A step in the right direction
Brother's MFC-7440N is a step up from the entry-level MFC-7340 mono laser multifunction. It adds an Ethernet port and delivers slightly faster printing. Unfortunately, the majority of the disappointments we had with the MFC-7340 also apply to this device.
- Ethernet port, good print quality, consistent print speeds
- No duplex, poor image scan quality, relatively pricey
The Brother MFC-7440N is a capable mono laser multifunction that suffers from several flaws which may impact on its use in offices. It costs $100 more than the MFC-7340, but the addition of the Ethernet port is a boon for productivity.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
Physically, the only thing distinguishing the two units is the colour scheme; the MFC-7440N's grey-and-black fascia offers a somewhat more professional look than the cheaper model.
The MFC-7440N offers a 250-page capacity front paper tray, as well as a manual feeder. However, like the MFC-7340, this model suffers from an inadequate paper output tray that doesn't hold enough pages to fulfil typical office printing requirements.
USB 2.0 and an Ethernet port are the two connectivity options. The simple addition of a network port attracts an extra $100 to the initial price point of the device. We feel that this is almost justifiable given the importance of printer sharing, even in small offices. Disappointingly, Brother didn't add duplex functionality to the multifunction, another office requirement which may put this multifunction on the 'don't buy' list.
Still, there are some redeeming qualities. As with most new multifunctions, the 7440N offers a 'Scan To' function, allowing users to initiate scanning directly from the device and select a destination for the results — choosing which connected computer and type of file. The feature has become a mainstay of both low-end and high-end multifunctions.
Printing speeds are slightly better than the MFC-7340. We were impressed with the MFC-7440N's consistency. At all three quality levels — 300dpi, 600dpi and 1200dpi — the unit will print at a fairly consistent 22.2ppm. It certainly isn't the fastest laser printer out there, but when a page flies out in 2.7sec, there isn't much need for faster printing.
The MFC-7440N retains the picture-perfect laser quality that makes text look pristine. We didn't expect better or worse from the unit, but we're still thankful that the multifunction manages to produce clean text with no sign of pixilation or significant fading, even at 300dpi.
Scan quality isn't fantastic, but it suffices for pure text work. Bundled OCR software allows users to easily transform text pages into editable documents; this function can be initiated from the multifunction itself. Image scanning reveals some flaws; the MFC-7440N loses some clarity and detail in darker images as a result of significant image saturation.
The cost of consumables is 4.8c per page, the same as the MFC-7340. This remains cheap enough to warrant the initial price tag.
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