Hate the cables but want to avoid the headache of setting up a print server to wirelessly connect your printer? Here’s an easy way out: Brother has just announced a monochrome laser printer with built-in Wi-Fi at a breakthrough price of $149.
The Brother HL-2170W’s specs are very similar to the company’s existing line of budget lasers, but what sets it apart is the 802.11b/g and Ethernet networking interfaces. That’s built in, not an additional-cost-option. (Of course, you can also connect via USB, if you’re a fan of cable clutter.) The HL-2170W isn’t available yet but should hit the stores by the end of the month, according to a Brother spokesperson.
The company says that the compact HL-2170W can automatically configure itself to connect to your router--if the router supports Broadcom’s SecureEasySetup, Wi-Fi Protected Setup, or Buffalo’s AOSS technologies. I haven’t seen reviews of the printer yet, but I’d digest this claim with a rock of salt. Every time I’ve tested a peripheral that trumpets its auto-config capabilities, I’ve ended up on the phone with tech support.
The HL-2170W is rated at 23 pages per minute print speeds (expect a lot less in real-world use) and includes 32MB of memory. Its paper tray can handle 250 sheets of paper and prints at a maximum resolution of 2400x600 dots per inch. The printer is Mac-friendly, too.
One thing I really about Brother’s line of budget lasers is that they’re extremely compact—perfect for the small home office. The built-in Wi-Fi makes them indisputably more likable.