes. You won’t find many printers of this caliber and price in today’s market. Print quality is good, especially for text and graphics, and even though there were a few very slight errors when printing photographs, you won’t be disappointed.