Brother MFC-J4510DW review

An innovative all-in-one A3 printer

Brother MFC-J4510DW
The Brother MFC-J4510DW manages sideways printing

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Brother's MFC-J4510DW has an excellent range of features. Although primarily an A4 printer, it's quite capable of printing in A3, albeit one sheet at a time.

It's AirPrint and Google Cloud Print compatible, and can print from a range of media. With a 150-sheet input tray and a 20-page ADF, it's clearly designed for the home and small office, where its fax facilities and fast text printing speeds will come in very useful.

Considering its feature range, the Brother MFC-J4510DW isn't expensive to buy - costing $199.99 in the US (around £125/AU$193) - and high-yield ink tanks keep the running costs down too. Its colour touchscreen is a real boon, especially when it's network-connected, giving shortcut access to a variety of online services such as Facebook and Flickr.

We liked

The Brother MFC-J4510DW feeds its A4 paper sideways, printing across the portrait-orientated page instead of the more common landscape printing. This useful innovation means it can print on A3 paper too, even though it's no bigger than a standard A4 printer.

A3 pages are fed into a manual feed slot at the rear of the printer in a landscape orientation. Brother has solved the problem of paper curling that hampered previous attempts at landscape-orientated printers; pages output by the Brother MFC-J4510DW are totally flat.

Text printouts are very fast, printing the 20-page text document we use for benchmarking in just one minute, 13 seconds. Photo and image speeds are reasonable, if unremarkable.

Photo-paper printing is pretty respectable for an office-orientated four-tank inkjet, and its automatic Duplex printing is welcome, as is its colour touchscreen LCD, which enables you to swipe between control screens.

We disliked

The Brother MFC-J4510DW's overall print quality is workmanlike, and frequently fails to match the standards set by market-leading inkjet printers.

Although entirely serviceable, its text print-outs lack the vibrancy of some of its rivals, especially those that offer a pigment black tank alongside dye-based colour inks. Plain paper images can be speckled or banded.

It's not suitable for regular or high-volume A3 printing, because pages of this size have to be fed into the manual feed slot one at a time - you can't load several A3 pages into the feeder and print multiple copies of a document, one after another.

But since the Brother MFC-J4510DW is primarily an A4 printer, perhaps its limited A3 capabilities should be considered a bonus.

Final verdict

This feature-rich and innovative printer is good value for money, especially for the small office and home office.

It has a lot going for it - especially its text speeds and touchscreen controls - and although it can handle A3 pages fed in single sheets, it's the same size as most A4 printers.

High-yield ink tanks are available, and they're accessed via a door in the front of the printer, so there's no need to open the lid and lift the scanner bed every time you need to replace one.

And although printers aren't exactly known for their looks, the Brother MFC-J4510DW is reasonably stylish.

Unfortunately, the quality of its printouts is merely average, and struggles to match the standards offered by leading home office inkjet printers such as the Canon Pixma MX895 and HP TopShot LaserJet Pro M275.