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Brother's MFC-4420c Multi Function Center. Courtesy of Brother, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Brother announces office-in-a-box
(Friday, February 7, 2003 - 17:25 EST)

A press release from Brother International Corp. announces two new devices that are designed to replace a wide array of separate items currently stealing your valuable desk space.

The MFC-4420c and MFC-4820c "Multi Function Centers" both combine an inkjet photo printer (2400 x 1200 dots per inch; 13 pages per minute in monochrome, 11ppm in color), flatbed scanner (36-bit 600 x 2400 dpi, interpolated up to 9600 dpi) and a 14.4kbps ITU-T30E-compliant color fax. There's also a 100 sheet paper tray, 16MB of memory built-in to store up to 480 pages of faxes when paper runs out, 80-station auto dialing, and support for Dual Access, Quickscan, Caller ID support, distinctive ring detection and broadcasting. Faxes can also be sent from an attached PC, without the need to print them first.

Brother's MFC-4420c Multi Function Center. Courtesy of Brother, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Brother's MFC-4420c Multi Function Center

As you'd expect, there are buttons for making copies (up to 99 color copies at 1200 x 1200 dpi interpolated), as well as scanning and sending the image directly to your email, imaging or optical character recognition application. The 4820c also adds a telephone with full-duplex speakerphone and answering machine with room for up to 99 3-minute messages. Connectivity is via a USB interface, compatible with both Windows and MacOS, and both ScanSoft PaperPort and TextBridge OCR software, as well as ArcSoft's PhotoPrinter 4.0, are included in the bundles.

Digital camera owners can print their images directly from their CompactFlash, SmartMedia or Memory Stick cards through built-in slots for these formats, and interestingly can also use a "Scan to Card" function to save scanned images directly to the cards as well. The press release doesn't note if the slots can be used to replace an external card reader, but we'd presume that is likely to be the case.

Brother notes that both devices have been designed to keep their profile as low as possible. Instead of the traditional vertical inkjet cartridges containing a disposable print head, the Multi Function Centers both use horizontal inkjet cartridges connected by tubes to the permanent print heads. (This does, however, have the disadvantage that if your print head becomes clogged or dirty, it is not just a simple matter of replacing the cartridge to fix the problem). However, the low 5" height from the desk-top to the scanner platter is quite impressive for a multi-function device - they're frequently extremely large and bulky-looking.

Brother's MFC-4420c Multi Function Center. Courtesy of Brother, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Brother's MFC-4420c Multi Function Center. Courtesy of Brother, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Brother's MFC-4820c Multi Function Center

Source: Brother International Corp.

Original Source Press Release:

Brother Hits "Home" with New Low-Profile, Color Flatbed Multi-Function Center® Models

New MFC-4420c and MFC-4820c Offer Unique Low-Profile Design, Family Friendly Features and Home Office-Quality Performance

BRIDGEWATER, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 28, 2003. Brother International Corporation, long known for its innovative laser and color ink jet multi-function products for the home office and small office environment, previewed new color flatbed Multi-Function Center® (MFC) models at this month's 2003 International Consumer Electronics Show. The new color ink jet MFC-4420c and MFC-4820c are scheduled for availability at retail this spring.

Brother's new models are primarily targeting home and home office users that previously would have considered a color ink jet printer, but now want the added value that all-in-one devices can bring to a home or small home office environment. What distinctly separates the flatbed-based MFC-4420c and MFC-4820c from other Brother Color MFC models is their unique low-profile design, making them an ideal fit for even the most space?conscious home environment. Both new models can handle a wide variety of tasks…photo-quality color printing, stand-alone color copying, color scanning, convenience faxing (stand-alone and PC-faxing), and direct printing from the popular digital camera media (CompactFlash®, SmartMedia®, and Sony® Memory Stick® cards).

The MFC-4420c will begin shipping in early March at an estimated street price of $249.99. The MFC-4820c, which adds a built-in Message Center (allowing up to 99 individual 3-minute incoming voice messages), full duplex speakerphone and telephone handset, will begin shipping in early April at an estimated street price of $299.99.

"Brother is in an excellent position to capitalize on the dramatic shift of color ink jet printers to color all-in-one printers, a growing trend in the home market," said Don Cummins, Vice President of Marketing at Brother. "Our new MFC-4420c and MFC?4820c combine the strong Brother tradition of feature-packed value with an exciting, low-profile design suitable for any home or home office environment."

