Brother MFC-J415W multifunction inkjet printer

Brother MFC-J415W review: This inkjet multifunction printer has inbuilt wireless, a fax and an automatic document feeder

Brother International (Aust) MFC-J415W
  • Brother International (Aust) MFC-J415W
  • Brother International (Aust) MFC-J415W
  • Brother International (Aust) MFC-J415W
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • Cheap considering it features an automatic document feeder and wireless networking, good document printing speeds in Draft quality

Cons

  • Interface is overly simplistic, low input and output paper capacity, high quality prints are slow, low ink capacity, no high-yield cartridges available

Bottom Line

The Brother MFC-J415W makes a good argument for itself as an all-in-one multifunction printer for a small business. If your main needs are pumping out draft-quality documents quickly, and faxing and scanning, the MFC-J415W is appropriate and well priced. The inclusion of faxing and an automatic document feeder at this price is welcome and makes the printer an attractive proposition, even if we don't like the graphical interface and the poor paper capacity.

Would you buy this?

The Brother MFC-J415W is a $199 multifunction inkjet printer with an inbuilt fax and automatic document feeder aimed at small businesses after a versatile machine for office tasks. It's not the easiest machine to use, and its output paper capacity is low, but for printing low quality documents as well as automated scanning and copying it is a good budget choice.

Brother MFC-J415W: Design, features and specifications

The printer has a 1.9in colour LCD and a simple interface. We think it's too basic, however. If you're just using the interface to scan or copy documents it is fine, but you can only see a low-resolution preview of a photo if you are printing of an SD card.

The Brother MFC-J415W's input tray has a capacity of 100 plain paper A4 sheets, which is less than we would like. The output tray is also slightly small, with space for 50 sheets. The automatic document feeder on top of the Brother MFC-J415W's flatbed scanner can handle 15 sheets at once, making it useful for digitising short multi-page documents.

If you're printing or copying documents of 10 pages or less the MFC-J415W will do the job capably, but longer jobs run the risk of emptying the paper cassette or filling the output tray.

Brother MFC-J415W: Ink capacity and pricing

The printer uses four piezo ink cartridges: LC-39BK black, LC-39C cyan, LC-39M magenta and LC-39Y yellow. The black cartridge can produce 300 A4 pages, while the colour cartridges run out after 260. Brother supplies 'starter' consumables with the MFC-J415W, with slightly reduced capacities of 280 and 210 pages for black and colour respectively. The standard ink cartridges of the Brother MFC-J415W are acceptable for small businesses with low-quantity print requirements, but larger businesses will find replacing them a chore. Unfortunately, there are no high-yield ink cartridges available for the Brother MFC-J415W.

Read more: Brother PDS-5000 desktop scanner

Brother MFC-J415W: Print speed and quality

The Brother MFC-J415W prints acceptable quality documents using its Draft mode. Using this mode it came close to achieving the quoted 35 pages per minute monochrome print speed. Colour printing is equally quick at a quoted 28 pages per minute. In practice we were able to achieve near these figures over longer runs — our 50 page test document came out at 31 pages per minute in black and 24 pages per minute in colour.

Switching to Normal printing quality slows down printing considerably but has an appreciable impact on text clarity and colour saturation. We found that text was clear down to 6pt and colours were well saturated without bleeding or posterisation. The Brother MFC-J415W is a good choice for printing both black and colour documents in either its Normal or Draft quality settings.

Read more: Day in the life of a Brother Printer

We wouldn't use the Brother MFC-J415W to print photos larger than 6x4in. Printing postcard-sized photos at Normal print quality takes at least two minutes, and the quality isn't as good as a similarly priced home printer like the Canon PIXMA iP4850. Colour saturation is good, but detail levels aren't as high as we were hoping for.

Brother MFC-J415W: Environmental policy and conclusion

Brother maintains a corporate social responsibility section on its Web site, including a list of environmental contributions that the company makes.

The Brother MFC-J415W is an acceptable all-in-one printer for a small business that needs faxing and ADF capabilities. It's not as competent for large print runs as more expensive models, and its photo printing is eclipsed by more specialised similarly priced competitors.

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Read more on these topics: Printers, brother, inkjet printers, Brother printers
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