Although Brother only claims a 2ppm speed increase for the MFC-7460DN, over the MFC-7360N, we found more of a difference under test. Our simple, 5-page text document completed in 19s, giving a speed of 15.8ppm, but this was also true of the draft mode test and the 5-page text and graphics test, too.
This is over 2ppm faster, but on the longer, 20-page test we saw 22.2ppm from this printer, nearly 3ppm quicker. Printing duplex – the main feature which distinguishes this from the cheaper machine – slows it down a bit, but even then, it completed the same 20-side document at 10.5 sides per minute.
10s for a copy from the flatbed and 23s for a five-page copy from the ADF, show this is a very nippy device and a 15 x 10cm photo on A4 came through in 10s, too, so no hanging about.
The printer has both sleep and deep sleep modes and it takes tens of seconds to wake up from deep sleep, so you have to add this to the first-page-out time for intermittent printing. Noise levels are reasonable, though there are still peaks of 63dBA, when feeding paper.
The quality of prints from this machine is very good, with sharp, well-formed text from its 600dpi engine. Greyscale graphics are good, too, with enough shades of grey to distinguish between different colours in originals. There’s very slight blotchiness, and slight banding in the sky of our test photo, but not at all bad for a mono laser. The only place it’s let down is when copying greyscale images; many grey shades turn black and those that don’t are very blotchy.
Best case consumable costs for both toner and drum have risen slightly since we tested the MFC-7360N, but even so we calculate an ISO page should only cost around 3.4p, which is very much on a par with the competition.
This is a very worthwhile multi-function printer, combining print, copy, scan and fax into a compact, desktop machine which prints fast single or double-sided. A few little niggles, like the lack of wireless connection and a front-panel USB port, aren’t enough to put us off this fine SOHO stalwart.