Brother only quotes draft speeds for the MFC-J430W, with 33ppm for black print and 26ppm for colour. Under test, we saw 6.5ppm on our five-page black text print and 8.6ppm when printed in ‘fast’ mode, which we assume is draft by another name. Some way off 33ppm, but still a healthy throughput for an all-in-one in the sub-£100 market.
On the longer, 20-page document, the machine managed 7.7ppm, again a good result, and even the five-page black text and colour graphics document reached 4.8ppm. A single-page, colour copy from the flatbed took 23s and the five-page text copy from the ADF completed in 1:18. Finally, a 15 x 10cm photo finished in 1:07.
The print quality isn’t quite as good as the speed results and varies with the type of material printed. Straight black text is only reasonable, with some spikiness caused by ink run, particularly on headings and subheadings, where text is emboldened.
Draft text is much more dotty and uses a different font, so is not providing full WYSIWYG. Colour graphics on plain paper are light, though with little sign of dithering, and a copy came through lighter still, looking very faded. A photo print, on Brother glossy photo paper, was clean and naturally coloured. It showed good levels of detail in both bright and shadowed areas of the image.
The four ink cartridges are available in two capacities and using the higher yield variants gives costs per page of 3.3p for black and 8.3p for colour, both including 0.7p for paper. While it’s possible to buy printers which are cheaper to run, there are plenty that are far more expensive, too, such as the Dell P713w, with costs of 7.8p and 17.8p, respectively.
The Brother MFC-J430W is a decent, general-purpose all-in-one for those without a large budget, but who still need fax facilities, as well as print, copy and scan. While there is no facility to upload photos from card or USB drive, and colour copies come through a bit pale, it’s quick and doesn’t cost the Earth to run. In its price range, it should be on your shortlist, though probably not at the top.