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Choosing the right printer can be a daunting task, especially with big names like Brother and HP dominating the market. Both offer a wide range of printers catering to different needs and budgets, but which brand truly delivers the best bang for your buck?


Let's delve into a detailed comparison across various key factors to help you make an informed decision. We'll compare print quality, ink prices, paper handling, scanning quality, ease of use, and ink compatibility, focusing on specific models to guide your choice.

HP vs Brother printers - at a glance

Feature Brother Printers HP Printers
Text Print Quality Crisp, sharp text with deep blacks. Ideal for professional documents. Good text quality with slight feathering in some models.
PDF File Prints Accurate reproduction of layouts and colors. Suitable for complex documents. Handles PDFs well but may struggle with intricate details in some models.
Photo Print Quality Good photo quality, less vibrant colors compared to HP. Excellent photo printing capabilities with vivid colors and smooth gradients.
Color Accuracy Slightly cooler tones, decent overall accuracy. Warmer color tones, better vibrancy for photos.
Price of Ink Pricier individual cartridges, lower cost per page with high-yield replacements. Combination of large and small cartridges, potential for higher replacement costs.
Potential Savings Significant savings with compatible cartridges and refillable toner systems. HP Instant Ink subscription for high-volume printing, requires commitment.
Paper Capacity Ranges from 250 to 500 sheets, depending on model. Similar range across different models.
Paper Type Handling Handles various paper types, including cardstock and envelopes. Similar capabilities across most models.
Duplex Printing Automatic duplex printing in most models. Automatic duplex printing in most models.
Scan Resolution Ranges from 1200 dpi to 2400 dpi, varies by model. Similar range of resolutions offered.
Scan Speed Varies depending on model and resolution. Similar range of speeds offered.
Ease of Use Less intuitive user interface for beginners. User-friendly interface with clear instructions.
Scan Quality for Text Sharp and accurate, suitable for OCR. Good clarity and accuracy.
Scan Quality for Photos Less vibrant and detailed compared to HP. Better photo scan quality with richer colors.
Scan Features Varies by model, includes multi-page scans and document feeder options. Similar range of features available.
OEM Ink Availability Widely available genuine cartridges. Widely available genuine cartridges.
Compatible Ink/Toner Availability Wide range of third-party options. Limited by firmware updates in some models.


Print Quality

In the realm of print quality, particularly for text prints, both Brother and HP present notable strengths and distinctions. Brother printers, such as the MFC 1260, are renowned for their crisp, sharp text and deep blacks, making them excellent for professional document printing.

In contrast, HP models, including the OfficeJet 4636, generally offer good text quality with some variations in sharpness due to slight feathering. However, HP compensates with its faster printing speeds, catering well to high-volume printing tasks.

The table below delves into these characteristics, helping you discern which brand aligns best with your text printing needs.


Text Print

Feature Brother Printers HP Printers
Text Print Quality Crisp, sharp text with deep blacks. Ideal for professional documents. Exemplified by Brother MFC 1260. Some models may be slower. Generally good text quality, with slight feathering in some models like HP OfficeJet 4636. Faster printing speeds suitable for high-volume tasks.


PDF File Prints

When it comes to printing PDF files, Brother and HP each exhibit distinct strengths and weaknesses. The Brother MFC 230C is notable for its accurate reproduction of layouts and colors, which is especially beneficial for printing complex documents. However, its print speeds can be slower in comparison to HP models.

On the other hand, the HP Color LaserJet 1600 generally handles PDFs efficiently, with an emphasis on faster printing speeds that are advantageous for time-sensitive tasks, although it might face challenges with very intricate details.

Feature Brother Printers HP Printers
PDF File Prints The Brother MFC 230C accurately reproduces layouts and colors, suitable for complex documents. Slower print speeds compared to some HP models. The HP Color LaserJet 1600 handles PDFs well but may struggle with intricate details. Often provides faster printing, beneficial for time-sensitive tasks.

