Brother's MFC-9450CDN colour laser multifunction printer juggles speed, features, output quality, and design well enough to be a worthy choice for most small offices or small workgroups.

The only people the Brother MFC-9450CDN is likely to disappoint are those who need sophisticated colour imaging.

The Brother MFC-9450CDN performed capably in our speed tests. Brother claims that the unit can print both black-and-white text and colour images as fast as 21 pages per minute - and it came close to that mark for text (20.4ppm), with perfect-looking output.

Butthe Brother MFC-9450CDN's colour graphics performance was much slower 4.9ppm, and print quality was underwhelming: on plain paper, our test photos looked washed-out and blurry; and on special paper with optimised settings, the colours still had a yellow cast and exhibited moiré patterns. Scans and copies were sometimes a bit too dark but overall they looked good.

The level of colour quality will be adequate for many office users. The Brother MFC-9450CDN has a lot to offer, although we also noticed a few quirks.

Among its pluses are an automatic duplexer and a USB/PictBridge port. Augmenting the unit's 35-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF) for scan and copy input, you get a 250-sheet main input tray and a 50-sheet multipurpose tray. An optional 500-sheet paper tray is also available for the Brother MFC-9450CDN. On the control panel, buttons for fax, scan, and copy functions are not grouped - but everything is clearly labeled, so the arrangement is more annoying than confusing.

At this writing, the Brother MFC-9450CDN's toner cartridges are tolerably priced.

Replacing the Brother MFC-9450CDN's toner, though, is no ice cream sundae in the shade: even with clear instructions, we had to manhandle the cartridge tray release lever to open it. Also, since the bays are not keyed, you might insert the wrong cartridge in the wrong bay - and print bizarrely coloured images. We can't believe that Brother hasn't idiot-proofed this area, though the company says that it has had no complaints and assures us that switching colours won't damage the printer.

Brother MFC-9450CDN: Specs

  • Printer Standard Resolution: 2400x600dpi
  • Fax Speed: 33.6Kbps
  • Data Compression Protocol: MH, MR, MMR, JBIG, JPEG
  • Transmit and Receive Memory: Up to 400 pages
  • Automatic Redial
  • Distinctive Ring Detection
  • One Touch Speed Dials: 16
  • Speed Dials: 300
  • Group Dials: 20
  • Batch Transmission
  • Automatic Reduction
  • 256 Grey Scale
  • Error Correction Mode
  • Fax Forwarding
  • Fax Retrieval
  • Dual Access
  • Duplex Faxing
  • Colour Copier Resolution: 1200x600dpi
  • Copier Reduce/Enlarge: 25% to 400% in increments of 1%
  • Duplex Copying
  • PC Free Copying
  • Scanner Optical Resolution: 1200x2400dpi
  • Enhanced resolution: 19200x19200dpi
  • Scan to email, OCR, image, file, USB memory stick and FTP, Duplex Scanning
  • Double Sided Printing (Duplex)
  • Automatic Document Feeder
  • 250 Sheet Input Tray
  • 50 Sheet Multi-Purpose Tray
  • 300MHz processor
  • 64MB memory
  • 16 Character, 2 lines LCD
  • Network Ready
  • 10/100 BaseTX
  • 432x487x482mm
  • 33.3kg
  • Printer Standard Resolution: 2400x600dpi
  • Fax Speed: 33.6Kbps
  • Data Compression Protocol: MH, MR, MMR, JBIG, JPEG
  • Transmit and Receive Memory: Up to 400 pages
  • Automatic Redial
  • Distinctive Ring Detection
  • One Touch Speed Dials: 16
  • Speed Dials: 300
  • Group Dials: 20
  • Batch Transmission
  • Automatic Reduction
  • 256 Grey Scale
  • Error Correction Mode
  • Fax Forwarding
  • Fax Retrieval
  • Dual Access
  • Duplex Faxing
  • Colour Copier Resolution: 1200x600dpi
  • Copier Reduce/Enlarge: 25% to 400% in increments of 1%
  • Duplex Copying
  • PC Free Copying
  • Scanner Optical Resolution: 1200x2400dpi
  • Enhanced resolution: 19200x19200dpi
  • Scan to email, OCR, image, file, USB memory stick and FTP, Duplex Scanning
  • Double Sided Printing (Duplex)
  • Automatic Document Feeder
  • 250 Sheet Input Tray
  • 50 Sheet Multi-Purpose Tray
  • 300MHz processor
  • 64MB memory
  • 16 Character, 2 lines LCD
  • Network Ready
  • 10/100 BaseTX
  • 432x487x482mm
  • 33.3kg

OUR VERDICT

The Brother MFC-9450CDN offers speed, features, and economy along with tolerable shortcomings. It's well worth considering for a small office that doesn't need high-quality colour graphics.

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