Brother Business Smart MFC-J4510DW Hands On Review

One of the great things about working at a site like HotHardware is that I get exposed to a ton of PC hardware and related accessories.  Most of my time is spent testing and evaluating high-end processors, graphics cards and storage devices, but every once in a while something new and different comes along that catches my eye and I take it on with the intent of showing it to you all here.  Such was the case with the Brother Business Smart MFC-J4510DW Multi-function All-in-One inkjet printer.

All-in-One, multi-function printers have become somewhat commonplace. And although their specifications and features vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, they all do essentially the same things—print, scan, copy, and sometimes fax. Consumer-class multi-function printers almost always print on standard 8.5” x 11” paper (or smaller) as well.  But not the Brother MFC-J4510DW. Brother did something very creative with the MFC-J4510DW, and essentially turned the print mechanism 90 degrees, so the 11” edge on a standard sheet of paper is what feeds into the device, not the 8.5” edge like most other printers. That seemingly slight tweak (which is not so slight in actuality), allows the MFC-J4510DW to produce prints up to 11” x 17”, despite the fact that the printer itself is smaller than most of its competitors.

Aside from the innovative print mechanism, other features of the Brother Business Smart MFC-J4510DW include (courtesy of Brother):

  1. Fastest in Class. With speeds up to 35ppm black and 27ppm color. ISO print speeds up to 20ppm black and 18ppm color (ISO/IEC 24734).
  2. Easy-to-Use 3.7" Swipe Touchscreen Display plus Touch Panel
  3. Smallest in Class up to 35% smaller footprint
  4. Low Cost Printing Help save more print more with replacement super high yield ink cartridges
  5. 11" x 17" Printing. Print high-impact easy-to-read documents up to 11" x 17"
  6. Mobile Device Printing. Wireless printing from your mobile device via: AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Brother iPrint&Scan, Cortado Workplace and Wi-Fi Direct.
  7. Innovative Landscape Print Technology Allows paper to be stored and fed in the machine in landscape orientation. This unique technology delivers the ultimate combination of features in a machine with a compact and sleek design.

You can also take a look at the MFC-J4510DW’s full specifications at this link. To summarize though, the Brother MFC-J4510DW is a compact All-in-One, multi-function printer that can print at high speeds on a wide variety of paper sizes, connect via cables or Wi-Fi, and it’s compatible with virtually every platform, desktop or mobile.

I’ve been using the Brother MFC-J4510DW exclusively for the last couple of months now and have gotten a good feel for the device and its capabilities. Let’s get some of the good points out of the way first. The Brother MFC-J4510DW is very easy to set up and configure. Whether connecting wired or wirelessly, a single installer from the Brother website takes care of all of the drivers and utilities and the front-mounted touch-screen makes connecting the MFC-J4510DW to a wireless network quick and easy. The setup was really painless.

The Brother MFC-J4510DW is also very fast. Full pages of text shoot out of this thing in a blink. Photo printing is also very quick.  4x6 and 5x7 borderless prints took no time at all and 8.5” x 11” full color, high-quality prints took no more than a couple of minutes. Print quality was also very good; surprisingly good, despite the fact that this is “only” a four color printer.  I own a couple of 6-color photo printers as well, and only the most discerning users are going to pick up on the quality differences, and even then only when using the best paper.

Scanning and copying documents was flawless on the Brother MFC-J4510DW as well. The 2400 x 2400 dpi max scanner resolution should be more than enough for any household or small business needs. And ink cartridges for the Brother are relatively affordable too. XXL, ultra-high capacity black ink cartridges are about $25 (approx. 1200 pages) and 3-packs of XXL color cartridges are roughly $59.

For day to day use, making copies, printing documents, photos, and even a number of envelopes, the Brother MFC-J4510DW was mostly well behaved and I generally had no complaints.  I did, however, run into a couple of issues worth mentioning.

First, the MFC-J4510DW’s paper-handling mechanism is loud. When the printer pulls in a sheet of paper and starts feeding, it bangs, clanks and spins and is very audible. It’s easily louder than an aging HP LaserJet and an Epson Artisan I have here in the lab.  I also found that the printer would pull in extra sheets of paper on occasion, though it never jammed or needed any real maintenance other than an occasional head cleaning.

The most significant issue I ran into with the Brother MFC-J4510DW happened when printing 8.5” x 11” photos wirelessly. Twice, the printer simply wouldn’t complete the print properly. The last 1/8” of the page or so was left partially dithered or blank and the printer never threw any errors or warnings—it just spit out the unfinished page.  I can’t say with 100% certainty that this was definitely the fault of the printer—it *could* have been a Wi-Fi glitch of some sort—but another wireless multi-function printer I have here never exhibited the same behavior.  Recycling the MFC-J4510DW’s power and printing again would usually resolve the issue.

Overall, I’d consider the Brother Business Smart MFC-J4510DW a very good device. For about $199, the MFC-J4510DW offers all of the features that have become standard in the multi-function printer space, with the added benefits of high-speed printing and an innovative paper-handling mechanism that can print to large 11” x 17” sheets of paper. Factor in the easy setup, high-capacity print cartridges, and a compact foot print, and the Brother MFC-J4510DW looks all the more appealing.