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Brother MFC-J4540DW Reviewed

Printer manufacturers have developed entire product lines aimed at professionals who are working from home. 

Brother’s MFC-J4540DW is the flagship model of a series of six mini business inkjet printers designed to ease the transition to permanent hybrid working environments. As a result, these new printers offer all the benefits of an office printer in an affordable package that’s also practical for home use.

They built a few extras into the Brother MFC-J4540DW, a premium model offering a touchscreen interface and an integrated NFC module. The XL version of this printer comes with a set of XL cartridges. Each contains two years’ worth of ink. Standard cartridges will only yield 3,000 monochrome pages and 1,500 colour pages, but that is still a considerable amount for a cartridge-based inkjet printer.

Features

The Brother MFC-J4540DW has all the connectivity options you’d expect from a printer these days – Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi direct, USB, Ethernet, fax, and NFC. We had issues with the NFC, but the Wi-Fi and Ethernet worked just fine.

Some of the key features include:

  • Up to one year of ink supplied in-box
  • Fast print speeds up to 20ppm
  • Automatic two-sided (duplex) printing
  • Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) up to 20 sheets
  • Up to 400 sheets paper capacity across two paper trays
  • 6.8cm LCD touchscreen
  • Monitor ink usage with Page Gauge
  • Mobile compatible via the Brother Mobile Connect app
  • Wireless, Wi-Fi Direct, NFC, Ethernet and USB connectivity
  • Replacement INKvestment inks: LC436 BK (Up to 3,000 black pages), LC436 CMY (Up to 1,500 colour pages), LC436XL BK (Up to 6,000 black pages), LC436XL CMY (Up to 5,000 colour pages)

Design

Despite its impressive paper handling and ink capacity, the Brother MFC-J4540DW remains compact. A bulge in the right flank of the bodywork makes room for the large ink cartridges.

This printer lets you feed up to 20 pages into the automatic document feeder, and insert envelopes and headed paper into the multi-media tray on the front. Since the additional feeders are on the rear, you should be careful not to put them too close to a wall.

Ink cartridges are large since this is Brother’s alternative to the refillable ink tank system that other inkjet manufacturers use. The ink isn’t as eco-friendly. But it’s more convenient than messing with bottles and ink.

Despite its modest size and small touchscreen, the UI is intuitive, and the touchscreen is sensitive.

There are several advantages to having two separate drawers to store paper. You can choose between plain paper and photo paper without having to reload each one. Also at the back is the multipurpose tray for feeding single sheets, envelopes, or cards.

Performance

We found the Brother MFC-J4540DW to perform very well. Printout of the first page takes less than ten seconds. It achieves its quoted print speed of 20ipm for a monochrome page and not too much slower for a duplex page.

Brother’s MFC-J4540DW prints in colour very well on regular paper. That said, colour photos on standard glossy photo paper are average.

The ADF worked flawlessly, and the scanner was fast and accurate as well. However, you can only copy one side of a page at a time. At this price point, you’d expect a printer with dual scanning.

Final Thoughts

In the MFC-J4540DW, Brother has packed in every feature you could need for a home office, and they’ve made it easy to access all of them with its touchscreen and companion app. The multiple input trays, USB host port, and even NFC connectivity make it a pleasure to use.

Photos and pictures print with average quality, but text documents look excellent and print fast. Although the initial cost might seem high, with so much ink included in the box and the option to upgrade to higher yield cartridges, it is very inexpensive.

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