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Brother MFC-J470DW review


The Good The Brother MFC-J470DW boasts high speed printing, cloud connectivity, Apple AirPrint and Google Chrome Print compatibility, four separate ink tanks and extremely low cost.

The Bad Cheap rubber buttons and the overall plastic feel of the device do not outweigh its bargain price.

The Bottom Line If you only have $ 100 to spend on an office multifunction inkjet printer, you will be hard pressed to find a faster ink refill contractor as cheap as the Brother MFC-J470DW.

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The Brother MFC-J470DW is an easy-to-use multifunction inkjet printer that also works as a specialized fax machine, copier and scanner. Its list is $ 100 (£ 108, $ 149), but it is widely available on the Internet by 30 percent less. The MFC-J470DW offers faster-than-average output speeds and business-friendly features such as a document feeder (ADF), auto-duplex printing on both sides of a single sheet of paper, and a software package that opens doors to cloud prints and scanning ( including the ability to print from iOS and Android devices). Ink costs are also lower than many branded printers in the range below $ 100, which makes the MFC-J470DW a strong recommendation for use in any office or home workspace.

Design and features

Brother MFC-J470DW

Brother pushes the MFC-J470DW’s design beyond its clunky older counterparts with a compact, 16.1-inch by 14.7-inch by 7.1-inch (that’s 24.6 by 47.6 by 45.2 cm) . But it’s not the smallest printer on the shelf – Epson still boasts boasting rights for its “Small in One” series as XP-420 , but the reason these tiny ones are that they do not have the performance characteristics of the MFC-J470DW.

Sarah Tew

Offices can save you money on paper by using duplexer, a useful piece of integrated equipment that automatically flips a piece of paper to print on both sides. Also at the top is a 20-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF), which is useful for batch scanning or faxing through a dedicated telephone line. Of course, if you want to go digital, you can also “fax a PC” using an Internet connection to communicate directly from your computer to your device – fax a document without first printing it.

Brother MFC-J470DW

Price as reviewed $99.99
Dimensions in inches (width x depth x height) 16.1 x 14.7 x 7.1 inches (24.6 x 47.6 x 45.2cm)
Functions Print/copy/scan/fax
Inks 4-ink tank (black, cyan, magenta, yellow)
Automatic 2-sided printing (duplexer) Yes
Automatic document feeder Yes, 20 sheets
Memory card reader No
Connectivity USB 2.0, Wi-Fi, Google Cloud Print, Apple AirPrint, Brother Cloud apps
Paper input tray capacity 100 sheets
Display 1.8-inch color LCD screen

If you are looking for relics of old Brother designs, check out the control panel. Buttons for mode selection, menu navigation and phone number input are made of muddy rubber, which is inconvenient to use and reduces the overall user experience by one step. At least you get a 1.8-inch color LCD on the left that shows you things like ink levels, help adjusting, and paper jams (though thankfully I didn’t feel anything during the test).

Sarah Tew

Brother bills the MFC-J470DW as a “Smart Mind” printer, which may explain the lack of photocentric features such as a PictBridge-compatible memory card reader and USB port for extracting photos directly from flash drives and digital cameras.

But this does not mean that you cannot periodically print photos on this machine. In fact, the removable paper tray at the bottom has plastic tabs that are easily adjustable to accommodate popular photo paper sizes, such as 4 by 6 and 5 by 7, in addition to standard sizes such as letters, legal, executive and even envelopes and pointers. .

Sarah Tew

The flatbed scanner also fits letter-sized documents and can store projects in various formats in a hard disk folder, email, Microsoft Office project, or directly in free software to view Scansoft PaperPort documents that Brother packs with the machine.

If you follow the simple manual instructions and connect the printer to your Wi-Fi network, you can even set the scanner to automatically send projects to your compatible mobile device running the Brother iPrint&Scan app for iOS, Android/Amazon Fire, Windows Phone 7 or 8, and BlackBerry (Cortado).

Like many large format printers, Brother offers a complete suite of cloud printing software that lets you use your smartphone or tablet in conjunction with web services such as Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox, and more to view projects in a wide landscape of services. In addition, Brother also works well with Google Cloud Print and Apple AirPrint to send wireless tasks to and from the printer using the Google Chrome web browser and Apple iOS devices respectively.

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Sarah Tew

Inks and supplies

The ink cartridge compartment is located behind the fragile plastic door to the right of the paper tray and contains the cartridges of blue, magenta, yellow and black that come with the printer. The cartridges are so easy to install that you may not even need a manual to sort it out, and easy-to-replace doors are easier to replace – the process is much more convenient than lifting an entire scanner compartment and an automatic document feeder.

You will also spend less on refills compared to competing printers in the $ 100 category, even more with continued use. Assuming you invest in XL Brother cartridges that offer more ink for the downside, costs up to 2.4 cents per page of color ink and 4.1 cents per page of black ink.

This is less than the equivalent cost of XL ink for the Epson XP-420 (3.5 cents per color, 5 cents for black), so you will save money if you finish printing many color photos and business supplies, even if you don’t find a card reader memory to help you do it.


The MFC-J460DW registered high marks in the CNET test speed, which is within the acceptable range for a $ 100 inkjet printer. It flew through our standard 10-page draft document at a consistent rate of 9.78 pages per minute, twice the speed of the equivalent price HP Officejet 4630 all-in-one.

Brother’s print engine also beat the competition in full-color graphical page testers at an average speed of 3.93 pages per minute. By comparison, the Epson XP-420 couldn’t even turn off any pages in the same test, only printing 422 pages per minute. If speed is a priority for your business, the Brother MFC-J460DW deserves your buck.

Photo quality is also above average because I expect a $ 100 printer. Separate ink tanks provide an extra level of detail that competing printers with a single three-color tank cannot offer, and a noticeable difference in the smooth color transitions, especially in face tones and multi-color portraiture.

The software driver allows you to view different print qualities to conserve ink residue, and you will be more than happy with the color rendering of the printer – the darker spots in our sample image are thick and not limited by bleeding colors. Bright colors pop up properly, and the text is well formed down to smaller font sizes.


The business environment requires a versatile printer that offers both cost savings and performance potential, and the Brother MFC-J470DW delivers high performance on both fronts. You get all the tools you need to get creative with your print projects without paying too much extra for refilling ink cartridges. In addition, the ability to use mobile devices to view and send tasks to a printer through many cloud applications will support this printer in your office for many years to come.

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