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If color output on tabloid-sized paper for under $200 is the requirement, one good option is the $199 list Brother MFC-J4510dw Business Smart Inkjet All-in-One multifunction color printer. And for anyone who's used one of today's smartphones, the control panel on this unit will seem instantly familiar. Like a modern smartphone, navigating the unit's 3.7-inch, touch-sensitive color LCD involves swiping and tapping, and messages displayed during setup were like having a dedicated IT support technician on hand to walk us through.
Setting up Brother's new color MFP was straightforward and required just a few minutes once it was out of the box. Getting started was simply a matter of inserting its four "starter" ink cartridges through a small front door and plugging in the cables for power and either USB or Ethernet (neither data cable is included). Wi-Fi setup also was quick and easy, and done entirely through the control panel; just select the access point and enter the password, if any. Once connected, the unit prints a confirmation page showing the SSID of the selected AP as well as the SSIDs, signal strength and Wi-Fi channels of others in the area.
When the printer began to work, it let you know -- this thing clicks more than a Buddy Rich drum solo. But the end result was a clean, crisp color output that mostly kept up with a promised output rate of 35 pages-per-minute for black only and 27 ppm for color. To be exact, the 4510 completed 20 text pages in 1:47, including about 21 seconds to first page. It was a bit slower for color, needing 51 seconds to spit out the first mixed-mode test page finishing 10 pages in 1:23, and 20 more of the same pages in 2:47.
NEXT: Brother's Ups And Downs