- Editor's Rating
- Print quality
- Wired/Wireless connectivity
- Competitive pricing
- Small display
- No front-facing USB
Quick TakeThe Brother HL-3170cdw offers quick prints speeds and reliable print quality at a competitive price point.
The Brother HL-3170cdm is the flagship printer in Brother’s new HL-3000 line of color LED printers, aimed at small businesses looking to cut printing costs. It’s a single function device with print speeds up to 23 ppm. It features automatic duplexing, a 250-sheet paper tray, a manual sheet bypass slot and options for wired and wireless connectivity. The printer holds four toner cartridges and customers have the option of using high capacity cartridges. Costing $279.99, the HL-3170cdm is priced competitively when compared to similar printers.
The HL-3170cdm is 16x18x10-inches, making it a compact LED printer. It has a control panel on the left side which houses a single line LDC display and eight-key navigation. If set up through a network connection, users can access the printer via Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print and other wireless print services. The printer can handle a variety of paper sizes, up to 8.5 x 14. All of the connections are on the back of the device. PrinterComparison was disappointed the printer does not have a USB connection on the front of the device.
PC found the printer’s set-up to be simple. The device can be set up either wirelessly or through an Ethernet connection. Once connected, users just insert the provided CD and follow the directions from the set-up Wizard. The HL-3170cdm comes with the bare bones Brother Status Monitor software, but users looking for support or more creative options can access the Creative Center and Solutions Center via the web. The printer also has an embedded web server, which can be accessed if the device is set up on a network. For business users, an administrator is able to set a password so basic users only have access to the general tab, while administrators can access the print, admin and network tabs as well. Brother also includes a Secure Print function which allows users to protect sensitive documents. PC noted the menus are difficult to navigate on the control panel, but most users shouldn’t have to use them often.
Brother advertises print speeds up to 23 pages per minute, which PC found to be accurate, averaging 23 ppm when printing both black and white and color documents. PC noted good print quality with bright and varied colors and crisp text. As always, higher quality paper will produce higher quality prints. When using the auto-duplexing mode, PC saw print speeds of eight ppm (four pages double sided). The HL-3170cdm is Energy Star qualified and PC found its energy use is consistent with comparable devices in its class, but it uses more energy than average when in sleep mode.
The HL-3170cdm is a no nonsense printer. It’s reliable and offers reliable color printing at a competitive price. PC was impressed with print quality, wired and wireless connectivity options and price point, but was disappointed in the small display and lack of a front side USB. In the end, PC noted users looking for a reliable, single function printer will be “hard pressed to find a better deal.”