In summary, Brother is a strong choice for accuracy in complex documents, while HP offers speed and overall good performance with PDFs.


Photo print quality

When it comes to photo print quality, Brother and HP offer contrasting experiences. Brother models, such as the MFC 255CW, provide satisfactory photo quality, though their color saturation may not be as vivid as HP's offerings.

Conversely, HP printers, exemplified by the Envy 5030e are celebrated for their superior photo printing capabilities, featuring vivid colors and smooth gradients, making them more suitable for high-quality photo prints. 

Feature Brother Printers HP Printers
Photo Print Quality Models like the Brother MFC 255CW offer good photo quality, but less saturated colors. Suited for casual photo printing. The HP Envy 5030e offers excellent photo printing capabilities, with vivid colors and smooth gradients. Generally better for high-quality photo prints.

HP takes the lead in photo print quality with more vibrant and accurate colors, while Brother is a viable option for less demanding photo printing tasks.


Color Accuracy

The color accuracy of Brother and HP printers plays a significant role in determining their suitability for various printing needs. Brother printers tend to produce slightly cooler color tones but maintain decent overall accuracy, making them apt for general printing purposes. In contrast, HP printers are known for warmer color tones and enhanced vibrancy, which is particularly advantageous for photo printing. 

Feature Brother Printers HP Printers
Color Accuracy Colors might skew slightly cooler, but overall accuracy is decent. Suitable for general purposes. Generally warmer color tones with better vibrancy. Especially beneficial for photo printing.

HP offers more vibrant and warmer colors, making it a better choice for photo enthusiasts, while Brother provides decent color accuracy for everyday use.


Price of ink

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The cost of ink is a critical factor to consider when choosing between Brother and HP printers. Brother's individual ink cartridges may have a higher initial price, but their high-yield replacements offer a more economical cost per page for high-volume printing. In contrast, HP's approach of combining large and small cartridges can result in varied replacement costs, with options available to suit different printing volumes.

Read: Standard vs High Yield Printer Ink Cartridges: What's The Difference?

Feature Brother Printers HP Printers
Ink Price Individual cartridges pricier upfront, but high-yield replacements offer lower cost per page. Cost-effective for high-volume printing. Combination of large and small cartridges can increase replacement costs. Offers options for different printing volumes.

Brother is more cost-effective for long-term, high-volume printing, while HP provides flexible options for varied printing needs.


Potential savings

Exploring potential savings in printer ink costs reveals distinct approaches from Brother and HP. Brother printers are compatible with a range of third-party ink cartridges and offer refillable toner systems, leading to substantial cost reductions and making them a budget-friendly option.

Conversely, HP provides the Instant Ink subscription service, which, though requiring a commitment, can be economically efficient for those who frequently print in large volumes.

Feature Brother Printers HP Printers
Potential Savings Compatible ink cartridges and refillable toner systems reduce costs. Budget-friendly with third-party ink and toner options. Instant Ink subscription service is cost-effective for high-volume printing but requires commitment. Ideal for frequent large quantity printing.

Brother offers more savings with third-party ink options, while HP's Instant Ink service is suitable for consistent, high-volume users.


Paper handling


Paper Capacity

Paper capacity is a crucial feature in printers, affecting their suitability for different office environments and printing demands. Brother printers offer a range of paper capacities, varying from 250 to 500 sheets, allowing them to adapt to various office sizes and printing requirements. Similarly, HP printers also provide a diverse range of paper capacities, accommodating both small and large-scale printing needs. 

Feature Brother Printers HP Printers
Paper Capacity Capacity varies by model, ranging from 250 to 500 sheets. Adaptable to different office sizes and demands. Similar range of paper capacities, catering to both small and large-scale printing needs.

Both brands provide a wide range of paper capacities, making them suitable for various office environments and printing requirements.


Paper type handling

When considering a printer, the ability to handle various paper types is an important factor. Brother printers excel in this area, with most models capable of handling diverse paper types, including cardstock and envelopes, thereby offering great versatility for a range of printing tasks. Similarly, HP printers also demonstrate strong paper handling capabilities, accommodating various paper types and sizes.

