Conclusion: The Brother HL-2040 is a good value, with fast performance, excellent text quality, and a 250-sheet paper capacity that's appropriate for a personal printer. But as you might expect from a $150 laser printer, it has its shortcomings—most notably poor graphics and photo output, and a tendency for pages to curl.
Pros: Very inexpensive. Compact. Excellent text quality. Excellent performance for the price. Adequate paper handling, with a 250-sheet capacity and a manual feed.
Cons: Graphics and photo quality are both relatively low. Oddly for a laser printer, output has a tendency to curl.
Excerpt: Brother's HL-2040 is similar to the HL-2030, which we reviewed in Labs, Shopper July 2005. The HL-2040 is a little more expensive than the HL-2030, but it has a faster print speed and a parallel port. It's a remarkably squat printer, but it has a fully enclosed 250-sheet paper cassette. The single-sheet feeder has no markings for envelope orientation, and the printer creased envelope corners in our tests.