If you want a colour all-in-one laser with all the trimmings, Brother will offer you its MFC-9840CDW. This machine is aimed at small workgroups, so the specifications are robust and, as well as offering colour print, it can put it on both sides of the paper in a single pass, handle up to 300 fax speed dials and copy multipage documents of up to 50 pages, all wirelessly.
Don't attempt to lift the MFC-9840CDW on your own. It weighs 38kg and is a definite two-person device. It's bulky, too, with a colour laser engine giving little truck to the newer, compact designs we've seen coming through in the last few months. The full-size flatbed scanner is a substantial piece of equipment and its Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) is designed for office use, too.
The control panel runs the full width of the flatbed and includes 40 speed dials at the left-hand end, as well as a number pad at the right, all for dealing with fax services. In between these two is a backlit multi-line, mono LCD display, with three large mode buttons in front for fax, scan and copy. To the right of this display are menu navigation controls and at the right-hand end are buttons for mono and colour start buttons and one to stop a printing job. Specialist copy controls include enlargement and reduction, tray select, sorting and multiple pages per sheet.
Below the control panel is a 250-sheet paper tray, a bit small we'd say for the type of duties the machine is aimed at, though a second 500-sheet tray is available as an option. There's a 50-sheet multipurpose tray that folds down from the front panel, too. At the back are USB and Ethernet sockets but perhaps the most useful connection is 802.11g wireless.
Brother supplies its wireless setup wizard, which is controlled from the MFC-9840CDW's control panel and hunts out all the wireless networks within range. It's then just a question of picking the right one and the machine is available on the network. Install the PCL or PS emulation drivers on any machine you want to be able to use the multifunction and you're there.
Behind the fold-down front panel, a tray slides out to take the four toner cartridges. They slide into place easily enough, though the design of the machine requires a separate drum, transfer belt and waste toner box, so maintenance is fiddly.