Brother MFC-J4510DW review

Brother feels there's much to crow about with their MFC-J4510DW as it's their smallest ever inkjet all-in-one to offer up to A3 printing and once you take it out the box you can see how many design changes they've made from the standard Brother format. See more printer reviews.

In many ways the MFC-J4510DW is an object lesson in how to make a multifunction printer truly compact. It has a comparatively small footprint of 480 x 290 x 186mm and weighs in at a mere 9.3kg, making it ideal for small and home-based businesses where work space is at a premium. See also Group test: what's the best multifunction printer?

The height in particular is impressive as Brother has managed to include a 20-sheet ADF on the top that lies completely flat when the input tray is folded down. As the MFC-J4510DW is clearly intended for moderate use, the standard paper tray in the base holds a basic 150 sheets. Take a look at Epson Expression Photo XP-750 review too.

However, where Brother has made a significant breakthrough is by having the main paper tray in landscape mode rather than portrait. The problem in the past has been to allow smooth printer output without curling or catching the paper and their solution is to 'ripple' the pages while in action.

In practice, this worked well nigh faultlessly, although it does mean a significant increase in noise during the rippling process.

You may ask why Brother has gone to all this trouble to re-orientate the machine and the answer is simple - so that you can also print A3 pages via the fold-back single-sheet bypass tray at the back. As the tray is necessarily small, it does take a bit of juggling to guide the sheet in and you will have to tug the sheet out on completion - but compliments to the manufacturer for providing a very useful extra feature.

Not that the MFC-J4510DW is short of features - fax mode is included with copy, scan and print and auto-duplex comes as standard. A smartly concealed panel to the left of the controls conceals slots for flash memory cards and PictBridge, SD and MemoryStick, while actions are decided via the brightly lit 93mm colour touchscreen with easy to follow instructions.

Connectivity covers the full set, that is, USB, ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n - plus the option to print via the cloud and mobile app. Wired connections might need slightly longer leads, though, as Brother feeds them in under the scanner lid.

As for speed, we managed to produce draft quality A4 documents at around 20ppm, with normal quality at 11ppm and duplex versions at 7ppm.

Black text even at draft quality was generally firm and solid while the hues in colour documents were relatively faithful to the originals, although clearly much paler.
When you expand plain paper images on to A3 size, however, there were considerable banding issues and on A4 photo paper there was a noticeable reddish bias.

Available are 1200-page high-yield ink cartridges available for all four colours (black, cyan, magenta, yellow) which means ink costs can be kept to 2.69p per page for black text only and 8.36p per page for the full set, according to Brother's official prices.

See next page for Robin Morris' original review from 5 December 2012 >>

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