Best Monochrome Laser Printers

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 1, 2020
Need for speed in printing texts and monochrome diagrams? Distinguished by superior print quality, fast printing speed, and high page output, monochrome laser printers will be your optimal choice for printing in black and white. And below, we've selected the best monochrome laser printers available on the market to help you find a proper one for your needs. ...Read more ...Read less
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BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Printing Speed
Print Resolution
Number of Print Cartridges
Interfaces
Tray Capacity
Extras
Warranty
 
PROS

The model boasts a bunch of embedded security features working to thwart potential attacks. Meanwhile, the HP JetAdvantage Security Manager will enable you to configure network printing from just about anywhere.

CONS

A bit noisy operation. 

OUR VERDICT

The HP LaserJet Pro M404dn is hands down one of the best monochrome printers for busy offices with high printing needs. An impressive printing speed of 42 ppm, a powerful 1200 MHz processor and a monthly duty cycle up to 80,000 pages are the main fortes of this unit.

detailed parameters
Type

Monochrome laser printer

Printing Speed

up to 42 ppm

Print Resolution

1200 x 1200 dpi

Number of Print Cartridges

1 (black)

Interfaces

USB-port, Ethernet port

Tray Capacity

350 sheets (250-sheets + 100-sheet multipurpose tray)

Extras

2-line backlit LCD graphic screen, Duplex printing

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Instead of a regular cartridge, the model provides for a high-capacity refillable toner tank with up to 5000 pages of toner in the box. The toner level indicator will tell you when its time to refill (reload kit sold separately). 

CONS

No automatic Duplex printing.

OUR VERDICT

Thanks to a no-cartridge design, the HP Neverstop wireless laser printer allows cutting down the printing cost by about 80% since replacement kits cost up to three times less than original HP cartridges. And it will in no way affect the final print quality.  

detailed parameters
Type

Monochrome laser printer

Printing Speed

up to 21 ppm

Print Resolution

600 x 600 dpi

Number of Print Cartridges

1 imaging drum (reloadable toner system)

Interfaces

Wi-Fi, USB-port, Ethernet port

Tray Capacity

150 sheets

Extras

Compatible with HP Smart app (available on iOS and Android)

Warranty

1 year

PROS

A 250-sheet tray will shorten the fill-up time. The model's 50-sheet automatic document feeder will allow you to save both time and money in the process. The manual feed slot provides flexible paper-handling for different sizes and materials, allowing you to print things like card stocks or envelopes.

CONS

Some users find the interface to be somewhat inconvenient.

OUR VERDICT

If you deal with a lot of paperwork and you need an all-in-one MFP that will allow you to save as much time as possible on printing, scanning, and sending documents as well as save you the need to buy several different appliances, there is really no reason not to go with the Brother MFC-L2710DW.

detailed parameters
Type

Monochrome laser printer, All-in-one (Print, Scan, Copy, Fax)

Printing Speed

up to 32 ppm

Print Resolution

2400 x 600 dpi

Number of Print Cartridges

1 (black)

Interfaces

Wi-Fi, USB-port, Ethernet port

Tray Capacity

250 sheets (ADF - 50 sheets)

Extras

LCD screen, Duplex printing, Compatible with Brother iPrint and Scan app

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Churning out characters that look legible even down to 6 points, the model will even let you print receipts. The embedded website enables tracking printing stats and configuring the machine remotely. 2-line backlit LCD graphic screen makes the unit control much easier.

CONS

It takes pretty much space on the desktop. 

OUR VERDICT

Efficient low-volume printing at an affordable price and high printing speed is what separates the HP Laserjet Pro M148dw from most entry-level AIO units. Provided that graphics are not important to you, this model should be able to cover your printing needs.

detailed parameters
Type

Monochrome laser printer, All-In-One (Print, Scan, Copy)

Printing Speed

up to 30 ppm

Print Resolution

1200 x 1200 dpi

Number of Print Cartridges

1 (black)

Interfaces

Wi-Fi, USB-port, Ethernet port

Tray Capacity

250 sheets (ADF - 35 sheets)

Extras

2-line backlit LCD graphic screen, Duplex printing, Compatible with HP Smart app (available on iOS and Android)

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The printer set comes complete with a standard-yield 3000-page toner cartridge (TN-820) that is a breeze to install and replace. And the printer setup from any PC or laptop is a cinch even for beginners. 

