The Brother MFC-L2740DW is the most advanced model in the 2700 series from this Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and we’ve already reviewed its juniors – the Brother MFC-L2700DW and the Brother MFC-L2720DW. The entire series is, essentially, designed to suit heavy duty personal use or low volume shared use. All the devices in the series are multifunction printers that are basically manufactured for the Small Office / Home Office (SOHO) market segment. While the cheaper models in this series are also good, the Brother MFC-L2740DW offers the best value for money.
The MFC-L2740DW is loaded with features. It can do nearly everything that you would expect from a multifunction machine. Because of its loaded feature set, this A4 monochrome multifunction printer will be ideal for those individuals and small businesses that estimate their requirements to be light but varied. Let us explain with this review.
Strengths of Brother MFC-L2740DW
The biggest strength of the Brother MFC-L2740DW is its inbuilt Automatic Document Feeder (ADF). In simple words, you don’t see such an ADF in this price point. The 35-sheet ADF allows for automatic duplexing but that isn’t the draw here. The draw is that it offers single pass automatic duplexing. Not only that, the design of the MFC-L2740DW is such that it boasts of single pass duplexing for scanning, copying, and faxing.
The ADF single-handedly will end up saving you a lot of time and money but the print speed also helps. The Brother MFC-L2740DW has a formally rated print speed of around 32 pages per minute (ppm) and it, more or less, adheres to that number in practice too. This speed, in case you don’t know, is in the upper echelons of the print speed range for this market segment.
While the print speed of this device is good, it takes a little time to get going. If you’re printing from the ‘Ready’ mode, you should see the first print in about 8.5 seconds but if you’re printing from the ‘Sleep’ mode then you’ll have to wait longer, at about 17.5 seconds. Brother has also outdone itself with this device when it comes to connectivity options.
You can connect to the Brother MFC-L2740DW through four different ways – with USB 2.0, with Ethernet, wirelessly, and through Wi-Fi Direct. Generally, you would find USB and Ethernet options in this price range. Some devices may even offer wireless connectivity but very few will give Wi-Fi Direct. Wi-Fi Direct, needless to say, makes printing with a mobile device much easier. Devices with Wi-Fi Direct usually support all kinds of mobile printing and this is the case with the Brother MFC-L2740DW also. It supports the usual suspects of Air Print, iPrintScan, and Google Cloud Print but it is compatible with third party services as well. These include but are not limited to Flickr, Picasa, Facebook, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, Box, One Drive, One Note, and Brother’s BR-Docs.
You don’t even have to pay too high a price for all these features, whether in money or convenience. The Brother MFC-L2740DW is very affordably priced at around $250 and designed to be the epitome of compactness. It measures around 317mm in height, 399mm in depth, and 409mm in width. It doesn’t even weigh too much, which means that you can share a desk with it with ease. Its weight is 10.9 Kg.
Weaknesses of Brother MFC-L2740DW
To be honest with you, the weaknesses of the Brother MFC-L2740DW aren’t really weaknesses if you consider the price range it occupies. However, in the interest of impartiality, we’ll talk about the features or functions where the Brother MFC-L2740DW falls short of expectations.
We’ll start with output quality. The output quality of the Brother MFC-L2740DW isn’t below par. It is just on the lowest end of the acceptable spectrum for monochrome laser printers in the same class. You will find this device to be more than suitable if your primary purpose is to print plain text for internal use.
You can even print text for external use such as sharing with clients. The problem arises with graphics printing. Printing graphics is something that we won’t recommend to you unless you only want it for internal use and that too superficially. In terms of maximum resolution, this device is capable of printing up to 2400 x 600 dots per inch (dpi). Moving on to paper handling, you should know that there are no expansion options with the Brother MFC-L2740DW. What you see on the web page or in the shop is exactly what you’ll get.
There will be no upgrades. The MFC-L2740DW is not meant for high volume printing, which is probably why the maximum number of sheets it can hold is 250. Further, the OEM specifies the maximum monthly print to be under 2,000 pages. Operational costs of the Brother MFC-L2740DW are slightly on the higher side but only barely. Moreover, since you won’t be printing volumes of pages, the operational cost will not be a big burden for you to bear. If you were to use cartridges manufactured by Brother, you can expect to pay around 6 cents per page. You can reduce this, though. When you use generic or compatible cartridges, your per-page cost will go down to only 5 cents.
Some of you may have a problem with the looks of this device but people usually don’t buy monochrome laser printers for style. The appearance of the Brother MFC-L2740DW is drab at best with its clunky look and single tone.
Key Features of Brother MFC-L2740DW
With cheaper devices, you always worry that price cuts have resulted in poor build quality. It is a fairly common phenomenon. This isn’t the case with the Brother MFC-L2740DW. The device is sturdy and strong. In fact, when you touch it or pat it, you can sense its strength and durability.
The Brother MFC-L2740DW can be operated directly through its control panel which consists of a 68mm colour TFT LCD touchscreen and three buttons – Home, Back, and Power. While some of you may find this touchscreen to be a bit too small, it is proportionate to the overall size of the device. The touchscreen, incidentally, isn’t just for show. It is quite useful. You can even use it to access third party services to scan to or print from.
The Brother MFC-L2740DW has inbuilt memory too. Its capacity is to the tune of 64MB. The OEM has also incorporated an element of security by offering the PIN Protected Secure Print feature. With this feature on, if someone doesn’t have the right PIN, then the device will refuse to print. Finally, those of you who value peace and quiet, the device boasts of a Quiet mode.