Testing the Brother INKvestment Tank MFC-J4540DW All-in-One Printer for Home Office »EFTM
The Brother MFC-J4540DW is Brother’s flagship model in its new home office line. Over the past year we have seen printer manufacturers devote entire product lines to the professional who works from home more than ever. The Brother MFC-J4540DW fits comfortably in this category.
|Two paper trays||Large footprint|
|High ink capacity||No cloud printing solution included|
Design and size
The Brother MFC-J4540DW isn’t the smallest printer out there, but it’s also not the biggest home office All-in-One (AIO) we used last month. Much of its volume consists of an additional tray (a different paper type / size if needed) and new ink tanks, located behind the cartridge tray. The two paper trays provide space for 400 sets of paper.
The top of the printer has an automatic document feeder that can hold 20 pages of paper, while the rare one has the media tray for inserting media such as envelopes or letterhead. Being in the back, however, you need to be careful not to place it too close to the wall if you plan to use these feeders too much.
Lift the cover and you will find the extremely strange location of the Ethernet and USB port. Although they are located in this strange area, there is a nice channel to allow each other’s cable (s) to be properly routed to the back of the printer.
The left side of the printer houses the fax / telephone line as well as the power plug / cable. It’s great that Brother located the power cable here because it allows for much better positioning of the printer in your home – ie. it can be pushed against a wall, etc. as required.
The front of the printer features not only the two paper trays, but also the control panel with highly responsive LCD display, some hard buttons to navigate the LCD display and NFC so that users can directly print without having to add the printer to their devices manually. The front also has the output tray sticking out a bit, which is another thing to be wary of when positioning it in your desk.
The Brother MFC-J4540DW included most of the connectivity options you would expect from a printer these days: Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi direct, USB, Ethernet, fax, and NFC. NFC was hit or miss (more misfires than successes) with its use, but the Wi-Fi worked perfectly, as did the Ethernet and USB connections.
For NFC printing, you must have a phone that supports it, but the process of transferring data from your phone to the printer is slow. It’s much easier to just scan the NCF tag which will take you to the Brother app’s app store location. Install the app and add a printer over Wi-Fi (you need to be on the same Wi-Fi network for this) and you’re good to go. This all takes about a minute.
The set, for the standard version, includes three color ink cartridges and one black that fill the ink tanks enough to print 3,000 monochrome pages and 1,500 color pages which is a lot (one year apparently). There is also an XL version which provides larger cartridges in the box to deliver more than double that amount, but to be honest I don’t see why you would need this considering how many pages the cartridges can print. standard size included.
The printer is capable of double-sided printing with, according to Brother, a speed of 20 single-sided pages per minute (mono). Double-sided, specifications say 11 pages per minute. In my test, simple monochrome hit about 18-19 pages per minute, and duplex printing just below the listed amount as well. They were very close and I don’t know why you would need a home office printer to be faster than that anyway.
Of course, being an all-in-one, it can also easily fax, scan and copy. Scanning using the PC or the app was straightforward. The Brother mobile app is easy to use for scanning (and printing) with the ability to save the scanned page as a JPEG or PDF file, then share it immediately from the app wherever you want (e -mail, online storage, etc.).
Configuration and operation
Setting up the printer was a breeze using the Brother app, with the app doing most of the heavy lifting and guiding you every step of the way as needed. You can also set up using the LCD screen, which is also pretty straightforward, although entering a Wi-Fi password on the small screen is much more difficult than on your phone.
Although I have seen some online suggesting that printing online from anywhere in the world is possible – it wasn’t for us and according to Brother it is not possible with this standalone AIO. to print from a remote location, you will need to use third-party software that Brother partners with, such as PaperCut.
Setting up the ink on the Brother MFC-J4540DW is very simple. Simply open the ink door on the right side of the front of the printer, insert the cartridges one at a time, and they’re ready to use. The printer removes ink from the cartridges and stores it in the ink tanks behind the cartridges so that even when the cartridges are empty, there is still enough ink stored in the tanks to last over 100 pages. Although this is relatively “green”, it is not as environmentally friendly as the full tank refill bottles that come with Epson Ink Tank printers.
The advantage of the Brother is the supposed absence of any mess as you don’t pour ink into the printer and therefore have less chance of ink spillage. Saying that the Epson solution does not result in any ink spillage, but I can see how it at least makes you feel more comfortable filling the tanks.
As mentioned above, printing was relatively fast for color and monochrome printing as well as for duplex printing. The first page is completed in under 6 seconds, which is one of the fastest first prints for Wi-Fi printing – much faster than the Epson. The rest of the pages come out incredibly fast and surprisingly get to around 20 pages per minute quite easily. My tests had run it at just under 20 pages per minute but not far at all.
As for the noise, it is not as loud as some and if it was sitting next to you on the desk and someone was printing it, you would hardly notice it – not just because of the noise but also because that it spits out every page so quickly.
Scanning was also extremely quick and easy. I used my phone to do most of the scan tests and it was super easy – hit the scan button in the app and it will scan the document. Then you save it as a JPEG or PDF, then you save and share it anywhere you want.
Do I recommend it?
The Brother MFC-J4540DW is a great printer that’s better suited for businesses than the Epson EcoTank ET-4850 we tested last year. It has more options for various printing solutions as well as a second paper tray. It’s incredibly quick and easy to use, making it a great solution for just about anyone.
There is no cloud printing solution included – ie. the ability to print from anywhere in the world – included right out of the box as is the case with the Epson. It is also not as environmentally friendly as the Epson, but is still an improvement over the printers of yesteryear. The second paper tray and large built-in reservoirs and cartridge storage requirements mean a larger footprint than the Epson, but the Brother has its power cord off the machine, which offers a lot more. flexibility to position it in your home office.
If the printer is specifically designed for the home office, and you have a decent-sized home office, this is an AIO printer that you should be looking at. The Brother MFC-J4540DW also has the advantage of being significantly cheaper than the Epson at just $ 329. Office work. For more information, visit the brother site.