CONS

A multipurpose tray happens to jam paper. 

OUR VERDICT

The Brother HL-L5100DN is a solid performer that delivers pretty high printing yields and entangles relatively low running costs. Meanwhile, automatic 2-sided printing that allows cutting down the paper usage by 50%, eco-friendly toner cartridges, and power-wise Deep Sleep mode make this model a valuable choice for those who care for the environment.

detailed parameters
Type

Monochrome laser printer

Printing Speed

up to 42 ppm

Print Resolution

1200 x 1200 dpi

Number of Print Cartridges

1 (black)

Interfaces

USB-port, Ethernet port

Tray Capacity

300 sheets (250-sheets + 50-sheet multipurpose tray)

Extras

LCD screen, Duplex printing

Warranty

1 year

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HP LaserJet Pro M404dn

A Speedy and Compact Printing Champ

When it comes to black-and-white printing in big volumes, the HP LaserJet Pro M404dn monochrome laser printer has nearly no peers. This model just prints, yet it does its job superbly. It can print out up to 42 pages per minute, which is on average an up to 30% higher speed than that of other models in the range. It proves to be the fastest among comparable rivals, no matter if you print plain texts, Adobe Acrobat documents, Excel spreadsheets, or PowerPoint handouts with graphics in different colors. And the HP LaserJet Pro M404dn also has a duplex mode where it shines as a speedy champ as well.

To support continuous flow for bulk prints, the model accommodates a 250-sheet tray and a 100-sheet override tray. More than that, it allows for further tray capacity expansion by installing an optional 550-sheet drawer to meet various workloads. At the same time, the maximum duty cycle amounts up to a whopping 80,000 pages per month while the recommended monthly volume is about 4,000 prints, which is more than enough to handle the printing needs of a pretty busy office.

In addition to high yield, the HP LaserJet Pro M404dn also offers excellent print quality. At 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution, it churns out legible texts and graphics that look well-shaped and crisp even at small point sizes and delivers clear greyscale images with solid backgrounds, fine details, and free from streaks or bands.

As capable as it is, this monochrome laser printer from HP is fairly compact as compared to its rivals which makes it a perfect match for smaller or space-limited offices. Besides, the model is distinguished by no-fancy onboard controls for quick and easy printing settings. And to monitor consumables, check usage reports, or configure security settings, you can always use handy web-based controls accessible via your smartphone.

Review of HP LaserJet Pro M404dn Monochrome Laser Printer (Double-Sided Printing)

With an Eye on Security

As far as the connectivity goes, the HP LaserJet Pro M404dn is no slouch as well and features a full suite including an Ethernet jack, USB 2.0 interface, and Wi-Fi. Smoothly operating with both Windows and macOS, it flawlessly pairs with Google Cloud Print, Apple AirPrint, Moptia, HP ePrint, and HP Smart apps. So, it will easily integrate into any printing network and will let you share printing resources and print out from any mobile or Wi-Fi enabled device.

Taking into account a wide range of connectivity options, the folks behind HP have equipped this model with a solid set of security features to prevent it from becoming an entry point to the network data and keep potentially malicious attacks at bay. Thus, along with personal identification numbers for documents and password-protected access for users, you’ll get the assistance of the HP JetAdvantage Security Manager that will send you immediate notifications of any threats and will let you configure network printing from just about anywhere.

Cutting down to the chase, the HP LaserJet Pro M404dn is a small and mighty single-function monochrome with a strong set of features that makes it a solid choice for busy offices and workgroups with high printing needs.

