The very best small laser printer -- period -- is the Brother HL-2270DW (Est. $130), reviews say. It's not fancy, but every top expert loves this printer. So do the thousands of owners who consider it to be the best laser printer, period.
This Brother laser printer is "The alpha male" of its class, says ComputerShopper.com, which also names it a Top 100 product. It's also a Top 5 printer at CNET and an Editors' Choice at PCMag.com. It's a best-selling laser printer at both Amazon.com and Staples.com, with the most glowing reviews too.
What makes this the best laser printer? One Amazon.com customer sums it up nicely: "It works every single time I turn it on to use it." Brother laser printers rarely break down (they've won PCMag.com's Reader's Choice award five years running for being so dependable), and the HL-2270DW prints particularly smoothly. "We printed more than 150 pages during our lab testing and never experienced a paper jam or delay," says CNET's Justin Yu.
It's got three key features to make your printing life easier: Ethernet and Wi-Fi (so you can share the printer wired or wirelessly) and a duplexer (to print two-sided pages). It's even smaller than most inkjet printers too, so it's easy to share a desk with.
Finally, this Brother laser printer is blazing-fast for its class (27 text pages per minute), cheap to run (1.9 cents per text page, in one leading test) and prints beautifully clear text. Graphics look so-so, but that's true for just about all laser printers, even the pricey ones. The Brother's 250-sheet paper tray and handy single-sheet manual feed make it ideal for single users or small work groups.
A more basic version, the Brother HL-2240D (Est. $100), loses the Ethernet, Wi-Fi and duplexer. It's a little slower too (24 text ppm) -- but it costs almost as much as the full-featured version. Reviews overwhelmingly prefer the Brother HL-2270DW, with its built-in printer sharing, wireless printing and two-sided printing.