The Bottom Line
- Wireless networking
- Affordable monochrome laser
- Scanner, fax, copy functions all accessible over the network
- Black-and-white prints only
- More expensive than color inkjets
- Monochrome laser printer
- Wired and wireless (802.11 b/g) networking built in
- 33.6k bps fax modem
- Stores up to 600 pages in memory
- Windows and Mac compatible
Guide Review - Brother MFC-7840W All-in-One Printer
Laser printers get a bad reputation for lengthy warm-up times, but that's not a problem for this printer. It takes less than 30 seconds from the time it's turned on to the time the first page comes out. I printed a large PDF containing mostly text, and the printer averaged about four seconds per page. Text and images come out crisp and sharp; but if you really want serious high quality, you can change the quality. Frankly, the difference was barely noticeable, but it takes a lot more time to print at the higher resolution.
The printer is made for small businesses and boasts a lot of features aimed at that market, such as an automatic document feeder and security features that allow a password to be set. Setting the printer up to work wirelessly was a quick and simple procedure, and the networking is built in, not an add on or option; I had to do little more than type in the security code (WEP key) of my home network, and the printer did the rest. That's a huge advantage for home or small businesses where there's no dedicated IT team.
It's hard to come up with anything negative to say about this all-in-one. Replacing the toner will be expensive, but that will happen less often than with an inkjet (there's also a toner-saver setting). It's a bit taller than my inkjet all-in-one but its footprint is about the same; and, since it doesn't need to be wired to my computer, it can be set up across the room. For the same price you can buy a top-of-the-line color inkjet printer, if color is a requirement. But if you don't, then consider this all-in-one as an excellent choice.