The Brother HL-5250DN is a monochrome, network-ready laser printer with an integrated duplex feature. The built-in Ethernet capability makes it extremely versatile, which is vital when integrating it with an existing workgroup or even multiple workgroups. The HL-5250DN comes standard with 32 MB of memory, which is enough for most users, but which demanding users can expand up to 544 MB. It produces 30 pages per minute at 1,200 x 1,200 dpi, has a 250 sheet capacity, a 50 sheet multipurpose tray, and it supports a wide range of jobs including brochures and double-sided printing.
Brother's HL-5250DN employs a small, boxy design and minimalist light grey on charcoal grey colour scheme. The unit is small, lightweight and compact, which make it easy to place. But it feels like a home printer even though is definitely sophisticated enough for office use. It does not have an LCD display or a keyboard, and the control panel is simply a small area at the corner of the machine. This can be difficult to use if you have to use it often, but there is also a software interface accessible from your PC, Mac or Linux computer.
The greatest advantage of the Brother HL-5250DN is price as Brother manages to provide extremely high quality printing at an incredibly low cost. And unlike so many other seemingly under-priced machines, you get the added benefit of low-cost Brother HL-5250DN toner cartridges. The other advantage is speed. This lightning quick machine easily puts out 30 pages per minute while similarly priced machines are struggling to churn out 20 pages. And if you need to print out particularly complex documents, you can expand the unit's memory from the default 32 MB all the way up to 544 MB.
The biggest disadvantage to the Brother HL-5250DN is that it holds a maximum of 300 pages. This is fine for home use, but it can present problems for small office environments, and there is no support for multi sheet paper. This is a shame since this is otherwise small office performance at a home user price. You can purchase additional trays, but then there is still some swapping involved. The other disadvantage is the lack of multifunction. At this price point, you can purchase a printer that includes copy, fax and scan functionality. However, those models do even remotely achieve the same level of print quality that the HL-5250DN does. Another notable disadvantage is the lack of energy-saving features and the fact that this unit draws more juice than most comparable units do.