Brother's MFC-7840W is a multifunction device (MFD) with a monochrome laser printer, copier, scanner, fax machine, and wired and wireless networking. Capable of printing very good quality text and business graphics at reasonably fast rates, the MFC-7840W is a fine choice for offices that work in a black-and-white world.

Setup is simply – once you've powered up the multifunction printer and installed the toner cartridge, you have three connection options: Ethernet, USB 2.0, or 802.11b/g wireless. The USB connection is plug and play, and when we connected the printer via Ethernet, the MFC-7840W automatically appeared on our system.

The device's control panel is well designed and clearly labelled. Three large buttons allow you to choose between the fax, scan, and copy functions. The control panel consists of rubber buttons, and a bright, backlit LCD clearly displays the settings you can choose from.

Disappointingly, the included scanner software doesn't offer flexible scanning options. Though straightforward to use, the software doesn’t allow you to perform a full preview scan. The scanner performs a preview scan on specific parts of the glass based on the document size you select, requiring you to be very precise about where you place your documents on the glass.

The MFC-7840W output had very good results overall, impressing our panel of experts. Text quality in a Word document looked clean and professional, while a printed document containing mixed elements, including fine, curved lines and graphics, also came out very well. However, we did find that the scanner’s output was too heavy on the blues, while a test copy of a Macworld magazine cover lost some details, while shadows lacked detail.

Print speeds were reasonably fast. It took just under 38 seconds to print a ten-page Word document, and 17 seconds to print a one-page Word document. Colour scanning was a bit on the slower side: it took 1 minute and 57 seconds to scan an 8-by-10in photo at 600 dpi.

OUR VERDICT

The MFC-7840W is moderately fast and prints clean, legible text. However, scanning is a bit slow and the scanner software lacks advanced options.