Brother already has a large range of small, neat all-in-ones, so the introduction of the MFC-J415W provokes the initial reaction – why another? A look through the company’s website shows it does fit, though, just below the wide-screen MFC-490CW.
The same, gently-curved top surface that marks out many Brother all-in-ones does for this machine, too, though its 15-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) breaks the lines up a bit. In front of the scanner lid there's a full-width control panel with a numeric pad on the left-hand side for fax dialling – there are no single-click dial buttons, but there are 40 speed-dials.
On the right, in a column, are four illuminated mode buttons for fax, scan, copy and photo capture, as well as a menu navigation cross and buttons to start and stop jobs. In the centre of the panel is a small LCD display with a large surround.
Being used to seeing the widescreen LCDs Brother typically uses on its higher end machines, this one looks a bit lost, but it serves its purpose and is better than the two-line mono displays, which are found on less-expensive models.
In the front lip of the machine are two memory card slots, which between them support SD, MemoryStick and xD cards, but there's no PictBridge support. Similarly, although the machine can be connected wirelessly, there isn't an Ethernet port, just one for USB. You have to guide the USB cable along grooves inside the machine to plug it in internally, something common in Brother machines and of more advantage to the manufacturer than the customer.
There's a single paper cassette, which pulls out from the front and can take up to 100 sheets of plain paper. Alternatively, you can use this for photo blanks, but there's no way to load both types of paper simultaneously.
The four ink cartridges plug in behind a cover to the right of the paper cassette, in traditional Brother manner, and software installs from the supplied CD without problem. Secure connection to a wireless network is reasonably straightforward, as you can enter the passcode via the numeric pad on the control panel.
Brother provides a copy of the Presto PageManager document handling application, as well is its own suite of all-in-one software.