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Review #3
introduced here May 1, 2005

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brother releases this model in October of 2004
brother MFC5540CN

$299.95 to $259.99 Canadian Dollars

The Brother MFC-5440CN is a liquid Inkjet Multifunction Printer which in draft mode can deliver fast inkjet printing of up to 20ppm in black and 15ppm in color. When selecting photo - quality printing you can expect resolutions of up to 6000 x 1200 dpi printing. Can be used as a stand alone for faxing and copying or connected to a PC for a versatility printer. Versatile flatbed design opens from the front and can raise up to accommodate bound documents. The16MB dual access memory stores up to 200 pages so faxes can be scanned in while sending or receiving. Compatible with Windows® and Macintosh® which use have multi operating systems, Has both USB 2.0 Full Speed and Ethernet interfaces. A front - loading 100 - sheet paper tray capacity and a 35 - page auto document feeder or ADF for short on top of scanner. Recommended as a good home and small office multifunction machine.

What I Like and What I Did Not

This is a second look for a good scanner whch just happens to come with some added quality and a few bonuses like a print, copy, and fax. The question I keep asking my self is can you find an "all - in - one" capable of producing a final out put which includes: quality, presentability and is exceptable to you as a job well done. More and more printers in homes today are "all - in - one", which is made up of a bunch of smaller machines put to gether so as to take up less space on a desk. The opportunity is often good to find the MFC which will fit your purpose to complete a task. I liked what brother had to offer with their MFC - 5440CN. The price seemed reasonable and at the time there was a fifty dollar rebate from brother. I have had trouble looking for a scanner which after scanning would not leave a powder residue on the underside of the scanningglass as in the HP2410. brother was able to prevent this immediate build up by shutting the scanning bulb off after each scan. The bulb life is greatly shortened but the cost of having the glass cleaned professionally is at a great savings to you. (see review on the HP2410 for more on scanner debris)

A lot to offer for $250.00 this model which includes a scanner, printer, photocopier and FAX is good value. It can be connect via an ethernet interface, or through a USB. It is compatible with either USB 1 or 2 but if connected to a hub will need to have its own powered suplied.


Controls are well laid out and easy to use. I found them straight forward, and well marked. To turn on the MFC 5440CN push and hold the button for a second or two. The power button does not light but the MFC 5440CN will begin to vacuum out the air from ink cartridges before allowing you to use MFC 5440CN. The start up takes a few minutes which is more than enough time to turn on your computer if attached to one. Turning the MFC 5440CN off is by holding the on/off button for a few seconds as well.

Complete with an automatic document feeder which can come in handy when photo coping multiple pages of up to 35 or when faxing multi pages up to 35. The ADF is located on top of the scanning door. There is a plastic cover to open which gives you access should the paper jam..

  If paper should jam a black powered roller will continue to turn based on the size of the page set in the printers page memory before stopping.

Set up in a manual book is well documented and easy to do. Some parts like the USB cord are not included and brother suggests using a cord length of not more than six feet. I used a six foot and a ten foot without any problems. However make sure that if your using a USB hub that it has seperate power going to it via its own power supply. Connections for USB or Ethernet are with in the unit near ink compartments. Cord from USB or ethernet are tucked away in a groove to the outside of the MFC - 5440CN.


Four color ink is in a liquid somewhat open container. If not handled according to brothers instruction could stain on clothing or skin. I never had that problem with this ink, however I never had the chance to change any of the ink during the time using the MFC 5440CN. Ink snaps into its own color labeled compartment. The ink cartridge is marked by color and a number code. .Match the ink color to the compartment color for a perfect match. Take care to place the proper color ink cartridge into the compartment to avoid excess cleaning later.

The first time that the MFC 5440CN is used, a clean cycle and pressure cycle is performed this takes about five minutes. At the end of the cycle a page is printed and in the control display (see photo near top of this page) it will ask you -through print - if the page printed is satisfactory to you. If you choose no the MFC 5440CN will perform the five minute cycle again.. You can manually tell the MFC 5440CN to clean the print heads or automatically this is done about every 400 pages. It will start a clean cycle at its own preference. Should you be in the middle of a printing job, the MFC 5440CN will stop your job and go into a clean cycle. Hopefully your not printing a photograph, or a sheet of business cards at the time. There is a considerable amount of ink used during a cleaning cycle, so do not do this to often. Just remember that all ink printers during the clean cycle use ink to clean the print heads.

A color Ink cartridge on average is rated to last at least 400 pages with a maximum yield of 5%. The black ink cartridge on average is rated to last at least 500 pages with a 5% yield. You may achieve this by using draft print mode rather than the default mode. Ink on average was less expensive than other printers in its class. Color cost about eighteen dollars and black averages thirty-two dollars - at the time of this writing. Once ink is opened it is good for about six months and should never be removed from the compartment until completely empty.

