A colour laser multifunction printer is about all you need to cover all the main office functions in a workgroup or small office. A machine like Brother’s MFC-9460CDN offers print, copy, scan and fax, can output in colour and can print securely from its control panel and from files uploaded from a USB drive.
This is a tall machine with the flatbed scanner and its 35-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) integrated into the design in a rather monolithic way. The feed tray to the ADF is formed by flipping its cover open and there's a two-stage, flip-out paper stop, as well.
The control panel runs the full width of the machine and starts at the left-hand end with eight fast-dial buttons for the fax, doubled up to 16 with the use of the shift button. To the right of this are attribute buttons for fax, copy and print and in the centre of the display is a bitmapped, backlit LCD display, with plenty of room for status and feedback but not for displaying thumbnails.
In front of the display are mode keys and to its right a Diamond of menu navigation buttons, then a number pad for fax numbers and pin entry. Finally at the extreme right are buttons to start and stop print jobs.
The control panel and scanner section hinges up so you can recover any pages from the laser engine, should you suffer a paper jam; we didn't, during testing. Meanwhile the front panel folds down to provide a 50-sheet multi-purpose tray for special media and just above this flap is a socket for connecting USB drives. The main paper tray is a rather measly 250-sheets, though you can add a 500-sheet tray as an option.
At the back of the machine are sockets for USB and 10/100 Ethernet, though there's no wireless support, which is something of a disappointment for a costly business machine.
The whole of the machine's front panel folds down to provide access to the four toner cartridges which slide out on a tray, making most maintenance tasks straightforward. Brother provides its own MFL-Suite Pro to handle scanning and copy functions and there's also a copy of Nuance PaperPort 12 for document housekeeping and OCR.