The MFC-J615W is one of a new set of inkjet all-in-ones from Brother, which slots in the higher end of its copious range. In feature terms, it's more of the same and it's designed for the home and small office, with both fax and photo handling to add to the core function trio of print, copy and scan.
All decked out in high-gloss and textured black, this machine follows the lines of many others in Brother's portfolio, with the gently sloping top panel sliding down to a full-width control panel across the front and incorporating a 30-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) for copies, scans and faxes.
Brother's ADFs work in the opposite direction from most others, feeding from the top surface of the flatbed cover to a pair of supports directly above. There's no reason why this design shouldn't work just as well as the top-to-bottom approach used by most other makers.
The control panel is simplified, with only the buttons needed to perform the machine's several functions. There's a number pad on the left-hand side for fax dialling and passcode entry when setting up a wireless connection. To the right of the LCD panel are four illuminated buttons for fax, scan, copy and photo capture. To the right of these is a diamond of navigation keys, with an OK button in the centre, and on the extreme right are two buttons for colour and mono jobs and a single stop key.
The widescreen LCD has an 81mm diagonal, a bit smaller than the 84mm screen that became a Brother signature design. It's full colour as before and still benefits from being able to show photo thumbnails and selection choices simultaneously side by side.
A 100-sheet plain paper cassette slides into the front of the machine and there's a 20-sheet photo paper tray mounted in its lid. To engage the tray you have to pull out the cassette and slide it forward manually – it's a shame it isn’t automatically selected when you choose to print photos.
At the back to the left-hand side is the power input and two other sockets for fax line and third-party handset, but the USB connection has to be reeved around inside the machine as usual, which is more awkward than a socket at the rear.
Many people who buy the MFC-J615W will choose to connect via wireless and this is an easy two-stage installation. You simply enter any security passcode to connect the printer to your wireless router and then locate the printer from the setup software on the PC you're using.
Drivers are provided for Windows and OS X and Brother provides separate Linux support via direct download. There's also a copy of the company's own multifunction suite and Nuance's PaperPort 11SE.