Well its been just under a month since I purchased my very own Brother MFC-7340 Laser Multi-Function Center, and its about time I wrote the review on the unit.
When I got the unit home it was extremely well packaged and came with everything I needed to get started apart from the USB Cable. It did include the Power Cable, Phone Cable, Phone Adapter, a printed manual and CD with Drivers and OCR Software (software which reads the text from a scan, and converts it to a editable document).
The unit took a couple of minutes to get out of all the packaging, remove the protective tape and insert the toner/drum, after that was all ready to be plugged in and powered on.
Powering on was seamless, it booted up in around 20 seconds and was able to set up my Inital Preferences easily using the built in screen, with the simple questions of Location (which already defaulted to Australia) and Date and Time.
Once that was done, the system was ready to be used instantly for copying and faxing without any further setup. The three modes all have lit up buttons, so you can easily see which mode is active, and has an informative 2 line display to adjust settings.
Installing the software was also a breeze, after a few simple prompts when you put in the CD, the software is all automatically installed and ready to go in around 5 minutes.
This printer is one of the better lasers I have used, with the printouts all being extremely clear, and usually having this first page out in around 7 seconds, with a page roughly every 2 to 3 seconds after that.
If the printer is in sleep mode (you can set how long before it goes to Sleep) it usually is around 13 seconds before first page out. It is also one of the quieter printers I have used, using it in a Small Office, I could easily talk on the phone still without it causing too much background noise, the printer being in the middle of the room.
I also have found the Single Media Tray useful, with it allowing me to easily print on letterheads or envelopes. The only downside is it is a bit hard to load the media at times.
You can either use the computer software to start the scan process, or use the controls directly on the printer. Speed is great with the Automatic Document Feeder set on Standard Quality Black and White, with a page being scanned roughly every 8 seconds.
Colour quality could be a little better however the results experienced are perfectly adequate for general office scanning where exact colours are not important.
The one thing I like about the scanner on this machine is the ADF feeder and cover for the flatbed scanner are designed so the tray does not slam closed if you let it go, it stays up allowing you to position your document with both hands.
The software allows you to save the finished files in many formats, including standard still pictures or even a PDF, where every scan in that set is combined into one PDF file.
I personally have not been able to try out the Fax functionality of this printer, other than seeing how it reacts with scanned documents. If you scan the documents using the ADF it will automatically cycle though all the pages then start the fax call.
If you need to scan using the flatbed scanner, it will ask after you scan the first page if there are more pages to scan, or to start the Fax call.
Once you start the fax call the inbuilt speaker is extremely clear and lets you know easily if the fax is going as it should be.
You also have the option to make the Fax automatically print out a Transmission Report or not after every fax.
For the price I find this a great value Multifunction System. The performance is great and consistent, the toner refills are not expensive and does hold 250 sheets of A4 Paper, so only needs to be refilled occasionally.
The unit feels sturdy and well built, and think it would last through consistent office use. I would not recommend it if going to be used to print on special media such as envelopes on a regular basis, it only holding one envelope at a time and being slightly hard to load would cause delays in a busy office.
The one other thing I would gripe about is that the display is not back lit, meaning you have to use it in a well lit room to see the screen clearly.