Brother MFC-9440CN review: Brother MFC-9440CN

Performance
The Brother MFC-9440CN isn't the fastest laser multifunction we've tested in CNET Labs, but across the board, it's the most consistently fast across all tasks, if that makes sense. Let us explain. It produced black text at a rate of 16 pages per minute (ppm), behind the Lexmark X502n's 19.71ppm, but when printing grayscale graphics, it bested the Lexmark with a score of 15.21ppm. The Brother machine was the fastest with color printing, by far, when compared with similarly priced units, more than doubling some of the scores. It produced color text at a rate of 13.8ppm and color graphics at a rate of 15.53ppm.

At both grayscale and color scanning, the Brother again fell behind the Lexmark, but not by far. The Brother produced grayscale scans at a rate of 5.87ppm and color scans at a rate of 5.23ppm. The Lexmark was a half to a full page faster with scans. Finally, the MFC-9440CN came out on top with copying using the ADF: a fast 15.06ppm, nearly half a page faster than the Lexmark.

CNET Labs' color multifunction laser speed tests
(in pages per minute)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Grayscale scan  
Color graphics  
Color text  
Black graphics  
Black text  
Lexmark X502n
6.3 
6.82 
6.97 
13.95 
19.71 
Brother MFC-9440CN
5.87 
15.53 
13.8 
15.21 
16 
Xerox Phaser 6115MFP/N
2.63 
4.5 
4.94 
14.87 
14.76 
Samsung CLX-3160FN
4.44 
3.74 
3.95 
3.76 
13.53 
HP Color Laserjet CM1017 MFP
3.39 
6.16 
5.91 
6.31 
6.81 

CNET Labs' color multifunction laser speed tests
(in pages per minute)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Copy  
Color scan  
Lexmark X502n
14.65 
6.23 
Brother MFC-9440CN
15.06 
5.23 
Xerox Phaser 6115MFP/N
3.36 
2.57 
Samsung CLX-3160FN
11.37 
4.31 
Note: *Note: For MFPs without an ADF, such as the HP CM1017, we do not measure copy speed.

Happily, the MFC-9440CN doesn't sacrifice quality for speed. The black text prints were basically perfect, which is what we expect of a $700 laser multifunction. The text is sharp and clean, and easily legible down to 2.5 points. The grayscale graphics print was good but for some graininess in photo elements and a bit of lost detail as a result of the light end of the grayscale being slightly blown out. Color text showed good color blending and well-rendered characters, but some of the text looked as if it was shrouded in a bit of haze. The color graphics print showed sharp details and nice saturation, but the colors were overly ruddy.

The grayscale scan showed great, sharp detail. The only issue was some compression at the dark end of the grayscale, resulting in lost details in shadow areas. We're hard-pressed to find problems with the color scan: it's near perfect.

Overall, we found the Brother MFC-9440CN's print speeds and quality to be great, more than good enough for standard office use, and perhaps even good enough to produce some light, in-house marketing collateral.

CNET Labs' multifunction laser quality (black)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Black graphics  
Black text  
HP Color Laserjet CM1017 MFP
Excellent 
Excellent 
Brother MFC-9440CN
Good 
Excellent 
Lexmark X502n
Good 
Excellent 
Xerox Phaser 6115MFP/N
Good 
Excellent 
Samsung CLX-3160FN
Good 
Good 

CNET Labs' multifunction laser quality (color)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Color scan  
Grayscale scan  
Color graphics  
Color text  
Brother MFC-9440CN
4 
3 
3 
3 
Lexmark X502n
4 
2 
3 
3 
Xerox Phaser 6115MFP/N
3 
3 
3 
3 
Samsung CLX-3160FN
3 
3 
3 
3 

Service and support
Brother backs the MFC-9440CN with a one-year limited warranty. Toll-free phone support is available weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET. You can also send an e-mail or a fax to tech support. Brother's Web site has an FAQ database, downloads, and manuals.

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