16 Multi-Function Inkjet Printers

Brother MFC-440CN Inkjet All-in-One Printer

The MFC-440CN is a good kickoff for this Buyer's Guide, because it's reasonably representative of the entire category. Though the vendor lists this item with a "street price" of $150, we found numerous sites that offer it for under $130, and one that just barely topped $100. Even so, this unit is by no means short on features and functions.

The Brother MFC-440CN features a common MFC design with a paper feed on top for faxing and copying and a paper tray below for fax/print/copy output.

The unit includes several nice touches, in addition to features and functions you'd expect in any mid-range MFC. One is a built-in 10/100 Ethernet interface for direct network attachment; another is a flip-up 2" color LCD for photo previews and printer, which nicely complements its 4x6" bypass tray that can hold up to 20 sheets of glossy paper stock for printing photos. It also includes media card slots (for Compact Flash, Memory Stick Pro, xD-Picture Card and SD memory cards) and supports the PictBridge interface to work with suitably equipped cameras as well.

Color and monochrome printing rates fall at solid 20ppm and 25 ppm values, with a four-cartridge ink system, and color print resolution up to 6000x1200 dpi. Fax transmission is slower than some units at 10 ppm, but this unit includes a built-in fax telephone switch, and memory capacity for 400-480 fax pages. Copy speed is 16 cpm for color and 18 cpm for monochrome, with reduction and enlargement in the 25%-400% range. Document glass size can accommodate either U.S. letter (8.5" x 11") or ISO A4 (8.268" x 11.693") formats.

The MFC-440CN also includes Scansoft PaperPort SE with OCR software (and the Presto! PageManager for the Mac OS), and offers a scan-to feature that can export into e-mail, image, OCR or card formats. Potential negatives include a 10-page limit for the automatic document feeder (ADF) and a lack of Energy Star compliance. Other than these limitations, this is a somewhat slow and low volume MFC unit at a nice price. Consumable prices range from $7-$10 per cartridge (four cartridges for CMYb are required, but multi-cartridge packs are widely available, and CMY color combo packs quite common at predictable multiples of the aforementioned prices).

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