Brother MFC-L2710DW review: Looks that only Brother could love

A competent mono laser multifunction, somewhat let down by high running costs

Price
£96
  • Speedy performance; Small footprint
  • Expensive to run; Graphics and photocopies are too dark; ADF doesn’t support duplexing

Brother's MFC-L2710DW looks a bit like it's carved out of coal, but otherwise it ought to fit the bill for a home or small office. In its base there's a mono laser rated at a giddy 30ppm, and on top there's a scanner with a 50-page ADF. You can connect it via USB, wired or wireless networking, and make prints, scans, copies or faxes. It's not a bad specification for the money, but while the printer supports duplexing, the ADF doesn't - multi-page double-sided copies could be a fiddle.

Setting up the MFC-L2710DW involves sliding the paper stops in the clattery and brittle-feeling paper tray, dropping in some paper, then inserting the supplied drum and toner. You get only 700 pages in the box, after which replacements can be had with either a 1,200 or 3,000-page life. Even calculated for the latter, costs are a considerable 2p per page, or 2.5p once you factor in the new drum you'll need around every 12,000 pages.

Start using the MFC-L2710DW and there's plenty to like. Despite its speed it's relatively quiet, seeming almost silent next to the industrial Oki MC363dn. The ADF is quick enough that, should you forget to extend its paper stop, you'll be picking originals up off the floor after cloning them. We timed a 10-page mono copy at just 33 seconds, with a single page needing nine seconds. Printing was rapid, too, nudging 24ppm on black text and only fractionally slower with complex graphics.

Unfortunately we encountered the same issues with Brother's TWAIN scan interface as we have with other Brother devices. While previews worked perfectly, a scan wouldn't return an image to the host application. Again, we completed our testing using the iPrint&Scan app, but here the results were far better: dark shades were clearly distinguished, right down to the second-darkest shade in our test target. Black text prints were excellent, but graphics and photos were dingy, and photocopies far too dark.

The MFC-L2710DW is a simple, compact mono laser MFP with lots to recommend it, but its drawbacks include dark graphical prints and photocopies. More significantly, steep-ish page costs mean it will prove expensive if it's put to anything other than light use.

Verdict

The Brother MFC-L2710DW is a simple, compact mono laser MFP with lots to recommend it, but its drawbacks include dark graphical prints and photocopies. More significantly, steep-ish page costs mean it will prove expensive if it’s put to anything other than light use.

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