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Review of the Brother MFC-7860DW Laser Printer

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


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The Bottom Line

The Brother MFC-7860DW is a multifunction laser printer that offers automatic duplexing, wireless or wired networking, and a 250-sheet paper tray. I found it quiet, fast, and reliable--and prints look outstanding. Complaints were few--the LCD screen is hard to read, and the printer hums loudly until it hits sleep mode--but the compliments are many, especially speed (even scanning is amazingly fast) and convenience. Another best bet from Brother.
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  • Very fast
  • Built-in duplexer
  • Wired / Wireless networking built in and easy to set up


  • LCD is difficult to read
  • Printing from smart-phone apps doesn't include Blackberry


  • Monochrome laser printer
  • Wired and wireless networks
  • Up to 27 pages / minute
  • Up to 2400 x 600 dpi resolution
  • Automatic duplexing
  • 250-sheet paper capacity
  • PCL6 and BR-Script emulation
  • 35-page automatic document feeder
  • Comes with Scansoft PaperPort SE with OCR for Windows, and Presto PageManager for Mac

Guide Review - Review of the Brother MFC-7860DW Laser Printer

While the Brother MFC-7860DW isn't the cheapest monochrome laser printer (its distant cousin, the HL-2270DW costs about $150 less), it's not all that expensive either, and it certainly performs like a champ. (It also offers a fax, a copier, and a scanner to the mix.) There's a lot to praise, and little to complain about, with this machine.

Of course, it's a monochrome laser printer, so if you're looking to print photos or color graphics, this is not the printer for you. In terms of minor gripes, I didn't much care for the small monochrome LCD display. It's impossible to see if you're standing directly over it--for me, the natural place to stand when I'm operating the printer. Step back a bit and the backlit display is perfectly readable, if a bit small. The printer also puts out a somewhat distracting hum until it enters sleep mode--that only takes a few minutes, however. So much for complaints.

Laser printers offer several great advantages over inkjet printers: speed, sharpness, and cost of consumables, and the MFC-7860DW is no different. The first page of a four-page Word document took almost 19 seconds--but the whole job was finished only eight seconds later, meaning that once the printer gets going pages are coming out in less than three seconds. The printed copy was perfectly sharp, clear, and caused no bending or warping of the paper, as sometimes happens when paper works its way through the heat caused by a laser printer. And in terms of consumables, the printer comes with a standard-yield toner cartridge that's rated for approximately 1,200 pages; high-yield cartridges are rated for 2,600 pages. The former cost about $45; the latter about $67. The printer has a monthly duty cycle of 10,000 printed pages, meaning it's heavy-duty enough for small and even mid-sized offices.

If you need to print from your Apple or Android smart phone, there's an app for that--Brother's iPrint&Scan free app download for wireless printing (JPEG and PDF) and scanning directly from your phone. I didn't see one for Blackberry, which is odd since this printer is clearly meant for offices where Blackberry still rules. An automatic document feeder for copying, scanning, and faxing holds 35 pages (there's a manual feed slot as well), and the printer supports a variety of wireless security and network protocols. There's also a Secure Function Lock in which an administrator can set levels of password-protected access to some of the functions.

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