If it weren’t for its Ethernet connector, the Brother MFC-7360N ($200 street) would be easy to pigeonhole as a distinctly personal mono laser MFP. Not only is it priced right for a personal MFP, it’s relatively small, and its paper handling and speed are a good fit for medium- to heavy-duty personal use. Given the Ethernet connector, however, it’s also a good choice as a shared printer in a micro office with light to medium-duty print needs. In either situation, it’s a capable printer for the price.
The MFC-7360N has a lot in common with the somewhat more expensive, and definitively personalCanon imageClass MF4450 ($249 direct, 4 stars). Like the MF4450, it can print, scan, and fax from a PC, and can work as a standalone copier and fax machine. It also offers a 35-page ADF to supplement its flatbed, so it can handle multipage documents and legal-size pages. And with a 250-sheet tray and 1-sheet manual feed, there’s ample paper capacity for most personal use or micro offices, although there are no additional paper handling options available, should you need more.
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Setup and Speed
Depending on your tastes, you may or may not consider the MFC-7360N small enough to sit on your desk, although, at 12.4 by 15.9 by 15.7 inches (HWD) it’s smaller than many inkjets. It’s certainly small enough so you should be able to find a spot for it without much effort, even in a home office.
I connected the printer to a network and tested it using a Windows Vista system. Setup was absolutely typical. On our business applications suite (using QualityLogic’s hardware and software for timing), I clocked it at 9.6 effective pages per minute (ppm), which is appropriate for the 24 ppm rating, although the MF4450, which is also rated at 24 ppm, was somewhat faster, at 12.9 ppm.
Brother MFC-7360N Specifications
- Printer Category
- Brother MFC-7360N Type
- Color or Monochrome
- Brother MFC-7360N Technology (for laser category only)
- Connection Type
- USB, Ethernet
- Maximum Standard Paper Size
- Direct Printing from Cameras
- Rated speed at Default Resolution (Mono)
- 24 ppm
- Brother MFC-7360N Standalone Copier and Fax
- Copier, Fax
- Print Duplexing
- Manual with guidance
As another point of reference, the 26 ppm Editors’ Choice Canon imageClass MF4570dn ($299 direct, 4 stars), was roughly tied with the MF4450, at 12.3 ppm.
Brother MFC-7360N Output Quality and Other Issues
The MFC-7360N’s output quality is best described as good enough for most business needs, without being in danger of anyone calling it impressive. Text quality is just a touch below par for a mono laser, but that still makes it a lot better than any ink jet text output. Unless you need high quality text for desktop publishing applications, or you have an unusual need for small fonts, you should find it more than acceptable.
Graphics quality is at the high end of the tight range where most mono laser MFPs fall. It’s suitable for any internal business need, but depending on how much of a perfectionist you are, you may or may not feel it’s good enough for PowerPoint handouts and the like. Photo output, like text, is a touch below par. It’s easily good enough to print recognizable photos from Web pages, but depending on how demanding you are, you may or may not consider the photos good enough for, say, a client newsletter.
Although the MFC-7360N has some obvious limitations for both speed and output quality, it would be hard to call them shortcomings at this price. To the contrary, given the price, the printer offers a highly attractive balance of speed, output quality, paper handling, and features, which is to say, if you need more, expect to pay more. And if $200 is your budget, the MFC-7360N may well be your printer.