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on 1 June 2013
I wanted a basic Laser Printer, having last had an Ink-jet which took ages to print large documents, left wet smudges and drained the ink fast. I just wanted a good quality Laser Printer without the bells and whistles - (ie. no need for fax/copier/scanner/duplex printing, etc). This is just perfect for my basic printing needs - a no-nonsense Laser Printer with fast, clear printouts and is very good value. The extra cartridges (when needed) I buy recycled or from another company since Brother charge approximately double what other companies charge (from what I have seen on the Internet); so, it's good news all round. The only negative I found is that it can be quite noisy after printing. After each print job, the noise from the fan or motor continues for quite some time - (and it's quite loud). This is a basic, and unnecessary flaw in design, in my opinion. Other printers and devices operate in a similar manner, but without the excessive noise. The printer is manufactured in Vietnam.
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I previously had a Brother HL-1430, purchased in January 2005 from a well known Computer Store. It has been brilliant, easy to use and economical on Toner. Apart from the Toner that came with the Printer, I have only had to purchase one other High Yield Toner which even now, still has some life left in it.

Unfortunately the HL-1430 started to make a strange noise on start up, and also a few times, made a weird noise and stopped printing halfway through a short print session. Brother were very helpful and pointed me in the direction of one of their authorised repairers. The trouble was, to get my HL-1430 looked at and then repaired was going to cost around £50 so it made sense to then shop around for the best price to get a replacement. (This old faithful is being kept as backup - just in case)

This Brother HL-2130 is lighter in weight, trimmer in style and just that bit faster in use than it's predecessor. Remember when you purchase this Printer, that unless you have a USB 2 Printer cable, you will need to purchase one. Brother recommend that it is not more than 2 metres long.

It was easy to set up with no problems at all and there is the opportunity, at this time, to register the product. Just follow the instructions that come up on your computer screen when the Brother CD-ROM is in operation. I have this Printer installed on my Dell Desktop Computer using Windows XP operating system. I did not encounter any problems with the installation at all. USB cable is inserted into the back of the computer not the front.

There is no printed Instruction Manual with the Printer, but if you go on-line, you can find one on the Brother Web Site to download and print out, if you so desire. I prefer to have written information so I did all this with the old Printer before installing the new one. It is worth doing, as there is a lot of information there.

The HL-2130 is nice and quiet in warming up and printing.

The information provided says that the Toner that comes with the Printer will print approx 700 pages. Obviously this would vary, depending on the sort of printing you were doing. If there were to be a lot of block black areas then this would probably lessen.

There is the facility to see how much Toner has been used, how many pages you have printed. You can also see the status of the Drum.

To do this go to My Computer - Control Panel - Printers and Faxes. Highlight the Printer and right click the mouse and highlight Properties. Left click to open. Then click on Printing Preferences, then on the bottom left of the next window, click on Support - Print Settings. Once clicked there will not be another window, but make sure the printer is on and a sheet will print out showing your Printer History at that time and the remaining life of the Drum and Toner. Handy so you can order a spare Toner in time and not run out.

If you wish to save Toner you can set it to do so. You have a choice to do it on a permanent setting which will stay as such until you change it, or, you can do it on an ad hoc basis. Any documents that need crisp quality must be printed on the normal toner setting. The toner save setting does come out a little pale, but is easily readable and perhaps useful for printing out anything that is unimportant or that is only a sort of temporary copy (eg emails to husband from the Golf Club!).

I thoroughly recommend this Printer and there is no better price than Amazon - trust me, I've looked and I never buy anything in a hurry without checking it all out!!

20/03/2013
Since writing this review I have contacted Brother, by email, to ask for details of a high yield toner cartridge (2k pages approx). They have replied that unfortunately there is not one available and as this is an entry level Printer, only one cartridge exists and will remain that way. I had, at the same time, also contacted another company - The Cartridge People - and they too have confirmed there is no high yield cartridge available either.

I am a little disappointed with this aspect, however I still feel the 5 stars is the correct rating.

