Brother MFC-L2750DW XL review

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Brother MFC-L2750DW XL laser printer
(Image credit: Brother)

The Brother MFC-L2750DW offers a lot for the money. We tested the XL model, which costs under $400. Although this price is at the high end for the home/small-office monochrome laser printers we have tested, the XL model includes two toner cartridges that are rated to print a total of 7,500 pages.

The MFC-L2750DW XL offers a full set of features, including a fast automatic document feeder, duplex printing and copying, color scanning, faxing, and integration with cloud apps such as OneNote.

Built to print a maximum of 15,000 pages a month (also called its “duty cycle”), the MFC-L2750DW XL is built for heavier use than our Editors' Choice, the Canon ImageClass MF217w, which is rated for up to 8,000 pages per month. Altogether, our Brother MFC-L2750DW XL review makes it easy to see that it's one of the best all-in-one printers we've tested, and it's also the best laser printer.

Brother MFC-L2750DW XL review: Design

The 2.7-inch, color touch screen is not elegant, but it's effective. You can't swipe like you can on a smartphone screen, but tapping the virtual up/down on-screen menu buttons will get you where you want to go fairly quickly.

You lift up the 50-sheet ADF on top of the printer to reveal the scanner plate. The lid is held in place at about 45 degrees, so you don't have to support it while loading a document to scan. There is a foldout catch where pages land beneath the ADF, to keep them from sliding off the unit.

With a monthly duty cycle of 15,000 pages, the MFC-L2750DW XL is built for heavy use.

The output tray below the scanner glass is a recessed cavity in the body, with a hinged catch at the front. To make faxing easy, there's a 10-key pad for entering fax numbers.

The paper drawer on the bottom of the unit can hold up to 250 sheets of paper. There's a second input slot above that drawer, behind a fold-down cover, for specialty media; it can handle up to 10 envelopes, for example. The first time you open the paper drawer, a message appears on the screen asking if you are changing the paper size. If you answer, "No," the printer asks if you'd like it to ask that question again. Entering "No" turns off this notification; that's good, because the message can become irksome if you never plan to change the paper size.

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The body measures 16.1 x 15.7 x 12.5 inches and weighs 26.5 pounds. It has a similar footprint to a typical multifunction printer for home use, but it's roughly twice as tall. Make sure you have the vertical clearance to lift the scanner lid.

Brother MFC-L2750DW XL review: Print speed

The MFC-L2750DW is quick to print, with the fastest speed to date among small office all-in-one laser printers we’ve tested. It printed our five-page text document in 16.2 seconds, for a rate of 18.5 ppm. This is significantly faster than the category average of 14.4 ppm. Our Editors' Choice, the Canon ImageClass MF217w, was almost as fast, printing the document in 18.9 seconds

The laser all-in-one also turned in the fastest speed to date in the small office category on our mixed text and graphics document. The Brother printer achieved almost double the average speed. Spitting out six pages in 20.3 seconds, or 17.8 ppm, the Brother far exceeded the average of 36.7 seconds, or 9.8 ppm. In comparison, the Canon ImageClass MF217w printed the document at 12.2 ppm.

The MFC-L2750DW is quick to print, with the fastest speed to date.

The MFC-L2750DW was slower than the average at printing a gray-scale letter-size photo on plain paper. The printer did so in 17.2 seconds, versus the average of 16.4 seconds. The Canon MF217w was much faster, turning in the fastest time to date, at 11.1 seconds.

The MFC-L2750DW delivers fast duplex printing. It printed two-sided text documents at 13.2 ppm and two-sided mixed graphics and text documents at 11 ppm.

Brother MFC-L2750DW XL review: Copy and scan speed

The MFC-L2750DW also bested the Canon model at making copies, completing that task almost 2 seconds faster than the average of 10.3 seconds. This printer copied a text page in 8.4 seconds, squeaking past the Canon's time of 8.7 seconds. When using the automatic document feeder, the Brother copied our five-page text document in 19.3 seconds, or 15.5 ppm; the Canon did so in 22.3 seconds, or 13.4 ppm.

