Printer Review: Brother HL-4070cdw


Brother HL-4070CDW Overview

Toner Buzz Rating: 3.5 / 5.0 stars

Pros: Durable machine.

Cons: Toner sensor troubles.

Overall: If you can work around the “low toner messages,” the Brother HL-4070CDW is a powerful, feature-rich, and affordable color laser printer.

The Brother HL-4070CDW was great when it was released in February 2008. A $500 color laser! But problems with this printer’s toner sensors soon began to show. Today this printer is known more for its replacement toner flaws rather than its printing prowess.

Note: This printer model has been discontinued.

Strong Start

This printer was a real game changer when it was introduced. Color laser printers at the time typically cost thousands of dollars, while the HL-4070CDW cost around $500.

To its credit, the Brother HL-4070CDW shipped with a ton of useful features, like wireless networking, duplexing capabilities, and PostScript compatibility. The Brother HL-4070CDW offered decent print speed, as well as allowing documents to be printed from a thumb drive inserted into the front of the printer.

For the most part, the Brother HL-4070CDW was a rock-solid, affordable color laser printer...until it ran out of toner.

Sometimes the Brother HL-4070CDW would say it was out of toner when it wasn’t. While Brother has never quite publicly admitted to a toner sensor issue, they’ve offered suggestions to overcome it.

Toner Troubles

Many have been frustrated by a false “replace toner” message this machine seems to display. When the message is displayed, the machine will not print, even if there is plenty of toner left in the cartridge. Users have found workarounds over the last decade, but it remains a problem for many users.

Over at Amazon, the HL-4070cdw scored 115 positive reviews and 59 that were critical. The majority of the critical reviews were disappointed in the cost of printer supplies.

One Amazon user complained this printer suffers from leaky toner cartridges. (“It doesn't matter if they are name brand or off-brand; they all leak!”) Other users reported blurry graphics and text in a variety of real world office conditions.

Enduring Warrior

Despite its toner troubles, the Brother HL-4070CDW is a strong, well-built printer. Sure, you may need to replace the transfer belt or install a new drum unit, but, with proper routine maintenance, the HL-4070CDW can deliver a lifetime of service. 

Get yourself a set of high capacity TN-115 toner cartridges and you’re good to go! The TN-115, like most Brother toner cartridges, is renowned for its long-lasting quality.

Helpful Brother Videos

Brother Cleaning and Replacing Fuser

How to Clean Drum Unit | Brother

Wireless Setup using the control panel

The Brother HL-4070CDW Specifications


  • Printer Type: Workgroup printer - laser - color
  • Form Factor: integrated
  • Manufacturer: Brother International


  • Wireless Ready: Yes

Power Device

  • Type: power supply
  • Power Consumption Operational: 510 Watt
  • Form Factor: internal


  • Technology: laser
  • Print Speed: Up to 20 ppm - B/W - A4 (8.25 in x 11.7 in)Up to 20 ppm - color - A4 (8.25 in x 11.7 in)Up to 7 ppm - B/W duplex - A4 (8.25 in x 11.7 in)Up to 7 ppm - color duplex - A4 (8.25 in x 11.7 in)Up to 21 ppm - B/W - Letter A Size (8.5 in x 11 in)Up to 21 ppm - color - Letter A Size (8.5 in x 11 in)
  • Built-in Devices: status LCD
  • Connectivity Technology: wired, wireless
  • Interface: Parallel, USB, LAN, USB host, Wi-Fi
  • Direct Printing Specifications: DPOF, PictBridge
  • Automatic Duplexing: Yes
  • PostScript Support: standard
  • First Print Out Time B/W: 16 sec
  • Language Simulation: PCL 6, PostScript 3
  • Fonts Included: 91 x PCL 666 x PostScript 3
  • Media Handling: 250-sheet input tray, 50-sheet multipurpose tray
  • Type: workgroup printer
  • Min H-Document Size: 2.75 in
  • Min V-Document Size: 4.57 in
  • Max H-Document Size: 8.5 m
  • Max V-Document Size: 16 in
  • Media Type: bond paper, envelopes, labels, plain paper, recycled paper
  • Media Sizes: A4 (8.25 in x 11.7 in), A5 (5.83 in x 8.25 in), B5 (6.93 in x 9.83 in), B6 (4.92 in x 6.93 in), Executive (7.25 in x 10.5 in), Legal (8.5 in x 14 in), Letter A Size (8.5 in x 11 in)
  • Min Media Weight: 60 g/m²
  • Max Media Weight: 163 g/m²
  • Total Media Capacity: 300 sheets