HP LaserJet Pro M404dn Monochrome Laser Printer (Double-Sided Printing) in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

HP 1001nw

Cartridge-free Approach

The HP 1001nw Neverstop is a laser printer that works without toner cartridges, the company's first attempt at dipping its toes into these interesting waters. While Epson and Canon are busy replacing bulk-ink inkjet units, the folk at HP are ditching disposable toners that make printers less compact and the printing costs not quite as affordable as they can be otherwise.

Rather than buying and replacing cartridges every few months, this unit lets you fill a nice little bin inside from an affordable replacement kit that holds enough toner for ~2,500 prints. The whole process takes no more than a few seconds. Also, unlike the machines that work with cartridges, this one comes equipped with a reservoir that holds 5,000 pages worth of toner.

The moment that you drain 50% of that, the model will use an indicator to tell you that it is time to add another replacement kit, so you can take the yield back to 5,000. Of course, you don't have to follow the indicator to a tee and can refill the unit later, hence the 'Neverstop' name. Provided you do not let the 2,500 pages run dry, the model will not run out of toner.

But one would argue that the more important part is that these replacement kits cost but a small fraction as much as 2,500-page cartridges usually cost, meaning that while the model is not necessarily cheap, you'll be saving hundreds down the road. 

Review of HP 1001nw Neverstop Wireless Laser Printer

Legible at 4 Points

Removing cartridge housing, the unit becomes even more compact and lightweight than the company's lightest, most space-saving printers. At 8.3 x 15 x 11.6 inches (HWD) and weighing less than 15.5 pounds, this is one nimble machine. Taking into account that this model does nothing but print, the control panel here being somewhat spartan makes sense, and the few buttons without a screen that you'll find to the left should suffice, covering walk-up and configuration tasks. Needless to say, this is not a problem. From where we're standing, there are no problems with this model except there's no automatic duplex printing, so you'll be flipping documents manually and reloading them into the tray by hand.

Still, even without duplex printing, this is an impressive product, and we haven't even covered the output yet. Even when you choose the smallest font (4 points), the text still comes out legible and well-shaped. You can print Acrobat brochures, PowerPoint handouts, and Excel spreadsheets with detailed images without worrying about the unit making them look blurry.

In short, there are very few printers out there that will prove as inexpensive yet productive over the long run as the HP 1001nw Neverstop.

HP 1001nw Neverstop Wireless Laser Printer in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Brother MFC-L2710DW

Reliable Office's Printing Assistant

Every modern office has certain requirements that any device, machine, or appliance has to fulfill in order to be considered a useful addition to the list of office equipment. And even though Brother Industry manufacturers plenty of those, it is the Brother MFC-L2710DW that stands head and shoulders above the rest of them when it comes to office applications.

You put this device in an office and it goes without saying that you won't be the only one using it throughout the day. Fortunately enough, this piece of office equipment has been designed with these kinds of circumstances in mind. A 250-sheet tray that comes with the majority of high-end Brother printers will shorten the fill-up time. On that note, the particular model's 50-sheet automatic document feeder will save both time and some money in the process. And, of course, there's also the manual feed slot that provides flexible paper-handling for different sizes and materials, allowing you to print things like card stocks or envelopes. But, most importantly, it is the printer's exceptional printing speed of 32 pages per minute that makes it a must-have for any busy office that deals with a lot of paperwork.

Other than all of that, not dissimilar to other printers from the company, the model in question will allow you to send prints wirelessly via a PC or a smartphone. The printer is also fairly easy to operate, though some customers say that the buttons are placed in a somewhat inconvenient manner.

Review of Brother MFC-L2710DW Laser Monochrome All-in-One Printer

... and a Space-wise Multi-tasker

A reliable and decently speedy printer, the Brother MFC-L2710DW is an all-in-one device, meaning that it can also scan and fax documents. Unfortunately, it is also a black and white printer, so you won't be able to scan in color as well, though it's not like most offices use that option anyway. As for the rest, you can scan by using either a flatbed or an automatic document feeder with a 50-page capacity, which is a great option for multi-page docs. The only thing worth noting is that the default resolution for flatbed scans is 1200 dpi. Yet, it will drop to 600 dpi when using the feeder. So, for a higher scan quality, you’ll need to set it manually via the menu. 

