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Brother MFC-J470DW review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £90
inc VAT

It’s got lots of features, but neither the capabilities nor the print quality of this all-in-one printer quite justify its price

The Brother MFC-J470DW is a bit more business-like than your average budget all-in-one printer, with an integrated fax, an ADF and duplex printing that make it well specified for a home office. A colour screen and wireless networking round out the MFP’s features, while Brother’s cloud features make it easy to print from and scan to the likes of Google Drive and Dropbox. Mobile printing apps are available for Android and iOS, too.

Brother MFC-J470DW

In our standard print tests, the MFC-J470DW printed our mono letter at a rate of 11.8ppm, while our colour document printed at 5.5ppm. These are well short of the manufacturer’s quoted figures of 33ppm mono prints and 27ppm for colour using their own tests, but are nonetheless pretty good for a low-cost inkjet. At default quality, mono text is acceptable but imperfect, with jagged edges visible on most letters and faint impression of bleeding around the edges if you use the 75gsm or 80gsm paper that’s commonly sold in supermarkets.

Draft quality text prints emerged at a fast 16.7ppm and although text is grey and occasionally wavers, the edges look cleaner and sharper than full quality text. As well as being faster, it’ll save you ink, which is a compelling reason to look for a printer with decent draft quality.

When it comes to colour quality, we were generally pleased with the even tones and accurate reproduction of images in our illustrated business documents and web page prints. Complex shading and contrast were true to the original, while small font sizes, although a little jagged on close examination, were legible.

Brother MFC-J470DW

The MFP has an automatic duplexer, which we tested by printing ten colour pages on five sheets of paper. Less ink is laid down in duplex mode and the print engine has to wait for each side to dry, before printing the other. Our duplex print emerged in three minutes and 20 seconds, which translates to 3ppm, compared to 5.5ppm for simplex colour prints. Unfortunately, our duplex prints looked pale and greyish; it’s not too bad if you’re only printing text, but illustrated colour duplex prints don’t look very professional.

Brother printers aren’t known for their photo quality, and their business leanings mean that photos are always going to be something of an after-thought. However, you can print photos if you want to, and Brother makes its own inkjet photo paper. Images quality was, on close examination, a little grainy, particularly in areas of subtle shading, while high-contrast areas tended to have slightly fuzzy edges where one colour abutted another.

Bright colours were pleasingly intense, despite a slight yellowish tint to any images; dark tones were a little washed out and slightly greenish. Borderless 6x4in prints actually showed a thin line of white along one edge, a common issue with paper alignment in Brother inkjets.

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Basic Specifications

Maximum native print resolution6,000×1,200dpi
Max optical resolution1,200×2,400dpi
Output bit depth24-bit

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A433ppm
Quoted speed, colour A427ppm

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.07m 45s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.012m 12s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfacesUSB, 802.11n wireless
Optional printer interfacesnone
Noise (in normal use)50dB(A)
Duty cycle2,500 pages

Paper Handling

Maximum paper sizeup to A4
Maximum paper weight260gsm
Standard paper inputs1
Standard paper input capacity100
Maximum paper inputs1
Maximum paper input capacity100
Duplex (code, cost if option)Yes


Printer technologypiezo inkjet
Supported operating systemsWindows XP/Vista/7/8, Mac OS X 10.6.8/10.7.x1/0.8.x
Other inkjet features4.5cm colour screen, cloud printing
Other inkjet optionsnone

Buying Information

Consumable parts and prices£12 each
Price per colour A4 page6.0p
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge300 pages (ISO/IEC 24711)
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s)300 pages (ISO/IEC 24711)
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s)N/A
Warrantyone year RTB

Print Quality

Number of ink colours4
Number of ink cartridges4
Maximum number of ink colours4
Maximum number of cartridges4
Quoted photo durability100 years
Quoted photo durability sourceBrother

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview10s
A4 document at 150dpi10s
A4 document at 300dpi16s
6x4in photo at 600dpi19s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi55s

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.019s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.019s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.02m 55s

Photo Features

PictBridge supportNo
Borderless printingup to A4
Direct (PC-less) printingYes
Supported memory cardsnone
CD printingNo

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies99
Max mono copy resolution1,200dpi
Max colour copy resolution1,200dpi

Fax Features

Fax memory (maximum mono pages)170