Brother MFC-J430W all-in-one printer review

Entry-level MFP with wireless, iOS and Android apps
Photo of Brother MFC-J430W all-in-one printer
£109.99

The Brother MFC-J430W is the latest on test in a new batch of six budget-conscious multifunction printers (MFPs) that has just been released. It’s a 4-in-1 device, so you can send faxes as well as the usual copy, scan and print functions. Styled entirely in cool jet black, part of the top surface also has a textured design to make it stand out from the usual crowd. It’s a very compact looking model that certainly won’t put your back out – it weighs a comfortable 9kg and measures 405x180x378mm (whd).

Clearly labelled controls
A small fold-back output tray on the top reveals a 20-sheet auto document feeder and at the base of the unit is the main 100-sheet input tray. There’s no separate tray for photos, so you’ll need to change the paper over manually and there’s no auto-duplex facility. The other noticeable absences are of any USB input for direct printing from flash memory sticks or any type of memory card slot, both of which are frequently standard in other comparable machines.

However, there are three prominently displayed control buttons for fax, scan and copy, a neat number pad and a colour 1.9in backlit LCD display with easy-to-manoeuvre menus for setting up printing parameters and network connections. Thankfully Wi-Fi connectivity is built-in, and there’s an Ethernet port on the side and a USB-to-PC slot snugly tucked inside.

Wireless mobile printing
Four separate colour cartridges slide easily into the front bay which has its own door and an Ink Save mode further reduces replacement times. You’ll be generally pleased by the print times, too, with draft A4 black text documents emerging around 20ppm (not quite the claimed 33ppm, but still decent) and normal quality in 12ppm. Normal 10x15cm colour prints take just 15 seconds, and both printed and copied A4 colour prints arrive in 2min 10s.

Brother has also provided links to a free downloadable app for both iOS and Android (iPrint&Scan) for wireless printing photos via your smartphone or tablet, which is quick to set up and produces sharp 10x15cm prints, although the colours are marginally darker than the originals (yet despite the publicity, you can’t print PDFs this way). We noticed that while clarity is always good for most printed photos, colours tend to be slightly pinker at the native setting and a little dull – copies, on the other hand, are much paler and there are occasional banding issues.

Company: Brother

Website: http://www.brother.co.uk/

Contact: Brother on 08444 999444

Positives
  • Excellent Wi-Fi connectivity; wireless printing from smartphone app.
Negative
  • Photocopies come out a bit pale.

Verdict

The Brother MFC-J430W all-in-one printer is compact, chic, easy to use and clearly laid out and manages to produce decent quality documents and photos at reasonably fast speeds. Photocopies are not wonderful, though, and a couple of standard fixtures are missing.