Brother MFC-J430W review

Brother’s MFC-J430W is one of the cheaper and more compact printers in this group. It doesn’t have quite the same speed and capacity as some of its rivals, so it probably won’t be ideal for an office where a number of people will need to share the printer. However, it’s still a good option for individuals who work at home and just need a fairly quick and affordable printer.

Despite its low price, the MFC-J430W manages to provide a good range of features, functioning as a four-in-one printer – with scanner, copier and fax machine – and fitting in a 20-page automatic document feeder. The only disappointment is that it doesn’t provide proper duplex printing. There’s an option in the printer driver that lets you print either the even- or odd-numbered pages in a document and then turn them over so that you can print on the other side, but that’s not ideal. If you really want two-sided printing, you’ll need to look at some of the other models in Brother’s MFC range or one of the rival printers in this group.

Performance is good for a printer in this price range, though. Brother’s rather optimistic print speeds are based on the printer’s lower quality draft mode, but using its standard print settings we got about 8 pages per minute (ppm) for black text, and 6ppm for colour text and graphics. Again, that’s fine for home workers, but maybe not fast enough for an office environment.

Text and graphics are crisp and clear, and our only criticism of the print quality is that photos printed on ordinary office paper were rather pale. However, printing on good quality photo paper produces much richer colours, so the printer is perfectly capable of producing occasional photo prints and colour brochures.

The MFC-J430W is a compact four-in-one printer that produces decent results for the price

OUR VERDICT

Print costs aren’t quite as competitive as some of its rivals, though, at 2.5p for mono and 7.9p for colour prints. That confirms the impression that the MFC-J430W is primarily aimed at home workers who need versatility rather than high performance from their printer. If you work in a busy office where you’ll be sharing the printer with other people on a regular basis, you’ll probably need something that provides greater performance.

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