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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Printer shopping: Brother vs. HP

by Ken Newquist / February 6, 2011

My old HP LaserJet 1020 has finally stopped working with my Mac. Never meant to work with OS X, I could trick the 1020 into working by using the 1022 drivers. It meant jumping through a few hoops, but it worked fine ... until Snow Leopard. Now the old drivers aren't working, and the hacks to get it up and running again aren't worth the time.

At the same time my wife's replacing her ancient Sony Viao with a new MacBook Pro, so the time seems ripe for a new, Mac friendly printer. My initial thought was to take advantage of Apple's $100 rebate on new printers, but that only covers inkjets. I've had little luck with inkjets -- they drink ink like vampires, and seem prone to breaking down for no reason.

That's led me to research new Mac-compatible laser printing options. Queries on Twitter and research on Amazon turned up two candidates:

I'm leaning toward the Brother. The HP looks like the successor to the HP 1020, which -- despite its quirks -- was an affordable printer with good quality printouts. Unfortunately there are a number of reports on Amazon about overheating and smoking (the former leading to the latter). The Brother HL2270DW, on the other hand, gets good marks for affordability and long-lasting toner cartridges, but there are occasional problems with connectivity.

Both only support the B/G wifi standards, rather than N. With my wife moving to a new laptop, I'd hoped to be able to switch the entire wireless network to N only, but I suppose I could run things dual-band.

My question for the Nuketown readership is this: what what do you think? What's your favorite wireless printer? What's your favorite brand?

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I love my HP 1320N. It's networked on the Airport which is great. No considering which computer it's connected to, etc. It's a LaserJet with duplex and it generally performs without question. If it died, I'd be looking for another/updated instantly without question. I love it.

Thanks for the suggestion! Amusingly, Amazon lists its price as $779.69, which seems just a wee bit high. I'm guessing the used prices of $129.99 are closer to its original price. :)

I use them for office supplies. I have a Brother MFC- 7420 I got through them, great little machine (not the wireless that you want, but I'm sure that they make such). Try Quill for prices (great company).

I hadn't heard of them before; I'll check 'em out. The Brother printers are getting great word of mouth responses from my survey, so I think I'm going to go with one of them.

I am looking at exactly the same two models that you noted! I had an HP 4L which was great. But it started to make noise and now power won't come on. Even after getting motor replacement.

I also am leaning toward the Brother 2270 over the HP 1102. I like the look of the Brother machine more. And the toner is cheaper and goes long. Only drawback they recommend changing the drum every three toners. But I'm leaning towards Brother right now.

Also Brother has 27 pages per minute and 250 page paper tray.
HP does not state pages per minute (not a good sign) and is 150 page paper tray.

just bought a replacement for my old printer. I thought so highly of the old one, it worked flawlessly for 3 years until I dropped it, that I replaced it with an updated version of itself. Brother MFC 7460DN. Easy set-up, and I do not have computer skills, quiet to oporate and qwick to put out excellent copies.