Unlike other similar AIO printers, the Brother MFC-L2710DW features a space-wise design. It is noticeably more compact and lighter than many of its rivals. With a smaller footprint and slimmer profile, it can be placed on the desktop and needs no dedicated stand. 

At the end of the day, this is not a difficult choice. If you work in the office that deals with a lot of paperwork and you need an all-in-one MFP that will allow you to save as much time as possible printing, scanning, and sending documents, there is really no reason not to go with the Brother MFC-L2710DW.

Brother MFC-L2710DW Laser Monochrome All-in-One Printer in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


What customers say about this product

Key Specs

Scanning and copying/printing speed is pretty good.

Printing / Scanning

Print quality is great. Quite a relief after suffering with an inkjet printer.

Cartridges

Black and White only but I usually don't need color. It does scan in color.

Features

It has all the great features including double sided printing.
 

HP Laserjet Pro M148dw

Sophisticated Drivers and an Integrated Website

The HP LaserJet Pro MFP M148fdw leaves mixed feelings. On the one hand, compared to the previous AIO unit, this machine's featuring an ADF tray, automatically printing two-sided pages which is not always guaranteed at this price. Even though the model offers only manual two-sided multipage scanning, the feat is still pretty impressive. That being said, this product also costs ~50 bucks more and its printing speed, while comparable (30 ppm against its competition's 32), is a little less blazing anyway. Size- and weight-wise, the two are also rubbing elbows, even though the preceding unit comes out a little victorious here too, with this one measuring 12.3 x 16 x 16 inches (HWD) but, on the bright side, weighing less than 21 pounds.

Dropping the comparison, the company's integrated website is an excellent feature. There you can check usage stats and configure the machine, including extensive monitoring options. Though the layout is not always straightforward, small businesses will appreciate what this unit can do logistically. Meanwhile, everyday users can use the monochrome screen, executing walk-up tasks, making configuration changes, printing, scanning, copying, and faxing using nothing but the 2-line read-out-style screen and the numpad with the surrounding buttons.

Like most AIOs these days, the model lets you print from various cloud services, phones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers, you name the method. But the winner is the HP Smart app, the landing among the most sophisticated drivers. With this app, you can even print documents (anything from .doc and .xdoc to PDF files) without opening them first in the native program.

Review of HP Laserjet Pro M148dw All-In-One Laser Wireless Printer

SNMP Monitoring

Security features is not the area where the unit shines, though not where it necessarily disappoints either. Aside from the password-protected integrated web resource that we have addressed above, you can enable and disable network ports and manage standard SNMP monitoring. Unfortunately, you cannot protect documents with PIN codes, nor can you add user authentication to them.

The output quality is respectable but, again, not the best among its peers, with the characters looking legible at ~6 points, so you can print receipts and internal reports. But, graphics and photos come out pretty shoddy, with dark fills and backgrounds including visible streaking and noticeable blotches and gradients displaying perceptible stepping between shades.

All things considered, if you need automatic two-sided printing at an affordable price, the HP Laserjet Pro M148dw will fit the bill. Otherwise, the previous model looks better.

HP Laserjet Pro M148dw All-In-One Laser Wireless Printer in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


What customers say about this product

Key Specs

I can now print and scan without issue.

Cartridges

Great black and white printer.

Features

Hooking it up with the cable is easy. Prints great and unbelievably fast.

Printing / Scanning

Print quality is nice. I’m happy with the purchase.
 

