Review: Review: Brother MFC-J430W

Printer

Our score: 2/5
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April 4, 2012 10:05 AM
16 want this Me too!
 
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Published: April 4, 2012 10:03 AM
By Marine Goy
Translated by: Hugh Ehreth
The MFC-J430W is the new entry-level product in the range of 4-in-1 multifunction printers that Brother launched in 2011. With fax and Wi-Fi, the MFC-J430W is geared toward small businesses looking for an inexpensive printer/scanner that won't require them to spend a fortune on ink. The 40 MB of standard memory allow for easy sharing within a group of 10 employees. 

Hardware

The MFC-J430W is ultra-compact (40.5 x 37.8 x 18 cm, 9 kg). Sober and elegant, it easily blends into an office setting. The paper tray can house up to 100 standard sheets or 20 sheets of photo paper. This isn't the most practical or intuitive paper tray in the world, but it's nothing you can't get a hang of with a little practice...

The paper got stuck a few times while we were testing the machine, in particular with sheets of 80 g/m² eco-labelled A4. Regular old office paper, however, poses less of a problem. If you're printing on photo paper, make sure you insert several sheets of A4, otherwise the printer won't detect the pages.




Bac

Paper tray


The buttons may look clear and well positioned at first, but once you start using them you realise it's not as intuitive as you thought, especially when it comes to the settings.
 
Facade(31)
4.9 cm colour screen
 

The four ink cartridge slots on the front of the printer are easy to access. We like the fact that it accepts high capacity cartridges, which require less maintenance and reduce your cost per page.

Cartouches(4)


Speeds

It's worth noting that Brother has finally decided to adopt the ISO standard for naming its printing speeds. When it comes to printing documents that include text and your occasional image or graph, the J430W is slower in colour and B&W (producing 9 and 11 pages per minute, respectively) than the series' high-end printer, the Brother MFC-J825DW, which produces 14 ppm in colour and 17 ppm in B&W.
 

When printing photos, however, the J430W is similar in speed to the J852DW. In other words, it's slow—at least compared to the Canon MG6250, which can print an A4-format photo in 56 seconds and a 10 x 23 cm photo in 23 seconds. The paper never got stuck during our photo printing tests.
 
Ppmph
 

Quality

As you may already know, we recently initiated a new testing procedure in which we calculate every printer's average colour difference (dE 94) on both standard and photo paper, just like we do for TVs, smartphones and tablets.

Before we began using this procedure, we did a visual appraisal of this printer and gave it 3 stars for image quality. Our new system has shed light on the massive deviation that exists between the reference colours and the colours the printer actually produces: its 17.9 average Delta E is higher than any other printer we've tested with this method. Also, the contours lack precision and there are too many visible ink drops, which considerably hampers legibility. This is far from the quality one would expect for a professional document.
 
4%2823%29

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Papierstd(1)

Average Delta E 94 (colour difference): 17.9
The higher the average Delta E 94, the lower the colour accuracy
In comparison, good screens are lower than 3

 

To give you an idea, the average Delta E 94 is 11.4 for the Lexmark Pro915, 9.7 for the HP Photosmart 7510 e-All-In-One and 12 for the Canon Pixma MG8250.

The J430W's imperfections are less visible on photos; the colours are more accurate and precise in relation to the test graph. But even then, black and white images look more like blue and grey.
 

1 414 103

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Delatacopy
Average Delta E 94 (colour difference): 8.4

 

Scanner & Copier

The 1200 x 2400 DPI scanner allows you to scan and send documents (e-mail/save as file/print) and is compatible with a number of different formats (such as JPEG, BMP, TIFF, PDF and PNG).

By downloading the iPrint&Scan app you can scan documents directly to your smartphone (iPhone, Android or Windows Phone).
 
Smartphone
 
It takes 24 seconds to copy a colour document and 19 for a B&W document. That's pretty slow. Oh, and you might as well forget about copying photos: this mode works fine for simple text, but for images the quality just isn't there.
 
Copygraph%281%29

Average Delta E 94 (colour difference): 7.4


In copy mode you can adjust the quality, format, paper type, enlargement and density settings, and there are a number of useful templates for creating ID cards and the like.

Energy Consumption & Noise Levels

The MFC-J430W consumes a reasonable amount of energy: 1 watt on standby and 13 watts during use. Also, it's strikingly quiet when printing photos (42 dB[A]), but less so when printing text (53 dB[A]), giving an average of 47.5 dB(A). Standby mode can be set from 1 to 60 minutes.
 
 

Cost Per Page: 8 Pence With XL Cartridges

The cost per page varies depending on the type of ink cartridge you're using: 13 pence with standard cartridges and 8 pence with high capacity cartridges. We recommend using high capacity cartridges, which are less expensive and last longer. Apparently, Brother is trying to encourage its customers to buy XL ink cartridges. You may want to know that we always base our rating on the lowest price available (high capacity cartridges in this case). So our 4-star rating corresponds to the 8-pence CPP.


ISO lifespan for text - 13 pence with standard cartridges
Cartridge Price (starting at) ISO Lifespan Cost per page
LC1220BK (black) £13 300 4.4 pence
LC1220C (cyan) £8 300 2.7 pence
LC1220M (magenta) £8 300 2.7 pence
LC1220Y (yellow) £8 300 2.7 pence

ISO lifespan for text - 8 pence with XL cartridges
Cartridge Price (starting at) ISO Lifespan Cost per page
LC1240C (cyan) £11 600 1.8 pence
LC1240M (magenta) £11 600 1.8 pence
LC1240Y (yellow) £11 600 1.8 pence
LC1240BK (black) £17 600 2.8 pence
2/5 Brother MFC-J430W DigitalVersus 2012-04-04 11:03:00

Pros

  • Wi-Fi / 4-in-1
  • Good cost per page with XL cartridges: 8 pence
  • Standby settings are modifiable
  • iPrint app for printing and scanning with a smartphone

Cons

  • Image quality could be better
  • No double-sided printing
  • Not very user-friendly
  • Paper frequently gets stuck
  • Tray not very practical

Conclusion

The Brother MFC-J430W is an all-in-one, compact printer/scanner that's inexpensive and saves money on ink. But the image quality and user-friendliness failed to impress us.

OUR SCORE 2/5
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