Multifunction printers can be the heart of a workgroup or small department and with the increasing number of colour laser engines available, they're becoming more and more flexible. One of the newest innovations is duplex scanning as well as printing, which can save on paper and produce tidier, double-sided documents. Brother's DCP-9045CDN is towards the high-end of its multifunction range and includes pretty much all the bells and whistles, except fax.
This is a big machine, weighing nearly 40kg and taking up a substantial space on the desk. Coloured in grey and cream, it has a large, impressive looking Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) with a novel, extra slot in its lid, from which scanned pages appear during duplex scanning. The ADF can take up to 50 pages at a time and there's a CCD-based scanner engine under the flatbed.
The control panel is well laid out, though a little right-hand heavy. A 16-character by five-line, backlit LCD display shows plenty of status information, though it uses a surprisingly ugly, coarse font. To the right of this is a set of navigation buttons and, further right, a number pad and the obligatory three buttons to start and stop jobs.
To the left of the display are just three buttons devoted to printing, including an illuminated one, marked ‘Direct'. This relates to the USB and PictBridge socket lower down the front panel and highlighted with a silver fascia, which enables walk-up printing from a USB drive or a PictBridge camera.
The number pad is for security purposes, so that walk-up printing can be PIN-controlled. The two schools of thought on independent printing and scanning focus on convenience versus security, so it's good to see at least basic security implemented here.
At the bottom of the front panel is a 250-sheet paper tray, with a further 100 sheets of multipurpose paper is accommodated via a fold-down tray above this. At the back are USB and Ethernet sockets.
Fold down the front panel and the four toner cartridges are available on a convenient pull-out tray. These all have to be installed before you start using the machine, but the process is very easy and shouldn't take more than 15 minutes.
Software includes a copy of Nuance PaperPort 11, as well as Brother's own MFL-Pro application. Emulated drivers are provided for both PCL 6 and PostScript Level 3 and versions for Windows and OS X are included in the box. There are also CUPS and LPD/LPR drivers available, for Linux customers.