If you have ever seen a Brother laser multifunction, the design of this one will come as no surprise. It's flared styling leading up from the mono laser printer at the base to the A4 flatbed scanner on top presents a neat, functional style and its pale grey colouring with slate inset should fit with most office decor.
At the top is a bulge for the 35-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) and the lid of this unit folds out to become the paper feed tray. There's a two-stage foldout paper stop, though you may well find, as we did, that scanned documents sit comfortably on the scanner's lid, without needing it.
The control panel runs the full width of the front of the machine with a 2-line by 16-character LCD display at its centre. The LCD is pretty low contrast and we had to turn it up to full brightness to be able to read it properly.
In front of the display are three mode buttons for fax, scan and copy, while to the right is a diamond of navigation keys, a numeric pad for fax numbers and start and stop buttons for copy and scan jobs. To the left are secondary keys for job options and, at extreme left, eight quick-dial buttons for fax numbers.
The drum and toner cartridge is a two-part consumable, where either of the two toner cartridges clip into a cradle in the drum. The combined cartridge then slides in easily from top front, once you've swung down the cover.
Drivers are provided for Windows and OS X and can be downloaded for Linux. Brother also supplies a copy of Nuance PaperPort 12, as well as its own MFL-Pro Suite, so you're well covered for all the basics in scanning, OCR and document housekeeping.