An In-depth Review Of The Brother HL-L6400DW Monochromatic Laser Printer

Consider this …

Your current office printer is either out-of-date or malfunctioning, you have a small budget but urgently need a new printer … On visiting the web, the array of printers is so extensive that you don’t even know where to start your search for a high-quality and efficient printer within your budget …


In your mind, the ideal machine should be a single-function monochrome laser printer that has a high paper volume capacity, the capability to spit printouts at lightning speeds and it should also have expandable features. Further, the machine should also be durable and affordable…

Well, look no further… Your search for a printer that perfectly fits this bill is over! Ever heard of the Brother HL-L6400DW?

Apart from meeting all the specifications above, this printer offers great printout quality not to stress the best part – most of its features are expandable meaning that it can easily adjust to your increasing workload over time.

One pointer that this printer is a great acquisition that you should not pass up? It is currently a direct competitor to our Editor’s Choice printers – the HP LaserJet Pro M501dn and Xerox’s VersaLink B400DN. At the moment, we have currently added our Editor’s Choice list of the best versatile high-volume monochrome printers that are perfect for small and midsized offices.

If you have already carried out a web search on the HL-L6400DW then you can confirm that the device is available in the price range from €630 – €730. Don’t worry, this workhorse gets extra value for money!

So, what exactly makes the Brother HL-L6400DW the most ideal printer to add to your shopping cart?

Your Questions Answered: Top Reasons to Consider Acquiring the Brother HL-L6400DW Laser Printer

It Has Top-Of-The-Range Expandable Features & A Massive Capacity To Boot

At first glance, you are likely to dismiss the HL-L6400DW as just another low-quality printer because of its compact size and lightweight. The HL-L6400DW measures 11.3 * 15.7 *15.6 inches and weighs a paltry 29 pounds. This machine actually happens to be lighter than most of the other monochromatic printers in its class that we have reviewed so far with the exception of the HP M501dn printer which weighs a few pounds lighter. In comparison, Xerox’s B400/DN happens to be a few inches bigger all around but weighs almost the same as the HL-L6400DW. On the other hand, Ricoh’s 5300DN Laser Printer is bigger in size and heavier than the HL-L6400DW by almost 10 pounds.

In addition to its lightning-fast print speeds and impressive expandable features (which will be disseminated at length later), the HL-L6400DW earns its place on the list of must-have workgroup printers by also offering multiple mobile and desktop connectivity modes, direct cloud support, heavy security encryption and the ability to take in high-volume toner cartridges. This printer also has a great user interface, accessible through the 1.8-inch touch screen. Through this interface, you can configure different features in the printer, monitor its operations, generate usage reports or access the printer’s control panel. If you are far away from the printer, you can easily and conveniently control the HL-L6400DW through its built-in web portal.

The HL-L6400DW’s web portal can be accessed from almost any browser found on computers and mobile gadgets. For more control of the printer’s operations, you can also download and install the BRAdmin software from the manufacturer. This software usually gives users with administrator privileges the ability to configure most of the printer’s functions and network functions through an Internet Explorer window. With the software, admins can also log and monitor the operations of just one particular HL-L6400DW printer as well as any other Brother business printers connected to the network.

When taken out of the box in mint condition, the HL-L6400DW usually comes with a capacity of 570 sheets – divided between a 520-sheet cassette and a 50-sheet override tray. Now here is where some of the expandable features come into play… If your printing needs increase, you can up to three 250-sheet drawers (each drawer retails for around €159.99), or, you can add two 520-sheet cassettes (each cassette retails for around €220). Alternatively, you can increase the capacity of the printer by acquiring a stand and stabilizer that comes fitted with four 520-sheet drawers (retails for around €800) to get a an additional maximum capacity of 2,650 sheets. Another option is to increase the output capacity of the printer from 250 to 1,050 pages by acquiring a four-bin sorter which typically comes with a card reader and stapler.

As you can see the HL-L6400DW has a huge paper capacity – and this means that it is also configured to handle the print workload. The HL-L6400DW has a maximum monthly duty cycle of a mammoth 150,000 pages, with the manufacturer recommending a monthly printout volume of 10,000 prints. Sounds impressive, right? Well, the HL-L6400DW can handle even much more.

In comparison, here is what other monochromatic printers can do …

The HP M501dn LaserJet Pro has a maximum monthly duty cycle of 100,000 pages and a recommended printout volume of 6,000 prints, the Xerox B400/DN has a maximum monthly duty cycle of 110,000 pages and a recommended monthly printout volume of 12,000 prints, while Ricoh’s 5300DN has a maximum monthly duty cycle of 250,000 pages and a recommended monthly printout volume of 16,600 prints.