Feature Brother Printers HP Printers
Paper Type Handling Most models handle various paper types, including cardstock and envelopes. Versatile for different printing tasks. Similar paper handling capabilities, accommodating a range of paper types and sizes.

Both Brother and HP offer flexible paper handling, suitable for diverse printing needs, from standard documents to creative projects.

Duplex Printing

Duplex printing, a feature that allows for automatic double-sided printing, is a significant consideration in printer selection for its efficiency and environmental benefits. Both Brother and HP printers commonly offer this feature. Brother printers are known for their effective duplex printing capabilities, reducing paper usage and catering to eco-friendly practices. Similarly, HP printers also support automatic duplex printing, enhancing convenience and contributing to eco-friendly printing solutions. 

Read: The Ultimate Guide to Duplex Printing

Feature Brother Printers HP Printers
Duplex Printing Most models offer automatic duplex printing, efficient for double-sided printing and reducing paper usage. Also provides automatic duplex printing, adding convenience and eco-friendliness to their functionality.

Both brands excel in duplex printing, offering efficient and environmentally friendly options for users who frequently print double-sided documents.


Scanning quality


Scan resolution

Scan resolution is a key aspect of printer scanners, impacting the quality of both document and image scans. Brother printers offer a range of scan resolutions from 1200 dpi to 2400 dpi, catering to both document and detailed image scanning needs. Similarly, HP also provides a variety of scan resolutions, ensuring high-quality scans across different purposes. 

Feature Brother Printers HP Printers
Scan Resolution Resolution varies by model, ranging from 1200 dpi to 2400 dpi. Suitable for both document and image scanning. Offers a similar range of scan resolutions, ensuring high-quality scans for various purposes.

Both Brother and HP provide high-resolution scanning, making them capable of handling detailed documents and images effectively.


Scan Speed

Scan speed is a critical factor in choosing a printer, affecting the efficiency of scanning tasks. Brother printers offer variable scan speeds, which can depend on the model and resolution settings. They are generally reliable for both rapid and high-quality scans. Similarly, HP printers provide a range of scan speeds, effectively balancing between speed and quality to meet diverse scanning needs. 

Feature Brother Printers HP Printers
Scan Speed Scan speeds vary depending on the model and resolution. Reliable for both quick and high-quality scans. Offers a similar range of scan speeds, balancing speed and quality for different scanning needs.

Both brands offer a good balance of scan speed and quality, making them suitable for both rapid and detailed scanning tasks.


Ease of use

Ease of use is an essential consideration when choosing a printer, as it impacts user experience and efficiency. Brother printers, while generally user-friendly, might have interfaces that are less intuitive for beginners compared to HP. On the other hand, HP printers are acclaimed for their user-friendly interfaces, featuring clear instructions and menus, which makes them particularly suitable for users who prioritize ease of use. 

Feature Brother Printers HP Printers
Ease of Use User interface might be less intuitive for beginners. Relatively easy to set up and operate. Known for user-friendly interface with clear instructions and menus. Great choice for ease of use.

HP leads in user-friendliness, making it an excellent choice for beginners or those who prefer straightforward operation, while Brother is still a reliable option for most users.


Scan quality for text

The quality of text scans is an important aspect to consider, especially for tasks like Optical Character Recognition (OCR). Brother scanners are known for producing sharp and accurate text scans, making them well-suited for digitizing text-heavy documents. HP scanners also offer high-quality text scans, characterized by good clarity and accuracy, rendering them reliable for various text-based scanning needs.

Feature Brother Printers HP Printers
Scan Quality for Text Sharp and accurate text scans, suitable for OCR. Ideal for digitizing text documents. Offers similar quality for text scans, with good clarity and accuracy. Reliable for text-based scanning.

Both brands deliver high-quality text scans, suitable for a range of document scanning tasks, including OCR.