Low-Profile Technology & Design
Traditionally, ink jet printers and all-in-one devices combine both the ink cartridges and print heads as part of the print carriage mechanism. In addition, most low-end ink jet products combine a disposable print head directly onto the ink cartridge. It is the print carriage mechanism that most typically will impact the height of a machine.

In these MFC models, Brother utilizes a long-life, independent print head that is separate from the ink cartridges, thus allowing the unique opportunity to remove the ink cartridges from its traditional print carriage location. The ultra low-profile design of the MFC-4420c and MFC-4820c is then made possible by Brother's new "tube system" technology for ink distribution from the ink cartridges to the print heads. In addition, the 4-individual ink cartridges have a horizontal orientation (instead of the traditional vertical orientation), further contributing to the reduction in height. All the above contributes to not only to this new-low profile design, but also a very quiet and smooth printing experience.

The height from the desktop to the closed document-glass cover is only 5", thus making it easy to use even while still sitting in a desk chair (even the 2-line LCD can be viewed without standing up). The maximum overhead clearance (when the document-glass cover is fully opened for placement of an original) is still only 15", so it easily still fits under most shelves that hang over a desk.

MFC-4420c…..6-in-1 Multi-Function Center
The MFC-4420c is a Color Printer, Color Copier, Color Scanner, Color Fax, PC Fax and PhotoCapture Center™. It features up to 13ppm for monochrome printing and up to 11ppm for color. It also supports photo-quality printing with resolutions of up to 2400 x 1200, and includes a USB interface for compatibility with Windows® and Mac® O/S.

Whether for single sheets or books and magazines, the flatbed design makes color copying simple and convenient, with no PC operation required. Producing quick color or black and white copies with this model could not be easier. The MFC-4420c copies in vibrant colors, at up to 1200 x1200 dpi. The reduction and enlargement ratios have a range from 25% to 400% and can be varied in 1% increments. Multi-copying can be done for up to 99 copies.

The MFC-4420c is also a high-quality color flatbed scanner. It has up to 9600 dpi interpolated resolution (600 x 2400 dpi optical) and 36-bit color depth. Three easy to use scan buttons are dedicated to scanning the document and automatically launching your primary email, image or OCR Windows applications. Also bundled with the MFC-4420c are ScanSoft® PaperPort® and TextBridge® OCR software.

For convenience faxing, the MFC-4420c allows the user to send color or black and white faxes from the document glass without the use of a PC. It utilizes the ITU-T30E standard for color faxing, so it has the added ability to send and receive color faxes to and from other compliant color fax units.

Also included are a 14.4k bps fax modem, 100-sheet paper capacity, 80-station auto dialing, and a substantial 16MB memory for up to 480 pages of out-of-paper reception. Other features like Dual Access, Quickscan, Caller ID† support, distinctive ring detection† and broadcasting provide additional convenience.

For those who also like the convenience of sending via PC Fax, the MFC-4420c allows the user to send a PC created document directly from the PC, without the need to print it first. Broadcast faxing is also possible from the PC as well.

There is also support for digital camera enthusiasts, as consumer interest in digital photo printing continues to be strong and the more savvy buyers are looking for technology that helps them produce quality in an all-in-one device.

The PhotoCapture Center™ feature of the MFC-4420c allows printing high-quality images directly from Sony® Memory Stick®, CompactFlash® and SmartMedia® cards without a PC. Also included is a "Scan-to-Card" function, which allows for documents or color photographs to be easily scanned from the document glass and then stored directly on a media card. ArcSoft® PhotoPrinter® 4.0 software is also bundled for editing and printing digital images.

MFC-4820c….7-in-1 Multi-Function Center
The MFC-4820c is the step-up model of the new line-up. It has all the features and capability of the MFC-4420c, but also includes a built-in Message Center, a telephone handset and full duplex speakerphone for hands-free operation, creating the ultimate combination for the home or home office. The Message Center acts as a built-in digital voicemail system that can record up to 99 separate 3-minute messages.

Bridgewater, New Jersey is the corporate headquarters for Brother in the Americas, from Canada to South America. It has fully integrated sales, marketing services, manufacturing, research and development capabilities located in the U.S. In addition to its headquarters in Bridgewater, New Jersey, Brother has facilities in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Texas, as well as subsidiaries in Ohio, Canada, Brazil, Chile and Mexico. For more information you can visit the web site at www.brother.com.

NOTE: All trademarks and registered trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective companies.

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† Where these services are provided through local telephone companies.

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