MFC-J4510DW full review

The Brother MFC-J4510DW surprises you from first glance, a low-slung top measuring just 185mm deep but very wide. Black and cream isn't always an attractive combination, but it works here, a broad black stripe rippling across to match the bold dark top.

Wide looks betray the feature that makes this that most multifunctional of MFDs - an A3 printer. Paper is loaded sideways. This seems a touch quirky, but it's actually a brilliant twist that means the longer edge of paper now matches up with the longer width of most printers. For occasional A3, it makes a good deal of sense.

The Brother MFC-J4510DW is a smidgen wider than other models which helps it accommodate A3 (297 x 420mm) paper.

Setup is reasonably straightforward – even if this is the first printer where we had to consult the instructions to find out where to connect a USB cable.

Using the Brother is a joy, thanks to a sizeable and colourful 3.7in screen which makes the MFD logical and easy to operate.

With on-board fax, there's a danger that an MFD may get overloaded with keys, but the Brother employs the clever trick of lighting up buttons as and when you need them. Do something simple, you only have a few buttons to choose from.

Extensive connectivity options encompass Wi-Fi and ethernet. It also has cloud-computing credentials, and you can hook up the printer to mobile devices and memory card through a range of slots.

A nice touch is the Secure Print feature, which waits until you reach the printer before printing, to keep confidential work confidential.

We also liked the scanning component. There’s a substantial lid which can be adjusted for larger material, and the 2400x2400dpi optical resolution allows for good image depth. The additional 20-sheet ADF helps faxing enormously.

Paper handling is solid, with the well-built paper tray taking up to 150 sheets at a time. This is a decent amount for most purposes, although businesses making frequent use of the printer may find that the paper needs to be replaced a little too often.

Brother MFC-J4510DW: Performance

The larger A3 prints need to be done in Best mode, and the fastest we could manage was 2m 55s for a full print, rather than 1m 42s for the A4 equivalent.

With regular A4 pages it’s a little faint at fastest 18.3ppm mode, but the middle settings still churn out pages at a decent 13.3ppm, and the text here is relatively dark and has considerable clarity, with none of the blurred lettering common to most inkjets.

The top mode was better still, at the expense of speed, at a mere 1.8ppm. Our magnifying glass revealed that it doesn't have the perfection of a good laser, but quality is good enough to pass most inspections.
In all modes colour was a little faint and watered down. If you want images packed with excitement, the Brother leaves you under-thrilled. Results with photographic paper are better, where the Brother MFC-J4510DW offers vibrant prints.

Auto duplexing is supported, with a hit on the speed, and even in fast-mode text falls from 18.3ppm to just 5.3ppm – a huge fall that means few may be prepared to wait for their paper-saving.

The Brother MFC-J4510DW is fairly quiet, although it does emit a noise like distant fireworks. This noise sometimes persists after printing.

Cartridge prices will be £23.99 for black and £15.59 for each CMY colour, in 600-page yield sizes. Higher yield options are £32.99, and £22.79 each for 1200-page refills.

In best-case with high yield 1200-page refills, costs are 2.75p black, and 5.7p colour. That’s reasonably competitive.

The £140 HP Photosmart 7520 has costs of 2.4p/4.8p, so Brother isn't quite as cheap. But it’s more affordable than the Canon MX895, at 2.9p and 12.5p for black/colour respectively.

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