Brother Colour Laser DCP 9040CN
First the dimensions it is 40x55x42cm and weights 32kilos. So its bigger dimension wise and heavier weight wise than the HL-4040CN. The software install is quite quick and takes 420MB of hard disc space. It can be connected by Ethernet or by USB. There are two CD's one for PC and one for Mac.
There are four models in the 9040 range and this is the entry level option, it comes with a 250 sheet paper tray - yes a proper paper tray that you can get half a ream of paper in unlike the promised 100 sheet offerings from a number of inkjet offerings - other models in the range offer things like fax and extra paper trays. There is a very good PDF file on the brother site (from the link at the end) that describes the differences.
There are four toner cartridges and these slot easily into the machine in fact so easily I was not sure they were located correctly. My only gripe is that there are so many pieces of tape I spend several minutes going over the unit to be sure I had got it all.
The software is all installed from a single interface MFL-Pro Suite this is the printer driver, Brother control centre (this loads automatically each time you boot up) and Paper Port 11SE that includes the OCR software. It's fairly straightforward but there is a well illustrated 36 page Quick Setup Guide should you have any problems.
When you first switch on there is about two minutes before any documents can be printed. Once on it goes into a sleep mode cutting the power required but it wakes from this state more quickly.
The unit has 28 buttons on the front top edge, when I first saw the numeric keypad (12 buttons) I assumed I had missed the fax but no that only applies to different models. In fact the on/off switch is back right and like most lasers will probably be left in standby most of the time.
When you first switch on you will not be able to print or copy (remember this is an All In One) for 130seconds. After 100 seconds it says ready but then when you try to print or copy it tells you to wait for another 30 seconds. Then it does start printing at the stated speed of 20 PPM and this is colour as well as black. Colour output is excellent and often looks as good as the original.
Copying a single page after the unit is warm takes 15 seconds from pressing the button and again this is colour as well as black. The Brother control centre within Windows works well and should this be used in the SOHO or small office environment then even a novice should be able to do what he/she wants very easily.
Scanning can be done from the flatbed or from the document feeder. I found the flatbed especially good for books and magazines, some scanners tend to be affected if items stop the lid being fully shut. The scanner can work at up to 19200x19200 interpolated with the actual figures being 1200x2400.
The power requirements of the unit seem quite high to me but maybe because other manufacturers do not seem to publish these in an easily accessible document like this. 495watts for copying, 95watts at ready and even 28watts in sleep mode so maybe it's time to think of when and how often to copy, print or scan. The full document is available from the Literature page of the last link and indeed are the current recommended prices for the toners etc. I wish others were as open.
Doing my Internet searches found the Brother DCP 9040CN at a best price of £467.65 including free delivery (remember it weights 32kilos) from the first link below.
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