Review – Brother MFC-J4540DW an ‘INKvestment’ with a catch

Brother MFC-J4540DW

The Brother MFC-J4540DW is a multi-function printer with a heavy emphasis on the ‘multi’.

It’s designed to fulfill the wants of a house workplace or small enterprise, providing quick environment friendly printing, copying, scanning and faxing (no matter that’s). The J4540 can be billing itself as an ‘INKvestment’ as a result of the ink cartridges included final for a yr’s price of printing, although that assertion is certified.  

Along with the print, copy, scan and fax capabilities the J4540 additionally has 

  • Computerized duplex printing with a 20 sheet computerized doc feeder
  • A paper capability of as much as 400 sheets, cut up throughout two paper trays in A5 and A4
  • It’s cellular suitable by way of the the Brother Cell Join app
  • Wi-fi, Wi-Fi Direct, NFC, Ethernet and USB connectivity
  • Printing speeds of as much as 20ppm (pages per minute) single sided and 11ppm duplex
  • A primary web page out time (FPOT) of 5.8 seconds
  • Scanning pace of 17ipm (photos per minute)
  • A one sheet paper feeder on the rear of the unit which can settle for paper as much as 300gsm
  • A 2 yr return to base guarantee

Brother MFC-J4540DW

The preliminary setup of the J4540 is ridiculously straightforward. It grumbles to itself just a little on first energy on – loading the ink reservoirs and organising the print head – then it prints a print alignment web page. You might be then requested to position the alignment web page onto the scanning mattress which then routinely calibrates the scanner. The wifi setup can be straightforward – simply choose your community and enter the password.

preparing the ink message

At each level of the method, the printer tells you precisely what to do, it’s tremendous easy.

A part of the setup contains the show of a QR code which takes you to the Brother Cell Join app on the Google play retailer. You may ship print jobs to the printer with out it, however the app makes the printing course of straightforward and quick and unlocks a number of further choices for you. 

As soon as downloaded the app will discover your printer – and should you occur to have one other brother printer in your community, as we do, you’ll be able to add it to the app as properly, so long as it’s suitable. As a aspect be aware, ought to your printer not be suitable with the Cell Join app, moderately than simply telling you so, the Cell Join app may also let you know which different Brother app is required on your printer and additionally hyperlinks you on to that app within the play retailer. This will not appear to be a giant factor, and it’s not, however simply going the additional mile in small methods like this present clearly Brother’s dedication to customer support.

To print utilizing the app is straightforward, merely choose both doc or picture, choose your file, and press print. That’s all there’s to it!

The printing time on this printer is spectacular, Brother claims it’s solely 6 seconds for the primary printed web page to be delivered, and whereas I didn’t stand by it with a stopwatch, it was notably fast. The copying perform can be remarkably swift, from the press of the button to start out the scan to the finished monochrome print was 10 seconds.

The NFC printing possibility is an attention-grabbing one, however it’s not fairly so simple as utilizing NFC to pay for issues. As a way to use the NFC possibility it’s a must to use the Brother Cell Join app. The NFC printing is strictly the identical course of as utilizing the app to print by way of the put in printer – minus having to the touch your system to the printer. It’s actually solely helpful to print from a tool which isn’t on the identical community because the printer – helpful you probably have a visitor or customer, they will print with out you giving them entry to your community, however not terribly helpful to the proprietor of the printer day after day.

Screen shot of the Brother Mobile Connect App
Screenshot of the 2 pages within the Brother Cell Join App

One of many enjoyable and helpful facets of the J4540 is the free printable content material.
There’s a great deal of enjoyable stuff like origami, 3D paper fashions, flash playing cards, maths worksheets, and sudoku, together with helpful content material for a house workplace equivalent to planners, graph paper, musical rating sheets and calendars. There’s additionally some surprising gadgets – occasion decorations, cake toppers, occasion baggage, a ‘the place’s balloon canine’ discovering puzzle and colouring in pages.

The content material will not be saved on the printer, you could obtain it, so you have to to have an web connection, and the printer doesn’t maintain the content material in its reminiscence as soon as it’s printed, so if you wish to print it once more later you have to to obtain it once more. The menu screens for this content material generally is a little gradual to populate, it’s a strong few seconds for all of the choices to load, nevertheless you get just a little preview image subsequent to every possibility which makes the choice course of sooner and simpler.

