My every-day experience with the Brother HLL2305W Laser Printer

My thoughts on the Brother HLL2305W Printer for my home office.
Freud Menzel



November 16, 2023


I recently picked up the Brother HLL2305W Laser Printer and wanted to share my experience. As someone always in search of efficient office equipment, the compact design caught my eye. I’ve spent a good chunk of time setting it up, working through the initial kinks, and putting it to the test in my home office. In an era where printing seems almost archaic, this machine stands out by nailing the basics. Here’s what I’ve learned about the Brother HLL2305W, from unboxing to everyday use.

Unboxing and Initial Setup Experience

Unboxing the Brother HLL2305W Laser Printer was quite straightforward. I lifted the printer out of the box – it had a nice, compact size that didn’t take up too much space. I appreciated that because I’ve dealt with some behemoths in the past, and as someone who values a tidy workspace, this was a nice start. Immediately, I noticed it lacked a USB cable, which didn’t surprise me since I was already aware that I’d need one. It’s a small detail, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re planning to set up with a wired connection. I purchased a separate USB printer cord alongside the printer to save myself a trip back to the store.

I followed the Quickstart guide, starting by loading the included starter toner cartridge into the printer, which was a snap. The instructions provided were clear, and I had no issues popping that in. When it came to loading paper, they’ve made it easy as well with an adjustable paper tray that could hold a full ream – quite convenient!

Setting up the printer on my computer was where things got a bit more complex. I decided to forgo the included CD – I’ve handled enough print drivers to know that you can usually find the latest versions online. I navigated to the Brother support site and found the drivers for the HLL2305W. After a quick download and install, my printer was up and running from a driver standpoint. I must note, if you’re not used to circumventing CDs and diving straight into driver downloads, this might be where you encounter some hiccups.

One could assume that the lack of included USB cable and the fact that you might need to source drivers and manuals online could be a negative. However, I find it acceptable considering it helps keep the cost of the printer down, and for me, ensuring I’m running the most current software is standard practice anyway.

While I didn’t tackle wireless setup for this section – that’s another story – the physical connection was a breeze once I had my cable ready. The simplicity of this printer is its strength. The control panel’s minimalism translates to fewer buttons and dials to navigate through, and, hopefully, fewer things that could go wrong in the long run.

As I powered up the printer for the first time and heard the gentle hum of it coming to life, it was a moment of small satisfaction. It’s quiet, and as printers go, that’s a huge plus. The promise of a printer that simply does its job without a fuss is enticing, especially after dealing with the more temperamental inkjets of my past.

In sum, the initial setup of the Brother HLL2305W left me hopeful. For anyone on the lookout for a no-frills, efficient printer, this Brother model might just hit the mark. Sure, there are trade-offs like the absence of a USB cable or the necessary trek online for drivers, but if you’re tech-savvy enough to navigate these minor hurdles, you’ll find yourself with a printer that’s ready to roll without much pomp and circumstance.

Brother support site for drivers

Wireless Connectivity and Network Printing

An illustration of the printer with wi-fi signals around it indicating wireless connectivity

When it comes to wireless connectivity and network printing, the Brother HLL2305W Laser Printer offers a mixed bag that leans more towards the positive. I’ll be upfront; setting up this printer on a wireless network can be a bit of a fumble—a clear downside. With the printer refusing to recognize my USB cable during setup even though I had just printed something, wireless setup felt like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube blindfolded.

Thankfully, printers like the HLL2305W are forgiving even when setup manuals are not. By turning to the onboard settings and walking through the on-screen prompts directly on the printer, I could enable wireless printing without the hiccups that the manual seemed determined to throw at me. I sometimes wonder why setup isn’t just this straightforward right out of the box.

For someone with an old-school sensibility like myself—who remembers the days of IRQ settings just to get a mouse to work—the simplicity of connecting to a network with a wire appeals greatly. Yet I acknowledge the convenience that wireless offers, despite the initial setup snags. Once over that hurdle, network printing with the HLL2305W is relatively smooth sailing. It’s comforting not to be tethered to a USB cable, liberating even.

On the technical side, the printer’s adherence to 2.4GHz connectivity over the zippier 5GHz was a noticeable limitation. This decision is not a deal-breaker but an important consideration for those expecting rapid wireless print jobs—impatience could be a curse if you’re running a larger print task.

Aside from that, when paired with a print server—a setup I opted for by plugging the printer into my router—it boosts performance significantly for network recognition. For those interested in maximizing network performance and device interactions, it’s worth reading further on improving transmission speed between devices, an approach similar to the high-speed peer connections used here. This workaround improves transmission speed between devices, mitigating the printer’s slower onboard wireless hardware.

Moreover, for households or shared housing with multiple roommates each with their own device, this printer is a star. Its ability to sleep quietly and then awaken to the call of a print job sent from anywhere in the house creates a very ‘set it and forget it’ vibe which I appreciate. I’ve had no issues with the printer staying connected, maintaining its link to all our devices without any drama.

For Mac users, be prepared to roll up your sleeves. It’s not quite plug-and-play, but solutions are out there in the form of detailed walkthroughs from fellow users like the one provided by Jennifer I mentioned earlier.

In case it matters, eco-conscious consumers will be interested to know that laser printers can be more environmentally friendly due to their toner usage, which lasts longer than inkjet cartridges—a positive tick for the Brother HLL2305W.

To summarize, while not perfect, the Brother HLL2305W navigates the choppy waters of wireless connectivity with aplomb, once you sidestep the initial hurdles. It’s a reliable workhorse in a networked environment that won’t leave a huge dent in your wallet—or patience—after setup.