Dull and — dare we say — usually ugly, we don't buy printers for their looks. We buy them for their ability to print, scan and copy as fast and painless as possible so we can get on with our lives.
Brother's new Business Smart MFC-J4510DW printer challenges drab conventional printer design with a minimal and unassuming body, ultra fast color printing thanks to a landscape printing process and a touchscreen that actually works.
Ignore the ridiculous model name — seriously, why can't anyone drop the long strings of letters and numbers already? — and you'll find something that's rare for a printer: elegant design. The MFC-J4510DW doesn't look like much with its stacked chassis, but that's exactly the point. Brother designed this printer to fit into your home, do it's job and not stick out like a sore thumb (made of excess plastic).
As with premium home electronics and appliances, Brother believes that the printer should not only provide superb performance, but also beautiful design. You hear that HP? Beautiful design. For printers. It goes without saying that the MFC-J4510DW is a looker, for printer standards. How many times have you ever heard anyone call a printer out for its aesthetics? Probably never.
Like most printers today, the MFC-J4510DW has a 3.7-inch touchscreen, but the difference is that it's buttery smooth when it comes to responsiveness. It swipes and scrolls as well as your iPhone or Android. As part of the company's philosophy to simplify the user experience and make printers as intuitive and straight-forward as possible, the MFC-J4510DW has a touch-sensitive number keypad that lights up only when an action requires it and turns off when you don't.
A little convenience can really go a long way. Whereas most printers usually stow their ink cartridges deep within the printer, the MFC-J4510DW's ink carts are easily accessible in a little hatch in the lower right corner of the front of the machine. There's also automatic two-sided printing, so you don't have to manually flip the pages over. It's little details like these that make the MFC-J4510DW so enjoyable. Again, when have you ever heard a printer being hassle-free? Probably never.
But design is only one feature that makes the MFC-J4510DW stand out. Speed is another. Unlike traditional inkjet printers that print in portrait mode, the MFC-J4510DW prints in landscape and gets at more of the page at once. Combine that with double the amount of print heads found in most competing printers and you get full page color prints that spit out in about three to four seconds. You really won't believe how fast those color pages come out. It's fast, too fast for an inkjet printer, even.
Brother claims that the MFC-J4510DW can print 20 pages per minute in black and white and 18 pages per minute in color. But there's more. In "Fast Mode," it can do 35 black and white pages per minute and 27 color pages per minute.
As an all-in-one printer, copier, scanner and fax machine, the MFC-J4510DW is pretty pain-free. Isn't that all anybody asks for from their printer? It's also got a bevy of features such as wireless printing from mobile devices, direct printing from Facebook and Picasa, and the ability to print on 11x17-inch paper. We're not saying it's going to beat a laser printer, but for an inkjet, it might just be one of the best. For all this, the MFC-J4510DW isn't cheap like today's plastic hulks: it'll cost $199 when it hits stores this October. But quality over quantity, right?
Now, if only they'd give it a proper name. Oh, Brother!
All photos taken by Raymond Wong for DVICE.