4/8/14
Having had this printer for a while now, I can confirm the more it has been used, the noisier it has become. This is a bit irritating as it was really quiet at first.
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This printer was bought to provide cheap, quick printout from a basic, home-use desktop where colour isn't necessary and does the job admirably. It has a compact form factor but is nonetheless bigger than most photo/deskjet printers in the same price bracket. It's the lightest-weight/duty and lowest-priced Brother printer I've used to date, but still feels reassuringly solid in terms of build quality.

The printer measures roughly 14 inches wide/deep by 6 1/2inches tall. Set up (on my parents' Vista-based PC) was completely straightforward, the most time-consuming element being the software installation.

The printer is quick - not the fastest of its type, but at 20ppm still speedy enough that you aren't hanging over it waiting for it to get through the last few lines before you can grab your document! The initial toner - as others have said - is a start-up cartridge and NOT a full/full-size version... but, assuming that you aren't printing highly ink-dense documents, still lasts well. Certainly better than ink jet technology.

In terms of noise, this isn't the quietest of printers. Once it's awake, there is an internal fan that whirs for ages and the only way to stop it manually is to turn the printer off. The start button doesn't also serve as a simple go/pause button (as it has on other Brother printers I've owned), instead, if the printer is in 'idle' mode, a press of this button will result in the printout of a test page.

There are 2 paper feeders: a 250 page (at 80gsm) tray at the bottom of the printer, but also a sheet loader on the front of the device for large envelopes and providing guidance for inserting sheets intended for manual duplexing. This is a really useful feature for lower volume users.

PROS:

- low cost purchase and potentially cheaper than inkjet to run
- small size
- fast printout
- guidance for manual duplexing

CONS

- it's a basic model and not meant as a serious business machine
- barebones printer with limitations on paper type
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on 28 November 2011
Another great entry level product from Brother. A cheap Black and White laser printer that beats an ink jet hands down. We all want a printer that doesnt use too much ink because we all know how much those cartridges cost. Well the toner costs the same as equivalent set of colour carts but lasts 50 times longer. Most of the time you just want to bang off a letter or two, dont really need colour, so this fits the bill.

I would have given it 5 stars if it wasnt for the fact that the toner supplied was one of those not quite full ones, so you only get 750 pages not a 1000.

And Amazon, great job as usual, prompt and efficient, came before they said it would, cant knock that!
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on 11 December 2012
A great little printer. It was very easy to set up as discussed before, and has a very fast output. The fan can be annoying, but does shut off after the machine has been on for a while. Great buy.
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on 4 September 2012
I've owned this printer for about 3 months now. As far as speed and reliability goes I cannot fault it, but I have found it to be a hungry beast. The starter cartridge gave me about 300 pages before the toner light began flashing, warning me the toner was low and I should be prepared to change it soon. I bought a compatible toner cartridge and that gave me about 500 pages before the toner light began flashing, so treat the acclaimed 1,000 pages claim with a pinch of salt.

If you use the toner refil kits (about £12-£15), which I intend to, or compatible toner cartridges (£15-£25) the printer becomes economical, but if you use the genuine Brother toner cartridges at £27-£37 it is somewhat costly to run.
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I just bought one of these from another supplier (no available stock at Amazon) for use at another location. I did not need one with huge capacity, duplex or network capability as it replaces an inkjet multifunction printer that was USB and I can use the existing cables. Offering approximately 20 pages per minute (after loading the layout and for multiple copies of one document) and so is quite fast. A few years ago, one of this speed would have cost several hundreds of £!

Unlike other Brother lasers (this is number 4 spread over about 15 years), the toner cartridge came pre-installed and simply needed to have a tag and a piece of plastic to be removed. A few other tape tags also need removing. With Windows 7, it did not need any CD-based software to be installed and was recognised in about a minute after the pre-loaded drivers were installed.

In use, it is less noisy than larger Brother lasers when printing and once finished, it is completely quiet. After a lengthy resting period, it will 'sleep' and use very little power. Start up from cold is also reasonably fast.

In terms of space, it is very small at about 12 inches square and stands about 8 or 9 inches high. It will accept about 250 sheets of 80gsm paper, so should be OK for some time before needing a refill, unlike others that accept 100-150 sheets only.

