The Brother MFC-J430w packs a lot of functionality into a printer that falls on the right side of the $100 price point, but it requires a willingness to accept a certain number of tradeoffs. For $100, you get a printer, fax machine, scanner, and photocopier, as well as the ability to print from and scan to iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7 mobile devices. You don't get the ability to print from memory cards, flash cards, or digital cameras, or make a wired connection to a network. Printing is fairly speedy, but the quality of both color and monochrome output is only average.
Brother MFC-J430w - Pros
- Budget-friendly price.
- Offers four functions (print, scan, copy, fax) in one machine.
- Controls are easy to use.
- Includes an LCD display.
- Standard and high-yield ink cartridges available.
- Includes an automatic document feeder that tucks away when not in use.
- Includes OCR software (Presto! PageManager 9 with OCR).
- Supports wireless printing from and scanning to iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7 mobile devices using the free Brother iPrint&Scan app.
- Offers standalone fax capabilities.
Brother MFC-J430w - Cons
- Print quality is average.
- Low-capacity paper tray.
- No separate tray for photo paper.
- No memory or flash card slots.
- Can't print directly from digital cameras.
- USB port is in an awkward location.
- Can't make a wired connection to a network.
Brother MFC-J430w - Specifications
- Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later; Windows XP or later
- 1.9" Color LCD Display
- Four separate ink cartridges (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black)
- Minimum paper size: 3.5"x6"
- Maximum paper size: 8.x5"x14"
- Maximum print resolution: 6000x1200 dpi
- Maximum copy resolution: 1200x1200 dpi
- Copier reduction/enlargement: 25-400%
- Optical scan resolution: 2400x1200 (glass); 1200x600 (ADF)
- Bundle includes OCR software for both Mac and Windows
- Standalone fax capabilities
Review - Brother MFC-J430w All-in-One Inkjet Printer
The Brother MFC-J430w is easy on the budget, but while it offers a number of attractive features, it lacks others. That's not necessarily a bad thing. If you don't need a lot of bells and whistles, and your printing needs are undemanding, the MFC-J430w may be more than adequate.
Setup and Connection
Setting up the MFC-J430w is easy, if a little time consuming because of the various options for the fax machine. It's a compact unit, partly because the paper tray slides completely inside the printer, so it doesn't demand a lot of space.
The package includes a telephone line cord for connecting the fax to a modular wall jack. The Quick Setup Guide includes clear instructions on how to set up the fax to work with any telephone subscriber services you may have, as well as how to store your name and fax number, so they will print on every fax you send.
The Quick Setup Guide will also walk you through the process of connecting the printer to your computer through a wireless network or via USB (USB cable not included).
Using the Printer
All controls are readily available on a panel that spans the front top of the printer. The color LCD panel occupies the middle of the space, and displays the current date and time; the strength of your wireless signal, if you're using a wireless connection; the current Receive Mode of the fax; the levels of each of the four ink cartridges; and the current available memory.
To the left of the LCD panel are the on/off button and three buttons that let you select fax, scan, or copy mode. To the right of the LCD panel are a menu button; speed dial and volume up and down buttons for the fax; navigation buttons for the menu functions accessible via the LCD panel; a telephone keypad and a redial/pause button for the fax; buttons that let you choose black or color for faxing, scanning, or making copies; and a stop/exit button that lets you stop the current operation or exit the menu.
The MFC-J430w handles a variety of paper sizes and types through a single paper tray with a maximum capacity of 100 sheets of plain paper. That's a little skimpy for anything but low-volume use, but with a recommended monthly print volume of 250-800 pages, the MFC-J430w obviously wasn't designed for heavy lifting.
In addition to letter and legal size paper, and several sizes of envelopes, the paper tray can handle 3.5x5, 4x6, 5x7, 5x8, and 8x10 photo paper. Unlike some printers, the MFC-J430w's paper tray doesn't include a smaller tray for 4x6 photo paper, so you'll have to unload and reload paper every time you switch to a different type of print job.
Fax, Scanner, and Copier Features
The Brother MFC-J430w functions as a standalone fax machine. The fax supports a number of telephone services, including distinctive rings and caller ID, and can hold up to 170 pages in memory.
The copier supports black-and-white and color copying, and reductions and enlargements from 25% to 400%; the document glass size is limited to letter-size documents.
The scanner can export scans to a variety of popular file formats, and can scan to email, image, and OCR files.
Mobile Printing and Scanning
A free downloadable app lets you print from and scan to any iOS, Android, or Windows Phone 7 mobile device. You can print from a mobile device to the MFC-J430w even if it isn't currently connected to your computer.
After you scan an image to a mobile device you can crop it with the iPrint&Scan app, save it to your photo album, send it via email, or open it with an appropriate app.
The Brother MFC-J430w's biggest strength is that it's budget-friendly, both in its upfront cost and its per-page printing costs, a place where inkjet printers often make you pay dearly. It offers four functions - print, scan, copy, fax - in a single compact unit, which saves space as well as money. The ability to print from and scan to mobile devices is a bonus. Print quality is a mixed bag; text output is generally good, but color photos tend to be a little weak and washed out. If your printing requirements are modest, and you don't mind the lack of memory card, flash card, and PictBridge support, then the MFC-J430w may be a good choice.