You may as well arrange menu shortcuts, steadily used choices might be positioned on the entrance menu display for one contact entry. There are additionally choices to enlarge or cut back the scale of your scanning and subsequent printing, double sided copying and the choice to activate quiet mode. This, because the title suggests, considerably reduces the noise the J4540 makes whereas printing however the commerce off is that the pace of the printing is barely diminished.

Throughout the Cell Join app, in scanning mode, you’ll be able to choose the dpi you want to scan at, color or mono and the doc measurement of the finished scan. You may then preview and edit the scan and reserve it as a JPEG or PDF, and share or reserve it by way of virtually each conceivable technique potential. SMS, e-mail, dropbox, the moment messenger service of your alternative, the listing will embrace each viable technique your system is able to.

Brother Mobile Connect App

The one actual hiccough I encountered when utilizing the J4540 (and it’s a fairly minor one to be honest) was that should you print utilizing a paper measurement which doesn’t match the paper measurement you will have loaded – for instance you probably have ‘A4’ paper loaded and also you print choosing the ‘index card’ or ‘letter’ choices, the printer can show the error:

“put the next paper in tray 1 and restart printing letter plain paper”. 

To get the printer to print you merely should press ‘restart printing’, however it does require that guide press to proceed.

Screen of a Brother MFC-J4540DW

One of many main issues when choosing a printer is the ink. The J4540 is billed as an ‘INKvestment’ however the qualification on the ‘yr’s price of ink’ assertion is that this:

“Primarily based on common month-to-month print volumes of roughly 150 pages at 60% black pages / 40% color pages in accordance with ISO/IEC 24711 utilizing 4 cartridges supplied in-box.”

This works out to be round 5 pages per day, 1800 pages per yr, which, given the pattern in direction of extra paperless places of work, isn’t unreasonable for a small house workplace. Particularly since in case your workplace has a better fee of printing than this you’d probably be a laser printer moderately than an inkjet.

Brother MFC-J4540DW inks
Brother MFC-J4540DW Ink Cartridges

There’s a sting within the tail with regards to the inks although – as with most printers the fee is within the consumables. There are two selections close to cartridge measurement – customary quantity and excessive quantity.The equipped cartridges are customary quantity and alternative inks in the usual quantity price $39 per cartridge. A full set of 4 cartridges, due to this fact, price $156.
The usual quantity black cartridge is listed on the Officeworks web site as costing $1.30 per 100 pages, which equates to roughly 3000 pages per cartridge. The usual quantity color cartridges are listed as costing $2.60 per 100 pages, equating to 1500 pages per cartridge.

For a excessive quantity set the black cartridge will set you again $71 whereas the color cartridges price $119 apiece, coming in at $436 for a full set.
The excessive quantity black cartridge is listed on the Officeworks web site as costing $1.18 per 100 pages, which equates to roughly 6000 pages per cartridge. The excessive quantity color cartridges are listed as costing $2.38 per 100 pages, equating to 5000 pages per cartridge.

There are, on the time of publication, no generic alternate options out there.

The excessive price of the cartridges is probably going because of the truth that this printer makes use of pigment based mostly ink moderately than dye based mostly ink. The principle distinction between the 2, apart from the fee, is the dye inks encompass a colourant dissolved in a liquid, whereas the pigment inks encompass small color particles that are held in suspension inside a liquid – suppose sugar vs sand stirred right into a glass of water.

Pigment inks are typically held to supply higher and extra lengthy lasting photos which aren’t broken by water which is maybe why Brother has made the choice to make use of them within the J4540.

comparison of pigment vs dye ink
pigment vs dye ink print

The standard of the produced prints actually speaks for itself. Colors are vibrant, textual content is crisp and clear and pictures are reproduced faithfully from display to paper.

In summation; the Brother J4540DW is a superb machine, jam filled with actually helpful and properly thought out options, however there’s a massive commerce off to be made – the incredible efficiency and options versus the price of replenishing the inks. A full set of 4 cartridges will price both $156 or $436, and given the printer itself solely prices $329 to start out with, it’s straightforward to see why so many completely good printers find yourself in e-waste as soon as their ink cartridges have run out.

With a lot emphasis being positioned now on renewable vitality, recycling, and lowering single use plastics, it’s maybe time that printer producers begin how they will contribute to lowering e-waste moderately than offering their shoppers with a monetary incentive so as to add to it.

The Brother J4540DW is out there completely out there from Officeworks for $329.00


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