Saturday, 13 June 2009

Brother 2170W Laser Printer

A little while ago my old cranky HP InkJet printer finally died and it was time to look for a new printer. This time around I was looking for a simple black and white laser printer as these work out cheaper per page than colour Inkjets. Lack of colour is a bonus in my books as it stops the kids wanting to print out lots of pictures from Tuxpaint and Gcompris :-)

As a luxury option I wanted to see if I could find a reasonably priced laser printer that also had Wifi connectivity to give me a little more flexibility in where I put the box.

After some searching around I ended up buying a Brother HL2170W, which can print upto 22 pages a minute and has very good driver support in Ubuntu. My Ubuntu Intrepid and Jaunty laptops found the printer on the network with no effort at all, can configuring it was a no-brainer. Once configured, one can easily check the printer's status and do further configuration using the printers web based admin tool, as shown below:

The downside was that when it associates with my ancient and flakey 3COM Office Connect router/Access Point the router occasionally crashes when using WPA2 PSK(!). I don't believe this is a fault with the Brother's Wifi at all. Until I'm brave enough to reflash my router with a firmware upgrade or buy a better one I won't be using my wireless laser printer wirelessly :-(

The Brother so far is reliable and just works as it should, with zero hassles. The only downside is that the printer has 32MB of memory, so it's a little slow at printing very large graphics.

The full specifications of the printer can be found here.

UPDATE: 24th Aug 2009. I've re-flashed my Wireless Access Point and I still cannot get the printer to associate. When I have time I will experimenting with another bit of wireless kit and see what's going on. Hmph.

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