Brother HL 4040

Brother HL 4040 CN

This Friday, my trusty Laserjet 6MP finally died. Whatever printing job I sent, the printer would just blink wildly and crash, disappearing from the network. I bought this printer while I was a student at the University of Geneva, at that time, it was a fantastic device, with expandable memory, a postscript interpreter, and network capacities (Localtalk). It had more and more trouble printing, some of the plastic wheels had turned into a molten mess and had to be removed, and the toner leaved some smudgy traces on the paper, not really ideal for writing official letters. In short, I knew I needed to buy a new printer.

I did not want to buy a inkjet printer, my printing needs are very irregular, and I can be away for months, which means the ink cartridges will dry out. My first though was to buy a new printer from HP, as obviously the quality of the Laserjet was impressive. Still from what I saw from subsequent printers from HP, their golden age is in the past. While at Mediamarkt, I saw they had a special offer for the Brother HL 4040CN. I basically wanted a color laser (I really prefer color when printing maps or schematics), with four separate color toners elements (the black gets used faster than the others), and a network interface. This printer offered all this, for a price of 500 CHF, with half the price payed back by Brother, so this means basically 250 CHF. A few years ago I would have shied away from a non-postscript printer (this one only handles PL6) but these days, CUPS drivers can handle the conversion nicely. A recto-verso system would have been nice too, but I don’t print long stuff that often, and this is another component that tends to fails early in my experience, so I just went away, bought that printer and had it delivered in the same day.

The printer auto-detected the network and set itself up, announcing its presence using bonjour and Mac OS X recognized the printer immediately. So while there was a driver CD-ROM, I did not use it (it tend to avoid drivers from manufacturers, they often seem to be coded by idiots). The only drawback I see to this printer is that is quite bulky, but in my current flat, this is not a serious issue. I like the fact that the printer can read standard USB mass support elements and print their content, the printer also has a reasonable network stack, and thus supports things like SNMP, so I can even pretend to be a system administrator at home…

One advantage of having replaced the printer, is it simplified the structured of my home network. So while getting rid of the LocalTalk segment leaves me with a bit of nostalgia, I get less cabling, one box less, and a slightly lower power consumption: the Laserjet was consuming 10W in standby and the bridge 26W. The new printer consumes 20W, so I actually save 16W. Given the price of Power is Zürich is below 10 centimes per KW/H at peak rate, this means I will save less than 10 CHF per year. Still I don’t like having power go to waste.

Home network plan

Now if somebody has an old SO-DIMM 144 pin memory chip lying around, I could use it to expand the printer’s memory…

5 thoughts on “Brother HL 4040”

  1. I look like a good printer, keep tell us how is the quality, I am looking for one too, as you said the HP printer where once big undestructible monster but their new one seems bad in quality.

    A quick question, you don’t have any firewall in your network ?

  2. HP printers used to be very sturdy, but that was ten years ago, nowadays, I feel quality went down a lot. The ADSL modem is actually a router with a firewall and my whole network is NAT-ed.

  3. Attends un peu pour voir ce que l’imprimante vaut en pratique. Je l’ai principalement prise car elle était pas chère du tout…

  4. Je crois j’ai des memory que tu cherche , il faut voir quand tu viens

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