Brother was the first company to introduce SOHO all-in-one inkjets which could handle paper as large as A3. This is one of its second generation of printers and it still offers this larger print format, but without the scan or copy functions to match; it only has an A4 scanner.
This reduces its flexibility, but also its size. Although it’s wider than a typical A4 all-in-one, it’s around the same depth, certainly when its paper tray is telescoped in. Both the tray and its cover extend, so if you only print A3 occasionally, you can keep the tray small most of the time, when it’s completely contained within the printer’s body.
You have to use the same tray for everything, from 15 x 10cm photos up to A3 pages and readjusting the paper stops can be a bit tedious, if you regularly switch sizes. Printed pages end up on top of the paper tray lid, which has a fold-up end stop.
The control panel includes one of Brother’s 82mm widescreen LCDs, which we’re surprised other companies haven’t adopted, as they give a lot more room for display and are particularly useful when selecting photos for print. There’s a number pad and six speed-dial buttons for fax numbers and a strip along the front includes memory card slots and a USB/Pictbridge socket.
There are some irritating idiosyncrasies in the way the machine works. Take the phone book; if you select this by mistake and want to escape, you soon discover there are only three keys on the keyboard which don’t produce an annoying error triple-beep. There’s nothing on screen to tell you how to back out and the Back key just beeps. It’s the Stop/Exit key which does it, reserved on most printers for cancelling a scan or copy job.
Also, if you switch the machine off, even when it’s in standby mode, it returns to standby when the power’s restored, which isn’t usually what you want.
The four ink cartridges slot in behind a cover next to the paper tray, which is the only physical installation required. Software support includes Nuance PaperPort 11SE as well as Brother’s own MFL-Pro Suite and drivers for Windows and OS X. Linux users can also download a driver.