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.
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
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
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.