Brother has long been known for its range of colour fax and multi-function machines, but it has recently expanded its catalogue of colour laser printers and multi-functions, too. The DCP-9040CN is a Digital Copier Printer, so the primary market is as a colour photocopier. However, it's geared up for both local and network printing, so could also be used as the basis of small office or workgroup printing.
As multi-function machines move from generation to generation, they look less like printers with scanners stuck on top. Brother's industrial design makes some effort to blend the lines of the two components and pages which eject from the top of the printer section are easy to retrieve from the gap under the scanner.
The scanner itself has a 50-sheet Auto Document Feeder (ADF) on top, but the flatbed glass can take pages up to A4, too. At the front is the control panel, which has a conventional design. There's a two-line by 16-character, backlit LCD display, a four-way button for menu control with extra buttons and indicators ranged around it, a keypad and three function keys, for colour and mono copying and to stop a running job.
At the extreme left there are buttons for enlarging and reducing copies, choosing the input tray and selecting quality. Here there's also a dedicated Scan button and a Secure Print button, which holds print jobs until a four-digit pass code is entered. This is ideal for handling sensitive documents, where you need to be at the printer when they print.
A 50-sheet multi-purpose tray pulls down from the front of the printer section, above the main paper tray, which can take up to 250 sheets. A second, 500-sheet paper tray can be fitted underneath, as an option. At the back are sockets for USB 2.0 and Ethernet, both of which are standard.
The drum unit comes pre-installed, but you have to fit each of the four toner cartridges into a rack which slides out from the front, before you can start printing. You also have to remove a huge number of tapes, spacers and protective sheets from various parts of the machine. We've never come across a device with more and there's very little guidance in the quick start guide to show where they're all located.