Brother (HL-L5100DN)

A Solid Mono Performer

While AIO printers excel in multifunctionality, they usually trail behind mono devices in speed. So, if you need an appliance to solidly cover your business printing needs and consistently churn out multiple pages on a day-to-day basis, you’ll be hardpressed to find a better option than this print-only device from Brother. A no-frills machine, this model has everything, though, to keep printing at high volume. 

Thus, at the rated speed of 42 ppm on text-only printing (which is amazingly high), the printer will deliver up to 20 ppm on graphics, mixed content, and duplex printing that puts it in a row with the fastest top-liner models. In the meantime, a 250-sheet main tray with an added  50-sheet feeder can handle heavy workloads and save you the need to refill the paper every now and then, while printing presentation handouts, for example. Besides, by installing one more optional paper drawer, you can further expand the paper capacity and print out up to 1340 pages without a refill. 

The printer set comes complete with a standard-yield toner cartridge that will produce around 3000 single-side pages. And when this one runs out, you can upgrade to a high-yield toner to increase the total output up to 8000 pages. This way, you will also significantly reduce the printing cost and bring it down to 1.8 cents per page, which is lower than that you’ll get with many other similar models. 

To proceed with the print quality, overall, it is good enough to meet any business purpose. Texts come out professional-looking and crisp even in smaller fonts. Pretty average on graphics, the unit is a bit subpar on photos and images. It might produce bands while rendering subtle color shading. Yet, in general, it’s no worse than the image quality you’ll get with other monochrome laser printers. And, in the end, you’ll hardly use a black-and-white model for printing out photos, while it still perfectly suits for internal needs.  

Review of Brother (HL-L5100DN) Monochrome Laser Printer with Duplex Mode

Easy Setup and Maintenance

Yet another good thing about the Brother HL-L5100DN printer is an extremely easy setup and maintenance. The unit comes accompanied by comprehensive step-by-step instructions, so, unpacking it and getting it ready for further installation won’t be a hassle at all, even if you are new to this. Likewise, installing and replacing cartridge toners will be a quick and easy task, with no specific skills required.

As for the rest of the setup process, with no Wi-Fi connectivity, you just need to plug in the Ethernet cable to get the printer hooked to the network via your laptop or PC. It is notable that the printer smoothly sets up from any operating system and you can still make use of wireless connectivity via helpful companion apps on your iOS or Android devices. 

To sum it all up, the Brother HL-L5100DN is a solid printing performer with a high yield and relatively low printing and maintenance costs that will make a great addition to any small office.

Brother (HL-L5100DN) Monochrome Laser Printer with Duplex Mode in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

What Is a Monochrome Laser Printer?

Just like scanners and fax machines, printers are part and parcel of any modern office, be it a smaller rental or leased office, a vast corporate open space, a co-working environment, or even a home office. Likewise, printing needs also greatly vary and so do the printer types suitable for different applications. Hence, while color laser printers are a perfect option for home use, they might appear far too expensive for busy offices laden with tons of paperwork that doesn’t need color printing. This is where monochrome laser printers will come into play.

Printing in black ink only, this type of printers smartly combines the printing speed and high yield of laser models with lower running costs of monochrome prints, all of this making mono printers a perfect match for professional environments with heavy printing workloads. Though less versatile than their color counterparts, monochrome printers deliver superior text quality. They produce crisp readable texts in any font size, including the tiniest fonts, and provide clear details for graphics and charts. Simple, speedy, and high-performing, monochrome laser printers best work for simple prints in large quantities where color is not a necessity.

What Features to Compare

Printer Type

Apart from staying with monochrome print, you need to choose between print-only and all-in-one devices. The models dedicated solely to printing are usually faster and can deliver amazingly high yields to fit the printing needs of bigger offices. Meanwhile, AIO printers are great multitaskers that will also provide scanning and faxing capabilities. Saving the trouble and cost of buying any added appliances, they will come in handy for smaller offices with average paperwork turnover or professional environments with mixed or varying needs.

