The mono laser multifunction printer can fairly be described as a workhorse of the small office. It has taken the place of the photocopier as the major ‘can’t live without’ piece of desktop equipment, providing print, copy, scan and, in the case of Brother’s MFC-7860DW, fax.
This is a very neat little multifunction, not much wider than a length of A4 paper. The flatbed scanner has a low-profile Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) on top of its flatbed scanner, with a folding, 35-sheet feed tray.
The control panel runs the full width of the machine and, although it's quite busy, the function groups are well laid out. There are eight quick-dial buttons at the extreme left, then three short rows of fax, copy and print options.
In the centre there's a 2-line by 16-character, backlit LCD text display, with three illuminated mode buttons for fax, scan and copy in front. To the right of the display is a diamond of navigation keys, then a number pad and finally Start and Stop buttons at the right-hand end.
Below the control panel is the paper-out slot and the whole of the upper section of the printer can be hinged up on supports, in case of paper jams, though we still saw none during testing. Below the paper-out slot is a high-gloss strip bearing the Brother logo and this folds down to become a single-sheet paper feed, for special media. At the bottom of the front panel is a 250-sheet main paper tray.
The printer supports USB and 10/100 Ethernet connections, but you can also connect it wirelessly. If your router supports WPS setup, this only takes a couple of button presses.
The drum and toner cartridge is a two-piece consumable, though the toner cartridges clip into the drum assembly, as you can replace them a number of times before having to replace the drum.
Brother provides a copy of PaperPort 11SE for document management and OCR, as well as drivers for Windows and OS X. The company also provides support for Linux, through an optional driver download.