Review: Brother MFC-1810

Looking for an economical all-in-one monochrome laser printer that can print, copy, scan and fax?

The Brother MFC-1810 might just be the answer.

Weighing about 8kg and standing almost as tall as a 1.5l soft drink bottle, it is a little bulky, with a footprint slightly bigger than a copy of Digital Life.

To feed paper into the printer, you have to pull down its lower front casing and extend a paper tray which holds up to 150 sheets of paper. This expands the device's footprint by almost 40 per cent.

This printer is not going to win any beauty pageant. Predominantly grey with the front half bathed in black, it has a long control panel just under the auto document feeder (ADF) and scanner lid.

The control panel consists of the Power button, Fax function buttons and Mode keys on the left. The Menu keys, Dial pad, and Start and Stop buttons sit on the right. In between is the monochrome LCD that displays date, time and status.

I found it counter-intuitive to have the Fax function buttons sited so far from the Dial pad. It might be better for these buttons to be housed closer to the Dial pad so that users do not have to use one hand to press the hook button and the other to dial the fax number.

At the printer's rear, you will find a USB port with a phone port for faxing. It does not have an ethernet port or built-in Wi-Fi.

For this review, the MFC-1810 was hooked up to an Apple MacBook Pro via a USB connection.

It takes about 25 seconds to power up the printer before it is ready to print or copy.

Printing 20 monochrome pages takes about 64.5sec, which is pretty quick and in line with the advertised speed of 20 pages per minute. It printed five 2MB JPEG images in 18.2sec. The printer's ADF does not support duplex copying, meaning that you can copy only one side of the document at a time.

It takes 45.7sec to copy five single-sided documents using the ADF, which is an average of 9.1sec per document.

On the other hand, it takes 10sec to copy a document using the scanner.

The quality of text is crisp and sharp, good enough for your resume as long as it does not include printing your photo on it.

The graphics or pictures printed with this machine tend to look slightly pixellated, with tiny dots visible on close examination.

Each print costs only about 5 cents, which is about the rate of most office laser printers. But the drum can support up to 10,000 print-outs, making it highly economical.

The Brother MFC-1810 offers a quick and fuss-free monochrome fax, copy and printing solution for home office and school projects.

Its rating would have gone up a notch if it had built-in Wi-Fi for ease of connection.

Tech specs

Price: $238
Cartridge: $52 (TN-1000 toner, 1,000 pages), $32 (DR-1000 drum, 10,000 pages)
Print resolution: Up to 2,400 x 600 dots per inch
Speed: 20 pages per minute (black)

Rating

Features: 3
Design: 3
Performance: 4
Value for money: 4
Overall: 3


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