Larger and heavier than most consumer all-in-one printers and more business-like in terms of design, it’s perhaps best thought of as an ‘office printer for the home’, rather than a home office printer. For home users who need something that can print quickly and in high volumes without having to keep changing ink cartridges all the time, the Brother MFC-L3710CW may well be better suited than smaller all-in-one inkjets.
The Brother MFC-L3710CW is an all-in-one colour laserjet printer that’s priced at £280.
Aimed at home office users, the Brother MFC-L3710CW uses toner instead of ink cartridges.
As such, the Brother MFC-L3710CW has a number of advantages over typical inkjet prints – pages are dry as soon as they come off the press, and toner cartridges also promise a much higher yield. The cartridges used by the MFC-L3710CW promise up to a thousand pages’ worth on average, far higher than what you get with ink-based cartridges.
On top of this, the Brother MFC-L3710CW features a much larger paper in-tray that can hold up to 250 sheets of plain A4 paper. If you need a home office printer primarily for running off multiple copies of documents, reports, and newsletters regularly, the higher printing bandwidth on offer here will be very attractive.
In addition, the Brother MFC-L3710CW combines a scanner and copier with an automatic document feeder (ADF), which holds up to 50 sheets of A4.
It’s a little larger, and quite a lot heavier than your typical home printer and is therefore probably best kept next to your desk, rather than on it, but if you’ve space for something with a little more horsepower, why not level up your home office?
The Brother MFC-L3710CW’s main specifications and features are as follows:
Brother lists £346.80 as the RRP of the Brother MFC-L3710CW.
The best place to pick up the MFC-L3710CW online is Cartridge People, currently listing it for £276.90.
Other retailers, including AO, Argos, and John Lewis, are selling the printer for £279.
Skip to view the deals
The Brother MFC-L3710CW is very quick off the mark, producing single pages and copies in a matter of seconds. It’s very quick to scan documents and photos, too, with scans being dumped on our desktop in under five seconds at 300dpi, which is incredibly quick.
Scanning straight to a desktop via USB usually takes printers around 5-10 seconds to warm up before the actual scanning begins. The MFC-L3710CW was ready almost instantly.
During large print runs, the Brother MFC-L3710CW tends to pause for a few seconds every fifth page or so. Despite this, we were still able to print a 20-page text document in just over a minute and a 20-page presentation in under three and a half minutes, so while it has to stop to take a breather every so often, it’s no slouch.
While it’s capable of printing photos on plain A4 quickly, sadly, the Brother MFC-L3710CW lacks the functionality to print on glossy paper. It also can’t automatically print on both sides of sheets either. Having said that, with fast print times like these, manually duplexing shouldn’t take up too much more of your time.
|Pages||Text only||Text & graphics||Graphics only|
|1 page||3.34 seconds (17.16 pages per minute)||4.26 seconds (14.08 pages per minute)||6.04 seconds (9.93 pages per minute)|
|5 pages||19.92 seconds (15.06 pages per minute)||21.11 seconds (14.21 pages per minute)||32.12 seconds (9.33 pages per minute)|
|20 pages||1m 06.94 seconds (17.92 pages per minute)||1m 7.07 (17.89 pages per minute)||3m 20.51 seconds (5.98 pages per minute)|
|1 colour photo printed on plain A4:||8.92 seconds|
|1 colour photo printed on glossy A4:||n/a|
|1 colour photo printed on glossy 10 x 50mm:||n/a|
|Scanning 1 page of text:||6.58 seconds|
|Scanning 1 colour photo:||2.53 seconds|
|Copying 1 page of text:||13.41 seconds|
|Copying 1 colour photo:||14.32 seconds|
Print quality of the Brother MFC-L3710CW is generally very high but is also of varying quality. Text, in particular, looks fantastically sharp and rich. As the printer uses toner, there is zero bleed – everything comes out looking razor-sharp every time.
Graphics generally come out looking bold and crisp, although, on some pie charts and bar graphs, areas with darker colours sometimes look grainy.
Photos printed on A4 generally look OK, although they lack the definition and detail that other inkjets can give – and as you can’t print on glossy paper, photo quality isn’t going to get any better.