Scan quality for photos

The quality of photo scans is a crucial factor in choosing a printer, especially for those looking to digitize photos with high fidelity. Brother scanners, while capable of general photo scanning, may not offer the same level of vibrancy and detail as HP scanners. In contrast, HP scanners are renowned for their superior photo scan quality, delivering richer colors and smoother tones, making them more suitable for high-quality photo digitization. 

Feature Brother Printers HP Printers
Scan Quality for Photos Photo scans might lack vibrancy and detail. More suited for general photo scanning. Generally better photo scan quality with richer colors and smoother tones. Ideal for high-quality photo digitization.

HP excels in photo scanning quality, offering richer and more detailed scans, while Brother is adequate for less demanding photo scanning tasks.

Scan features

The variety of scan features in printers is key to addressing different scanning needs and preferences. Brother printers offer a range of features that can vary by model, including options like multi-page scans and document feeders, providing versatility for various scanning tasks. HP printers, too, come with a similar array of scan features, ensuring they cater to a wide range of scanning requirements and user preferences. 

Feature Brother Printers HP Printers
Scan Features Vary by model, may include multi-page scans and document feeder options. Offers versatility for different needs. Provides a similar range of scan features, catering to various scanning requirements and preferences.

Both Brother and HP offer a variety of scanning features, making them adaptable to different scanning tasks and user needs.


Ink compatibility


OEM ink availability

Availability of genuine ink cartridges is an important factor for maintaining printer performance and print quality. Both Brother and HP ensure that their genuine ink cartridges are readily accessible. Genuine Brother ink cartridges are widely available, guaranteeing quality and reliability for Brother printers. Similarly, genuine HP ink cartridges are also extensively available, providing consistent performance for HP printers. 

Feature Brother Printers HP Printers
OEM Ink Availability Genuine cartridges readily available, ensuring quality and reliability. Genuine cartridges widely available, offering consistent performance.

Both brands offer easy access to genuine ink cartridges, ensuring optimal printer performance and print quality.


Compatible ink or toner cartridge availability

The availability of compatible ink or toner cartridges from third-party manufacturers is an important factor in printer maintenance costs. Brother printers have an advantage in this area, as they offer a wider range of compatible cartridges, providing more options for cost savings. In contrast, some HP printers may restrict the use of compatible ink through firmware updates, potentially limiting the availability of third-party options. 

Read: What is a Printer Firmware Update?

Feature Brother Printers HP Printers
Compatible Ink/Toner Availability Wide range of compatible cartridges available from third-party manufacturers. May restrict compatible ink usage through firmware updates, limiting third-party options.

Brother offers greater flexibility with third-party ink and toner options, while HP provides reliable but potentially more restricted choices.


Refillable cartridge or toner system

The choice between refillable cartridge or toner systems is an important environmental and cost consideration for printer users. Brother offers an advantage in this area, as some of its laser printers feature refillable toner systems, enhancing both cost-effectiveness and eco-friendliness. In contrast, HP focuses on traditional cartridge replacements and does not offer refillable toner systems. 

Feature Brother Printers HP Printers
Refillable Cartridge/Toner System Some laser printers offer refillable toner systems, enhancing cost-effectiveness and eco-friendliness. Does not offer refillable toner systems, focusing on traditional cartridge replacements.

Brother stands out with its refillable toner systems, offering a more sustainable and economical choice for laser printer users.


Wrapping it up

In conclusion, both Brother and HP printers offer unique advantages and cater to a variety of printing needs. Whether you prioritize text print quality, photo print accuracy, ink cost-effectiveness, or ease of use, there is a model from either brand that will meet your requirements. As you make your choice, remember that maintaining your printer with quality ink is crucial for optimal performance and longevity.


For the best deals on quality remanufactured ink for your Brother or HP printer, consider visiting inkjets.com. They offer a wide selection of high-quality, affordable ink and toner cartridges, ensuring you get the most out of your printer while also supporting cost-effective and eco-friendly practices. Visit inkjets.com to find the perfect ink solution for your printing needs and enjoy reliable, high-quality prints every time.