Brother’s range of personal inkjet all-in-ones all look suspiciously similar, but the company manages to differentiate them by careful choice of features and prices. The MFC-J430W sits just above entry-level and is a little more austere than some of its pricier siblings. It still has all the essentials, though, including print, copy, scan and fax.
The top of this all-in-one is only very slightly curved and effectively hides its built-in Automatic document Feeder (ADF). The high-gloss centre panel of the device flips over to reveal a slimline, 20-sheet mechanism, which feeds from the machine’s top surface upwards, so paper ends up on top of the feed stack. This makes it easier to remove scanned pages and it’s no harder to load them.
The control panel uses only a standard width, 51mm LCD screen, rather than the double-width displays more common in Brother all-in-ones. This doesn't affect the operation of the machine much, as it doesn't include card readers or a PictBridge socket, so needs no facilities for displaying photo thumbnails.
The controls consist of a small power button and a pad of three mode buttons to the left of the display, with a navigation diamond, a numeric pad for fax dialling and Start and Stop buttons for copies and scans to the right.
The front panel of the machine has no sockets set into it, but the paper cassette pulls out from the front, to take up to 100 sheets of plain paper, or equivalent numbers of photo blanks. There's no separate tray for photos.
The USB socket is inside the machine and you have to hinge the scanner section upward and reeve the cable through to reach it. These days, though, most people will choose to connect the printer wirelessly and setup is very straightforward, particularly if your router supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS).
The four ink cartridges slide in as normal behind a hatch to the right of the paper tray and once you've installed the software, which includes copies of PaperPort and Brother’s own MFL-Pro Suite, you're ready to go.