Brother MFC-J4710DW review

31 Jul 2013

Remarkable features for the price, but lacks the print quality to compete with our A-List pick

Brother MFC-J4710DW
Price when reviewed: 
233(£230 inc VAT)
Buy it now for 
4

Brother’s MFC-J4710DW inkjet all-in-one looks to cover every printing need a small office could possibly have at an affordable price.

Along with fast output speeds and four-way print, fax, copy and scan operations, it supports USB, wired and wireless connections, and can even print on A3 paper.

For A3, there’s a rear manual feed slot and an extendable lower paper tray. It isn’t the most elegant design, since you have to unlock and extend the tray base and flip up the cover in front of the upper A4 tray to support your prints.

The rest of the all-in-one is more sensibly designed. A 20-page ADF for the duplex scanner is neatly hidden beneath the top cover, while USB and Ethernet ports lurk below the scanner assembly. A colour LCD touchscreen – which provides access to the printer’s scan, copy and fax functions – can be flipped out at the front.

You can set up wired or wireless modes from here, but you can’t have both active simultaneously. We tested with a wired connection, and had no problems installing the drivers and Brother’s MFL-Pro Suite software on a Windows 7 PC.

The Control Center 4 utility is part of that suite, and it provides plenty of tools for accessing copy, scan, OCR and fax functions from the desktop. You can use it to link scan operations directly with local apps, remotely fire up document copies, and access the printer’s settings, including its 100-entry fax address book.

Brother MFC-J4710DW

The printer’s web interface provides full access to all settings, and is used to create profiles for scanning to FTP servers and network shares. Pop a storage device into the USB, SD or Memory Stick slots at the front and you can browse your photos and choose which ones to print. You can also set up connections to cloud services from the web UI, including Google Picasa, Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft SkyDrive.

The claimed print speeds – 37ppm for mono and 27ppm for colour – were unachievable in our tests. A basic 35-page Word document, printed in Fast mode, returned 21ppm. Our 24-page colour DTP print averaged 10.6ppm in Fast mode, 7ppm in Normal and only 1.2ppm in Best. Copy speeds using the ADF are also slow, with a five-page copy in Normal mode returning 5ppm in mono and 4ppm in colour.

Output quality isn’t great, either. Text on plain paper is slightly fuzzy, and although mono photos showed plenty of detail, they were pale and lacked contrast. Photos on glossy paper were much sharper, with vivid colours and fine detail, although slight banding and edge bleeding appeared occasionally.

The lowest printing costs are achieved with high-yield ink cartridges, which deliver a mono page for 1.7p and a colour one for just over 5p. However, we received a low yellow ink warning after printing only 160 pages, which included ten A4 colour photos and five A3 posters.

Surprisingly, the MFC-J4710DW is cheaper to run than the A-Listed HP LaserJet Pro 200 Colour MFP M276n, and it has the added bonus of A3 support and wireless. Brother’s web printing services are as good as HP’s, too. However, if you want the best print quality, HP’s laser all-in-one is a superior choice, and costs only around £30 more.

Details

Price ex VAT £194
Price inc VAT £233
Performance 3
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 5

Basic Specifications

Colour? yes
Resolution printer final 1200 x 6000dpi
Integrated TFT screen? yes
Rated/quoted print speed 37PPM
Maximum paper size A3
Duplex function yes

Running costs

Cost per A4 mono page 1.7p
Cost per A4 colour page 5.0p

Power and noise

Dimensions 480 x 290 x 254mm (WDH)

Performance tests

Mono print speed (measured) 21.0ppm
Colour print speed 10.6ppm

Media Handling

Input tray capacity 150 sheets

Connectivity

USB connection? yes
Ethernet connection? yes

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