I found that the draft print on copy plain paper with a brightness of 92. (paper cost three dollars - for a pack of five hundred sheets) was really disappointingly poor. So I tried again and this time used an inkjet paper (ten dollars - for a pack of five hundred sheets) with a brightness of 113 and a weight of 24 pounds. In draft mode print looked much better and so did color printing. The inkjet paper did not bleed ink to the other side of the page as does plain paper. Ink is likly to smudge when using plain paper and not smudge with inkjet acid free and print looked much cleaner also. The best overall look for general quality print is by using the default print setting and by changing the default paper from plain paper to inkjet paper gave the best look. I also used default printing with the default paper type left to plain paper but instead filled the paper tray with inkjet paper this looked al right. This printer will only print to one side of the page. I found the cost of paper to be more expensive to that of other printers in the same price range. (HP2410)

   Place photo paper in tray.
Blue guides will open to accommodate most popular paper sizes.

Printed page comes out on top of paper tray. There is a gray guard which separates the paper tray from the printed page.  

For my first print attempt with photo paper I tried a generic brand (thirteen dollars for one hundred glossy sheets) 4 by 6 - 98 bright, 10.5 mil thickness and 230 gsm weight, glossy paper with disastrous results. After three weeks the ink was still tacky to the touch. So I tried Kodak (seventeen dollars per 20 sheets) and IBM (nine dollars per 20 sheets) brand names which actually gave me excellent results. The ink was almost dry after twenty-four hours which is standard for most. Black takes the longest to dry with most printers, sometimes twenty-four to thirty-six hours is common..

Ink color on photos favored more towards the green side of the color spectrum. Where as HP printers favor towards the orange color spectrum. I found that printing skin tones were not as favorable as say with HP printer. Landscapes and most images looked okay. The MFC 5440CN also favor a lighter washed out defualt final print. There are preset setting by the factory that can be altered and saved to your own liking.

   Fax and Power
cords located on the
side of the ADF.

I like the idea that you could turn the phone ringer to a setting of low, high, and no ring. The low was still loud enough to be annoying since the MFC 5440CN sat at almost ear level beside my work station. I liked that the faxes were first scanned into memory before pages were sent out. I sent a fax to a Panasonic KX-F(00C thermal fax with not great results, I could hardly read it. However faxing to a computer or plain paper fax would result in better print. I did not like the idea that if the paper tray should run out of paper when recieving a fax it will be saved to memory in black and white only. I think keeping the paper tray full is easy enough to do. There is a speed dial and room to save phone numbers frequently used.

The software gave access to custom settings over factory set default. Very good control when faxing. Able to put together a calling list, ring tones, and more. Software gives control over image brightness, contrast, document size, resolution, color mode, file type, and an interface for software already on your computer like Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop. I used a computer right out of the box and had no software to try the interface with. Each and every print job you were given opportunity to change paper type, paper size, ink default to draft,standard, and photo.

Out Look

I put this MFC 5440CN 5 in 1 through a tough test in the time I had it. I liked most of the features that brother included with this model. The price was right and I favored the scanning mechanism right away over other similar machines. If your scanner is faulty - which is the heart of an all-in-one", your machine is going to eventually perform less than normal.

Faxing here and with most combined printers tested use a resolutions of 200dpi and 300 dpi. Clarity of print depended on the paper used when receiving from the MFC 5440CN.

I had some reservation about the printing portion of the MFC 5440CN. The MFC 5440CN will print border less photos but take a lot longer time to print than my HP 970CSe. I had more than enough time to make a large bowl of popcorn. I found that the default print driver set up was painful to the ear. The print heads were printing in only one direction and during head motion during a 4 by 6 inch print a knocking or bang was loudly heard. If you go to the printer preferences and check the box for bi-directional this should clear up the annoyance. This printer is more noisier than the HP 970 and should be set up somewhere not close to you.

I missed having the option of printing to the back of each page like the HP970 allowed. The need to use more expensive inkjet paper, I felt that not being able to print to both sides added a sizeable paper cost to be considered.


Ink is inexpensive, and can be individually replaced however the MFC 5440CN will stop functioning until the empty ink cartridge has been replaced. There is included on the single CD software a utility which gives an estimate of how much ink is left in anyone of the four cartridges and options to manually clean the print heads. The software allows for setting up the Fax options, color and printing. Besides the printing to 4 by 6 size photographic paper printing was never at a consistent speed like the HP 970 had done for many years. The time to print a 4 by 6 photograph on best settings took between three to five minutes each and I had to reach into the printer to retrieve. Use bidirectional to have the banging stop, but mechanism is still noisy if near ear level. You can see in many photograph that colors were on the green-light side. brother does provide custom settings but time did not permit me in test alternate settings besides their default..