  • Power Consumption Stand by / Sleep: 85 Watt
  • Power Consumption Operational: 510 Watt


  • Networking: Print server - integrated
  • Remote Management Protocol: HTTP, HTTPS, IPP, SNMP 1, Telnet
  • Network / Transport Protocol: BOOTP, DHCP, DNS, LPR/LPD, NetBEUI/NetBIOS, RARP, TCP/IP
  • Security Protocols & Features: SSL, TLS
  • Data Link Protocol: Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g
  • Connectivity Technology: wired, wireless


  • Type: VR5500
  • Manufacturer: NEC
  • Clock Speed: 300 MHz


  • Microsoft Certifications: Compatible with Windows 7


  • Installed Size: 64 MB
  • Technology / Form Factor: SO-DIMM 144-pin
  • Max Supported Size: 576 MB
  • Slots Qty: 1
  • Empty Slots: 1
  • Form Factor: SO-DIMM 144-pin


  • Max Resolution B/W: 2400 x 600 dpi
  • Max Resolution Color: 2400 x 600 dpi
  • Max Printing Speed B/W (ppm): 21 ppm
  • Max Printing Speed Color (ppm): 21 ppm
  • Automatic Duplexing: Yes

Media Handling

  • Min Media Size (Custom): 2.75 in x 4.57 in
  • Max Media Size (Custom): 8.5 in x 16 in
  • Media Weight: 60 g/m² - 163 g/m²
  • Max Media Capacity: 800 sheets
  • Output Trays Capacity: 150 sheets
  • Media Type: Envelopes, labels, plain paper, bond paper, recycled paper
  • Total Media Capacity: 300 sheets
  • Media Sizes: Letter A Size (8.5 in x 11 in), Legal (8.5 in x 14 in), Executive (7.25 in x 10.5 in), A4 (8.25 in x 11.7 in), A5 (5.83 in x 8.25 in), B5 (6.93 in x 9.83 in), B6 (4.92 in x 6.93 in)

Environmental Parameters

  • Sound Emission (Idle): 30 dBA
  • Sound Emission (Operating): 54 dBA


  • Copier Type: none

Document & Media Handling

  • Media Type Class” envelopes, other, plain paper
  • Media Size Class” A4/Legal


  • Brand: Brother
  • Product Line: Brother
  • Model: 4070CDW
  • Packaged Quantity: 1
  • Compatibility: Mac, PC

Interface Required

  • Connector Type: 4 pin USB Type A, RJ-45
  • Type: Gigabit LAN, USB 2.0, direct print port, parallel
  • Total Qty: 1

Office Machine

  • Type: printer
  • Functions: printer
  • Printing Technology: laser
  • Printing Output Type: color

Dimensions & Weight

  • Width: 16.5 in
  • Depth: 18.7 in
  • Height: 12.5 in
  • Weight: 64.15 lbs

Printing System

  • First Print Out Time B/W: 16 sec

Printer Output

  • Max Speed: 20 ppm, 21 ppm, 7 ppm
  • Media Size: A4 (8.25 in x 11.7 in), Letter A Size (8.5 in x 11 in)
  • Output Quality: B/W, B/W duplex, color, color duplex

Printer Media

  • Media Load Type: automatic
  • Media Feeder Qty: 1
  • Media Feeder Max Format: Legal (8.5 in x 14 in)
  • Min Media Weight: 60 g/m²
  • Max Media Weight: 105 g/m², 163 g/m²
  • Media Feeder Capacity: 250 sheets, 50 sheets

PC Connectivity

  • Interface: LAN, USB, USB host, Wi-Fi, parallel

Printer Fonts

  • Font Included Type: PCL 6, PostScript 3
  • Fonts Included Qty: 66, 91

Service & Support

  • Type: 1 year warranty

Service & Support Details

  • Type: limited warranty
  • Service Included: parts and labor
  • Location: on-site
  • Full Contract Period: 1 year

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