The Brother MFC-1810 is easily the simplest and most basic multifunction laser printer we’ve reviewed. In fact, it is so simple that the phrase “bare-bones” springs to mind but that is only because we’ve been reviewing some really well-endowed devices on this blog. Practically speaking, the Brother MFC-1810 is enough for most Small Office / Home Office (SOHO) setups where usage is low and demands within reason.
The Brother MFC-1810 can be considered to be a budget multifunction printer with no frills as well. This means that this monochrome device can print, copy, scan, and fax. For the price that it is available at, having all four functionalities can be a big boon for many individual professionals and businesses. If you’re operating on a very tight budget but still need a multifunction printer, then you should definitely consider the Brother MFC-1810. Here’s our review.
Strengths of Brother MFC-1810
The affordability of the Brother MFC-1810 is easily its greatest strength. Since no features stand out and no functionalities exceed expected benchmarks, this device’s Unique Selling Point (USP) is nothing but its initial price and running costs. This machine is one of the cheapest multifunction devices on the market since it will cost in the vicinity of about $100.
The thing with economy segment products is that they show evidence of cost-cutting at the end of the manufacturer. This, fortunately, isn’t true with the Brother MFC-1810. Here, all the cost cutting that needed to be done was done by removing features. The build of this device is not shoddy. The material used to manufacture the Brother MFC-1810 feels strong and sturdy to touch, which is not evident in the case of its competitors.
In terms of running costs, the Brother MFC-1810 doesn’t excel but it doesn’t fare that bad either. The costs you’ll have to foot will depend on the source of your cartridges. If you use cartridges manufactured by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), then you can expect to pay around 7.46 cents per page.
However, if this feels a bit too much to you, you can cut it down by using aftermarket cartridges. Using compatible or generic cartridges will bring down your per-page costs to as low as 6.07 cents.
Despite the costs, the Brother MFC-1810’s output quality is quite decent so long as you print what monochrome laser printers are built to print i.e. text documents. Monochrome laser printers are neither built to print graphics nor images but, in a tight spot, they can perform that task. In other words, the Brother MFC-1810 prints text documents quite well. Where it suffers is printing images. Even graphics printed by this device have their issues such as banding. This device is rated to produce a maximum resolution of 600 x 600 dots per inch (dpi)
Taking into consideration that the Brother MFC-1810 is not meant for high-volume printing, it boasts of a very good print speed. This device is rated to print at a solid speed of 20 pages per minute (ppm) which should be good enough for most SOHO setups.
Weaknesses of Brother MFC-1810
Most weaknesses of the Brother MFC-1810 revolve around lack of features as opposed to poor performance or functionality. The foremost of these and possibly the most annoying is its paper capacity. It seems like the OEM decided that people buying this device won’t print so much.
In fact, looking at its paper capacity, it is evident that the OEM didn’t think owners of this device would print more than five pages per day. The paper tray in the Brother MFC-1810 can only hold about 150 sheets. If you add the Automatic Document Feeder’s (ADF) 10-sheet capacity into the mix, you get 160 sheets. While this shouldn’t be a deal breaker for you, it may turn out to be a lasting annoyance. Incidentally, in case you were wondering, the maximum monthly duty cycle of this device 1,800 pages while the minimum recommended prints is 250 pages.
Economy devices rarely ever offer features designed to help owners save since such features turn out to be costly for the manufacturers. This is probably why there is no automatic duplexing feature in the Brother MFC-1810. This means that you won’t get double-sided sheets or help the environment. However, since you won’t be printing a lot anyway, it won’t matter in the big scheme of things.
It is also worth pointing out that the OEM has cut costs by removing multiple connectivity options. There is only one way through which you can connect this printer to your computer and that is through USB. The device boasts of a high-speed USB 2.0 port, but there is nothing for Ethernet or even wireless connections.
Key Features of Brother MFC-1810
The Brother MFC-1810 is a fairly compact device which means that you can place it on your desk quite comfortably. It measures about 283mm high, 340mm deep, and 385mm wide. Despite the fact that the build of this device is sturdy, it hasn’t come at the cost of weight. The machine is fairly lightweight at only 7.4 Kg.
Inside, the printing technology used is based on an ARM9 200MHz processor and internal memory worth 16 MB. The combination of these components allows this device to deliver the first print in decent times. From the ‘Ready’ mode, you can get the first print in less than 10 seconds but this time span goes up to 28 seconds when the printer is in the ‘Sleep’ mode.
Apart from using the device through your computer, you will also be able to use it through the extensive control panel provided by the OEM. The control panel is dominated by a two line 16 character display screen. On both sides of this screen are a variety of buttons for accessing various functions of the device. On one side are buttons for accessing Fax, Scan, and Copy functions along with multiple other operational options while on the opposite side are navigational keys.
The device comes with a warranty period of 12 months but availing warranty will require the Brother MFC-1810 to be returned to the source of purchase.