Printing Yield

By default, monochrome laser printers are the fastest among different printer types, so, no wonder they are widely used for all sorts of business applications where color printing is not a necessity. Yet, not all mono models are the same and the printing yield is an essential aspect to consider when choosing the model for your needs. Mostly, rated printing speeds vary from 20 to 40 pages per minute on text files. Thus, if you have multiple papers to print out on a regular basis, a speedy printer is a must. One more aspect to consider in this concern is a duty cycle, which is a number of pages the printer is rated to churn out per month. These rates range from 3,000 -5,000 up to a whopping 80,000 and the higher the rate, the more consistent the printing performance will be.

Paper Handling

This feature usually stands for a paper tray capacity that normally starts from about 150 pages and goes up to 400 pages to cover heavy-duty workloads and multiple-page prints. It’s notable that most laser printers come fitted with a major paper tray and an added multipurpose one that can handle not only A4 sheets but also smaller formats peculiar for envelopes and card stocks. More than that, many models allow for the installation of the optional paper drawer to expand the capacity high above 1000 pages if necessary.

Output Quality

The quality of print outs largely depends on the print resolution that varies from one model to another but is rarely lower than 600 x 6000 dpi. The higher the resolution, the crisper, sharper, and more legible prints you’ll get. The text will come out well-shaped while graphics and images won’t turn out blurry or fuzzy. 

Connectivity

Nearly all modern monochrome laser printers offer versatile connectivity and networking capabilities. Most of them allow for wireless printing via Wi-Fi and can be easily integrated into existing printing networks via Ethernet ports.

Extras

Some handy extras to check include intuitive and comprehensive control panels with digital displays for no-hassle printer setting and operation, app compatibility for access to more control functions, and duplex printing to cover specific needs.

Color vs Monochrome Laser Printer: Which Is Better?

First introduced back in 1993 and available at shocking price tags, color laser printers have greatly changed since then, both in terms of design and functionality and in terms of price. Today, color laser printers are pretty affordable and suit both for home and for office use. Still, it doesn't mean they'll suit you. Let's see in detail how color laser and monochrome printers compare in different aspects so you know which one to choose.

Printing Costs

Let alone that color printers are still more expensive than mono models, they will also incur higher running and printing costs. While a monochrome printer uses only a single black toner, for the color model, you’ll have to buy four toners including cyan, magenta, and yellow in addition to the black one. Not only that. Despite the fact that color lasers can be used as monochrome printers to print only in black and white, they'll go through more ink because they mix it to produce a wide palette of color shades. Hence, color printers will need cartridge refills more often, resulting in a higher cost per page.

Overall Design

These two basic types of laser printers also greatly differ in overall design. Mono models are usually more lightweight, compact, and portable than color printers and can easily rest on your desktop whereas with color printers you will need to use a dedicated stand or find a special place for it.

Print Quality

In terms of print quality, both models stand quite strong. Using the same laser printing technology, both of them deliver crisp, clear, and legible printing results. The only area where mono devices are somewhat inferior to color ones is printing gradients and color shades. This is so because they use a grayscale background that sometimes fails to reproduce lighter tones and gradient colors. Therefore, they might come out a bit blurred or/and with dark strands.

Speed

When it comes to printing speed, monochrome printers are absolute leaders here. Some advanced models are capable of printing dozens of pages per minute without compromising the output quality. Though the latest color laser printers are also speedy enough, especially as compared to their predecessors, to achieve the page yield of mono devices, they need additional engineering to optimize the process of transferring four toners to a single drum that will come at cost.

Bottom Line

So, which printer is better? Well, all things considered, there is no single right answer to this question. To put it right, for the same money, you’ll get more with a monochrome printer and can count on an enhanced resolution, versatile networking capabilities, and duplex printing. In the meantime, due to additional system complexity, the biggest part of expenses in color machines will go to cover solid basic functionality. All told, your final choice will greatly depend on the intended use or what you need the printer for. While monochrome models will do a great job in bulk printing of paperwork, color models have no peers in printing photos and images.

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Publish Date: 2020-10-01 13:29:17