Imaging Devices

Business Smart MFC-J4510DW - A Fast, Innovative Inkjet MFC

2/5/2013 3:15:40 PM

The design is cool, but it’s the results that matter

On paper (heh), the Brother Business Smart has everything. The multifunction inkjet handles paper from 3.5x5 up to 11x17, in a footprint barely bigger than that, just 18.9 by 11.4 inches, and 7.3 inches high. It can be so compact even while holding 150 sheets of 8.5x11 paper because the paper is loaded, and printed, in landscape orientation, something we haven’t seen before. When not in use, it folds into an unassuming, completely closed rectangle.

Description: Business Smart MFC-J4510DW

The Business Smart connects to your Mac over Wi-Fi, USB, or 10/100 Ethernet, and printing from ¡OS is a cinch using AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, or the free Brother iPrint&Scan app for iPhone and iPad. The large, flip-out control panel has a touchscreen that lets you swipe between menus, as well as a touch panel that lights up whatever keys you need at the time. The inkjet tanks are giant, printing up to 1,200 pages, and they only cost about $25.

But using it just isn’t a pleasurable business. The paper tray in the front is clunky to install and remove, and the pass through tray in the back only supports one sheet at a time. The touchscreen is responsive enough for a printer, but the error messages are unhelpful more than once, it insisted we had a paper jam, tried to walk us through removing it (we followed the steps, but there was no paper jam), and refused to turn off until the nonexistent problem was fixed. We had to unplug it and plug it back in, when, surprise, it realized everything was fine.

Description: Business Smart MFC-J4510DW

But even when it works (which is most of the time), the print quality is only so-so. Plain black text looks more like dark gray, and lacks smoothness, even for an inkjet. A four-page color PDF printed in duplex mode on plain paper came out feeling kind of soggy, with visible banding in the graphics. Photos are dull and lifeless on plain paper, and only a tiny bit brighter on photo paper. Scanning works well, but the auto feeder tops out at 20 sheets. Jobs you do frequently can be programmed in as presets, which are easy to set up and reliable. We didn't test the fax capabilities, but it has them, and the design actually routes the fax, Ethernet, and USB cables through a common hole in the back to hidden ports under the printer's hood. It looks nice, but we wonder if the newness of this printer's design, including the interior ports and landscape paper loading, will be improved with next year's iteration this version feels a little flimsy and first-generation.

Description: Business Smart MFC-J4510DW

While this is called Business Smart, it doesn't have the paper capacity for a busy office, and no one's going to want to feed 11x17 pages into the back one at a time. If you're only printing spreadsheets and emails, the quality might not bug you, but anything more than that, you might want to look to Epson or Canon instead.


·         Website:

·         Price: $199

·         Requirements: Mac OS 10.5.8 or later

·         (+) Easy setup. Small footprint. Can print from and scan to Flickr, Google Docs, and Picasa. AirPrint, Google Cloud print, and a dedicated iOS app. Ink tanks last forever. Print speed is decent. Inputs for SD card, MemoryStick, and USB thumb drives.

·         (-) So-so print quality with muddy text and dull images. Can't use wired and wireless connections at once. Build quality feels flimsy. Passthrough slot only takes one sheet at a time. Unhelpful error messages.


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