It Has Multiple Connection Options and Strong Security Encryptions

To print, you can connect the HL-L6400DW using many different options such as Wi-Fi, Ethernet cable or a USB cable to a single PC. You can also use mobile connections such as Apple AirPrint, Wi-Fi Direct, Google Cloud Print, Cortado Workplace, Mopria and Near Field Communication (NFC). You can also connect to the printer through Office Print, Easy to Scan Email, Office Doc Creator, and, the iPrint&Scan feature from Brother. Like we mentioned earlier, the HL-L6400DW has a Web Connect feature that you can use to scan to and print from the most popular cloud storage platforms such as your Personal Google Drive, Business Google Drive, Microsoft OneNote, OneDrive, Dropbox, Evernote, and Box.

The HL-L6400DW has very robust security features such as a Secure Function Lock – allows you to modify the operations of the machine (for example limiting the number of printouts) for up to 200 users connected to the printer’s network, Active Directory, Secure Print – allows you to secure print jobs so that each user must input their pin for the machine to start printing, and finally, an Integrated NFC Card Reader – allows you to access to the machine functions and secure print jobs for connected/compatible NFC badges.

It Has Super-Fast Printing Speeds

According to the manufacturer, the HL-L6400DW has the capability of producing 52 pages per minute (ppm) – a rate that is quite high for a printer of this calibre. To write an accurate review, I had to test the efficacy of the machine personally. I run two tests with over an Ethernet connection using our standard Intel Core i5 testbed which runs on a Windows 10 OS. Below are the results I got …

For the first test, I timed the HL-L6400DW as it printed a 12-page Microsoft Word document. The machine produced an average of 55 pages per minute – a rate slightly higher than that advertised by Brother. When I run the same test on our other popular printers, I found that the HL-L6400DW prints 6.1ppm faster than Ricoh’s SP 5300dn, 7.9ppm faster than HP’s M501dn, and 8ppm faster than Xerox’s B400/DN.

For the second test, I timed the HL-L6400DW as it printed out a collection of Adobe PDF’s, PowerPoint handouts, Excel Spreadsheets, graphs and charts. I then combined the results from this test with those from the first Word Document test and found out that this printer can churn out a combination of all business suite documents at a rate of 21.4 pages per minute.

I went further and carried out the second stage of the test on other printers and tabulated the overall results as I did for the HL-L6400DW. The final results were that the HL-L6400DW was slower than Hp’s M501dn by about 1.7ppm, faster than Ricoh’s SP 5300DN by about 5.9ppm, and it was faster than Xerox’s B400/DN by around 3.4ppm. Simply put, the HL-L6400DW ranked second.

The reason you should be excited about the HL-L6400DW’s print speed? If the people who will be using the office printer have to print several thousand sheets per month, you need a machine that can deliver.

It Provides Quality Grayscale Texts and Image Printouts

For the tests that I carried out, the text on the printouts from the HL-L6400DW was slightly above the average that you would expect from a conventional laser printer. The printer also produced photos and graphics on the printouts that were of average quality. The text on the printouts was highly legible (about 6 points) and I could read without needing any magnification. When I used magnification, the 4-point and 5-point texts were readable and they looked well-shaped.

Overall, the graphics on the printouts looked fine though I observed some minor banding infills, gradients and areas where there were dark backgrounds. There were also similar imperfections in the photos that I printed out. The imperfections were more noticeable in bigger photos of sizes 810-inches and 46-inches. The HL-L6400DW also had a little trouble in rendering hairlines that were around or smaller than 1 point.

All in all, from the printouts, I can affirm that the HL-L6400DW is suitable for internal office use and even for printing external PowerPoint handouts. After all, I could only see the imperfections I have mentioned above when I looked keenly for them.

It Has Affordable Operational Costs

When printing thousands of volumes of pages, the amount of money that you spend on toner cartridges per page can have a huge impact on how much you spend on your printer. Any extra penny or cent that you spend on toner per page add up to thousands of dollars depending on the pages that you print. The good news is that when you use the high-yield 20,000-page cartridges from Brother on the HL-L6400DW, you get a cost per page (CPP) of around 0.9 cents.

In comparison to the CPP with the HL-L6400DW, the HP M501dn has a CPP that is 0.7 cents higher, the Xerox B400/DN is 0.8 cents higher, while the Ricoh SP 5300DN has a CPP that is 0.5 cents lower. To understand just how much the extra cents matter when it comes to a printer’s CPP, consider this … If you print about 500,000 pages at the additional 0.8 cents with a Xerox printer, you will incur an overhead of €3,900 – which is enough to buy several new printers.

In terms of operational cost-effectiveness, only the Ricoh 5300DN beats the HL-L6400DW.

It Has High Volume Capabilities & The Capacity To Expand Capabilities Even Further

The Brother HL-L6400DW Laser Printer starts strong and has expansion capabilities should your printing needs grow in the future. One of the best things about the HL-L6400DW printer is that you can buy a 20,000-page toner cartridge and get costs per page that are less than a penny. The only printer that can compete at the same level as the HL-L6400DW is Ricoh’s SP 5300DN which has higher volume ratings and even lower costs per page. If you will be printing more than 10,000 pages per month, Ricoh’s SP 5300DN may be the better option. Otherwise, if you are looking for a high-quality yet affordable printer to serve a busy small office or workgroup, the HL-L6400DW is the way to go.

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