The Good Small footprint for a multifunction unit; accurate character recognition; fast text printing; low cost per page; decent quality black and white scans.
The Bad Poor quality graphics prints; unattractive design; cramped paper output tray; slow scanning speed; less than average amount of internal memory.
The Bottom Line The Brother MFC-7440N prints quickly and is fairly inexpensive to sustain, but we simply can't get behind a printer with poor quality graphics, significant hardware defects, and a boring design.
Brother MFC 7440N
We normally don't see a lot of multifunction laser printers, mostly because inkjets are simply better for printing high-quality scans and photos. However, the printer industry recently started to push laser multifunction printers to the market, arguing that a laser cartridge can produce prints on a par with inkjets, but at substantially better speeds. In the case of the $250 Brother MFC-7440N, the latter is true but the output quality is lacking. It does have all the trappings of a multifunctional printer including one-touch fax, optical character recognition scanning, customizable presets, and an auto-feeding copier, but we'd still rather use an inkjet multifunction for printing presentations and color scans.
Design and features
The Brother MFC-7440N is supposed to work in a variety of work spaces, including the home office and work desktop, but Brother still has a lot to learn about aesthetic appeal. From the plain matte gray finish to the rubber buttons on the control panel, there's nothing that sets this printer apart from common, boring office printer design. While other manufacturers incorporate a distinctive style and unique design, the MFC-7440N looks like it's taken a few fashion tips from an Apple IIe. Looks aside, the unit itself is fairly small at 12 inches high by 16.9 inches wide by 15.6 inches deep and weighs 24.4 pounds.
The Brother's top loading auto document feeder can hold 35 pages of original material for scans, copies, and faxes. Typical of most laser printers, the bottom loading paper input tray holds 250 sheets and can accommodate up to 8.5 inch by 14 inch legal-size paper. Just above the input tray is Brother's standard manual feed tray for printing on labels, envelopes, and other forms. The integrated output tray sits above the feed tray and is slightly recessed in the machine, but it doesn't extend out of the printer, leaving you with very tight quarters to remove your finished prints. During our speed and quality tests, paper kept jamming in the tiny output slot.