This is a great little all in one machine if you don't mind a little noise or other things mentioned here. Most faxes that come with all-in-one machines won't get you resolutions like that of a dedicated fax machine. Pages copies from the original were much lighter and colors were a bit off as well. Not uncommon with other all-in-one machines in this price range. You may need to use a calibration software for your PC monitor if you want color accuracy.

Did you say scanner? I hear this a lot in the graphic industry, if you want a real good scanner your best bet is to buy a dedicated one and not one that is in an all-in-one machines.

Once again I recommend trying the MFC 5440CN for yourself. Buy from a place that gives you at the least thirty days to try it out or bring back. Other reviews I read on the internet were mainly positive and in this price range it could be a deal to you.. This model at review - February of 2005 was ordinally priced at $300.00 Canadian. The manufacture at the time was offering a fifty dollar limited time rebate. As of May 2005 this same model is selling in some stores for as much as thirty dollars less than original price. This model has gone on sale frequently between October 2004 and 2005.

Good luck in your purchase.



* TCP/IP compatible
* Network print, scan and PC fax
* Internet fax

Color Printer

* Up to 20-ppm black printing speed
* Up to 15-ppm Color printing speed
* Border less photo quality printing (up to 6000 x 1200 dpi)
* Front Loading paper tray up to 100-sheet
* USB 2.0 Full Speed & Ethernet interfaces (cables not included)
* Works with Windows® 98, 98SE, Me, 2000, XP, Mac® OS 8.6-9.2, OS X    10.1-10.2.4 or greater

Color Scanner

* Flatbed Color scanning
* Up to 19200 dpi (interpolated) and 600 x 2400 dpi (optical) resolution
* Scan directly to file, E-mail, Image or OCR applications (Windows® only)
* Includes award winning ScanSoft® PaperPort® and OmniPage® OCR

Color Copier

* Versatile flatbed design to copy from bound documents
* Convenient B&W and full Color copying (no PC required)
* Up to 17 cpm mono, up to 11 cpm Color copier
* Multi-copying up to 99 and up to 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution
* Copy reduction to 25%, enlargement to 400% in 1% increments

Color Fax

* B&W or Color faxing on plain paper using ITU-T30E standard
* Fast, 33.6K bps high-speed fax modem (2 seconds per page)
* 35-page auto document feeder
* 16MB memory stores up to 200 pages
* Fax broadcasting up to 90 locations (B&W only)
* 40 speed dial locations
* Supports Caller ID and Distinctive Ring features
* Dual Access and simultaneous operations

PC Fax

* Includes Brother PC Fax driver for sending & receiving faxes from your PC
* Fax Broadcasting from your PC
* Works with Windows® and Mac® Operating Systems

Specification Description
Auto Document Feed Capacity
35 pages
Paper Capacity (Std / Max)
100 / 100
Memory (Std / Max)
16MB / 16MB
Standard Interfaces- Opt
USB 2.0, Ethernet
Platen Size
Print Speed Black
20 ppm
Print Speed Color
15 ppm
Print Resolution
6000 x 1200 dpi
Windows Drivers
Windows 98, 2000, Me, XP
Print Languages
Mac Drivers
MAC OS 8.6 - 10.2, OS X 10.2.4 or greater
Color or Mono Scanning
Twain ISIS Compatible
Interpolated Resolution
19200 x 19200 dpi
Document Viewer
PaperPort® 9, Presto® page manager
OCR Software
OmniPage®, Presto® page manager
Color or Mono Copying
Copy Speed Mono-Color
17 / 11 cpm
Copy Resolution
1200 x 1200 dpi
Reduction Enlargement
25% - 400%
Color or Mono Faxing
Modem Best Transmit Speed
33.6 Kbps / 2 sec.
Standard Fax Memory
200 pages
Broadcasting Locations
Quick Scan
3.0 spp
Dual Access
One Touch Speed Dial Locations
Delayed Transmission
PC-Fax Software
Internet Faxing
Yes, optional
Network Functions Supported
Print, Scan, PC Fax
Program FAX via PC
1 Year Express Exchange
Print Speed
20 ppm / 15 ppm
Built-in Network Interface

If you have any comments or questions just email us from the "Contact Us" page subject "brother MFC 5440CN"

Comments made by this writer are not necessary those attitudes of Waymore Webs.
We allow our writers the freedom to express themselves hopefully in a good and tasteful way. We do not sell this product, we only write about its' features. Although we do our best to research or test misrepresentations sometimes does happen, sorry about that, please let us know and we will make corrections. It is our intentions that if you like this product you can visit the company that originally created it and buy it from them. We at Waymore Webs don't make a single penny from this review, but we are happy to do it for you our viewer.

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