A big plus is that pages don’t warp in the middle, the same way that they would when groaning under wet ink, and as sheets are always dry when they come out, there’s no chance of any smudging. Whatever you’re printing, everything comes out with a crisp, even feel.
The Brother MFC-L3710CW uses four toner cartridges, black, cyan, magenta, and yellow, which, while large and quite heavy, are easy to replace. What they are not, however, is cheap.
A black TN-243 cartridge will set you back £53.99, while any of the colour ones cost a bit more, £57.59. Therefore, replacing a full set would cost you £226.76 – although Brother also sells a full set of TN-243 cartridges for £189.59, a nice saving of £37.17.
While this makes it sound like the Brother MFC-L3710CW is expensive to run, remember that the TN-243 cartridges promise you something in the region of 1000 prints. So a typical ink cartridge may cost between £10-£15 – or roughly a fifth of the price of one of these toner cartridges – they’ll also give you around 100-120 pages, or one-tenth of what you’d get from a TN-243.
Note that the price breakdown below is based on the prices Brother sells the TN-243 cartridges at – if you shop around, you’ll be able to pick up the same for less – Cartridge Shop and Cartridge People have some good deals on (costs per page rounded up):
|Brother TN-243BK Black||Brother TN-243C Cyan||Brother TN-243M Magenta||Brother TN-243Y Yellow|
|Cost per page||5p||6p||6p||6p|
If you’ve got the budget to stretch, you can also pick up larger TN-247 cartridges, which promise up to 3000 (black) and 2300 (colour) prints’ worth. Naturally, these are more expensive but work out better value overall:
|Brother TN-247BK Black||Brother TN-247C Cyan||Brother TN-247M Magenta||Brother TN-247Y Yellow|
|Cost per page||3p||4p||4p||4p|
There’s no getting around the fact that the Brother MFC-L3710CW takes up a lot of room and is pretty heavy to boot. When you consider that it’s packed into that 414 x 410 x 475 mm frame, that’s perhaps not surprising. Either way, this is a lot heavier than your typical inkjet home printer.
Setting up the Brother MFC-L3710CW is relatively straightforward, though it’ll take a bit of time, depending on the quality and speed of your Internet service. Windows users will need to head to Brother’s site to download the relevant drivers, while Mac users can sit pretty because, like most home printers, the Brother MFC-L3710CW works with Apple AirPrint, which means once you’ve connected the printer to your Wi-Fi network, you can simply select the device in System Preferences on your Mac OS device, and use it right away.
Connecting to your Wi-Fi network manually is made easy by virtue of the control panel’s 3.6-inch touchscreen display, which, while this still requires a bit of hunting and pecking for all those special characters and upper and lower case letters, is a lot easier to use than some printers’ control panels.
The large panel and sensible layout of the menu mean that it’s also easier to get acquainted with the general functions of the printer, whether that’s checking toner levels or setting it up so that you can send copies of scans to colleagues via email, an FTP server, Microsoft SharePoint or the cloud – Microsoft OneNote, OneDrive, DropBox, Google Drive, Evernote, Box are all supported.
The Brother iPrint & Scan apps for iOS and Android are a little rudimentary but are functional and allow you to action prints and scans on the go quickly, plus give you an at-a-glance view of toner levels. As well as printing locally stored files and photos, you can also print files stored in cloud services, including iCloud (iOS only) and DropBox, Evernote, Google Drive and OneDrive.
If you want something that’s a bit more ‘of the office’ in your home office set-up, then the Brother MFC-L3710CW will suit.
As well as being able to print high volumes of sheets without you having to change the paper in-tray every five minutes, it gives you sharpness and quality that you can only really get from a laserjet printer, and it prints, scans, and copies documents quickly and without fuss.
Then again, the ink bottles of the Epson EcoTank ET-2750 provide even more mileage for a lower upfront cost, so if you’re less sold on the notion of a laserjet printer and would like to be able to print on glossy photo paper too, this will be better suited to your needs.
Still browsing? Check out our best printers guide. Looking for a printer on sale? Head to our printer deals round-up for this month's best prices.