The MFC-L2750DW keeps a good pace while making two-sided copies, in part due to its fast ADF and because both sides of two-sided sheets are scanned in one pass. (The Canon MF217w does not have a duplexer and so does not print two-sided documents, nor does it automatically make two-sided copies of documents loaded in its document feeder.) The Brother copied a 10-page text document (five sheets) in 57.1 seconds, or 10.5 ppm.

The Brother all-in-one also scanned quickly in black and white, making a 300-dpi PDF in 8.4 seconds. This was much faster than the average of 10.4 seconds. The Canon MF217w was even quicker, making the fastest scan in this category, at 6.7 seconds.

The MFC-L2750DW keeps a good pace while making two-sided copies, in part due to its fast ADF and because both sides of two-sided sheets are scanned in one pass.

The only task the MFC-L2750DW performed more slowly than the average was color scanning to JPEG format. It made a 600 dpi scan of an 8-by-10-inch photograph in 38.4 seconds, versus the average of 36.9 seconds. By comparison, the Canon MF217w was much faster, at 28 seconds.

Brother MFC-L2750DW XL review: Print quality

The MFC-L2750DW printed text documents with letterforms that looked dark and crisp around the edges. Graphics also looked attractive, although they printed a little dark overall. They lost some details in shadow areas as a result, but midtones retained subtle transitions. This was most apparent in reproductions of faces in photographs: These looked attractive because the transitions gave them a 3D appearance. By contrast, the Canon MF217w printed the same documents lighter overall, with more shadow detail, but faces looked flat because midtone transitions were washed out.

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Scans of documents looked sharp, with crisp reproductions of text forms in PDF format. When scanning to JPEG format at 600 dpi, photographs looked attractive, with accurate colors and fine details reproduced, even in shadow areas.

Brother MFC-L2750DW XL review: Toner cost and yield

The Brother MFC-L2750DW offers better-than-average printing costs. Compared to the average of 4.1 cents per page for the laser multifunction printers we've tested, this Brother prints for 3.75 cents per page with the standard toner cartridge rated to last 1,200 pages. But you can reduce that cost to 2.7 cents per page with the $80 high-capacity cartridge, rated at 3,000 pages, or the $120 super-high-capacity cartridge, rated at 4,500.

The toner drum is rated to last an estimated 12,000 pages and costs $105, adding roughly 0.9 cents to the per-page cost.

Brother MFC-L2750DW XL review: Setup and software

Setting up the MFC-L2750DW was easy when I followed the quick-setup guide. After removing the packaging tape, I installed the drum/toner assembly, which slides in easily to the front of the unit.

The software-installation DVD-ROM guided me through the process. Alternatively, you can use the quick-setup guide, which includes a URL for downloading the software. In addition to drivers, the all-in-one comes with printing and scanning software, called iPrint&Scan. At the end of the installation, you can also install PaperPort, a scanning and document-management application.

For use with wireless devices, the MFC-L2750DW supports AirPrint, Wi-Fi Direct and Google Cloud Print."

Putting this Brother printer on my wireless network was easy using the WPS method. I simply followed the on-screen menu prompts on the printer's touch screen, then pressed the WPS button on my wireless router. For use with wireless devices, the MFC-L2750DW supports AirPrint, Wi-Fi Direct and Google Cloud Print. Android users are instructed to download the Mopria Print Service app and then install Brother's own Android app, iPrint&Scan.  

Brother MFC-L2750DW XL review: Verdict

The Brother MFC-L2750DW XL multifunction printer delivers plenty of speed and offers handy features like a fast ADF, fast duplex printing and copying, fax capability, and a second paper tray. (Our previous Editors' Choice, the Canon ImageClass MF217w, lacked a duplexer altogether.) The MFC-L2750DW XL turned in the fastest speeds to date for text and and mixed text/graphics files, and it made two-sided prints faster than some models make one-sided prints.  It also delivers high image quality across the board. Although the initial price is high for this category, consider that the cost includes two toner cartridges rated to print a total of 7,500 pages. Using its high-capacity toner cartridge, the MFC-L2750DW XL offers a cost per page of just 2.7 cents, the lowest we've seen in this category. That's a tough deal to beat.

Credit: Brother

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