At the current price, it is a crazy deal as it cheaper than many inkjets. The toner is good for 2,000 pages (at the nominal 5% coverage) although the initially supplied one is probably a starter and good for 500-1000 pages.

As a basic printer, whatever its technology, it is about as good as you can get for the money!
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on 2 May 2012
I downloaded the latest Mac drivers from Brother web site. loaded the drivers then connected the printer. Mac identified printer and used the driver I put on earlier. loaded to mac running lion with no problem. better than the Samsung laser that give me nothing but problems with no help from samsung. Its small (compaired to Samsung) for a laser. The printer taking up only about 18" of desk space. You lose about 4" due to the power and printer leads sticking out of the back. I had this up and running in about 10 mins. good crisp printing. I liked the test button that printed out a test sheet before connecting to PC. at least I knew the printer was ok before connecting to PC. Removing the tonor cartridge is also a lot easier than the samsung. I would recommend this printer for running on a mac. Its cheap (just under £40), simple to work and connect, and does the job i want it for (home use, casual printing). No USB printer lead included in the box though.
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I bought this recently to take over some of the black and white printing chores that my HP Deskjet 1050A All-in-One Printer (Print, Scan, Copy) finds it difficult to lower itself to even entertain the thought of. That one is so gobby and wilfully defiant that Basil Fawlty would have taken a tree branch to it by now.

Naturally, I expected the worst when I plugged this one in. Most printers seem to be able to smell fear, that's my theory. When this one allowed me to load its accompanying disc onto my computer without any abuse or threats whatsoever, I was cautious. When it accepted without argument my disinterest in registering everything down to my shoe-size with Brother, it simply accepted that. When I put some paper in, pressed a few buttons and actually printed a five hundred page document, I was astonished. I did print it off in fifty page chunks though, just so that I could keep a tight control over the paper situation. I know I ought to trust the HL-2130 with my whole document but, when you've had the sort of printing experiences that I have, it's hard to trust a printer again. But we'll get there. I might need counselling first, but we'll get there.

The quality of the printing was good and the way the paper moves through the system is very smooth. It's incredibly mesmeric actually, watching the result of hours of toil appear in front of you in a matter of seconds. The printer is quite noisy, which I think is down to some kind of fan inside of it. But if a printer is actually doing what it's supposed to, with no tantrums, no attention seeking and no dramas whatsoever, I'm more than happy to put up with a little noise.

I have it connected to the computer via the front USB port, although it seems to get rather easily displaced in mid-job. Astonishingly though, the printer doesn't hold me personally responsible for the hold ups and refuse to work for me until I've told it how beautiful it is, like a certain little Deskjet I can think of. The HL-2130 just gets on with the task at hand.

When the toner eventually did run low, a small little warning message appeared in the right hand corner of the screen. Nothing like that Deskjet, which takes over everything and nags you incessantly. I replaced the toner very easily with CiberDirect Compatible Laser Toner Cartridge To Replace Brother TN2010. 1,000 page yield based on 5% coverage. For Use With Brother DCP-7055, DCP-7057, HL-2130, HL-2132 and HL-2135W Printers. and that was that. No mandatory 'test pages', no playing hard to get. No nagging about how great you are for choosing the right toner / how you're going to hell for choosing the wrong toner. It just gets on with it. I can't emphasise that attribute enough - this printer just does what it's supposed to.

I still have to keep the Deskjet beside me in order to print off the odd life-sized Jon Pertwee - and because I'm scared of what it might do to me if I put it out with the rubbish where it belongs - but the HL-2130 has fast become my best friend. Not just for printing tasks either. I find it very reassuring to have something stoic and reliable by my side during these troubled times. You can't choose your family...but you can choose your Brother.
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on 7 June 2012
Checked before purchase that this product was compatible with XP and Windows 7. Installed software with no problem on my windows laptop, which is my backup. Failed miserably with my XP (my main work horse). Still having problems - Brother site not much use and problems with installing on XP are included in the reviews on the Brother site.
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