Brother ADS-4700W review: A fine choice for small businesses

An affordable desktop scanner with good speed, great output quality, and a destination for every occasion

The Brother ADS 7000W on the ITPro background
(Image: © Future)

IT Pro Verdict


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    Sitting on the rung below Brother's flagship ADS-4900W scanner, the ADS-4700W offers a more affordable alternative to SMBs on tight budgets. It may cost over £200 less than its bigger brother but still delivers an impressive package with a top scan speed of 40ppm, a hefty 6,000-page daily duty cycle, and a slightly smaller 80-page ADF.

    It's well connected, too, offering USB 3, wired, or wireless access, though for the latter it supports only 2.4GHz networks (not 802.11a/n 5GHz like the ADS-4900W). There are no compromises with the user interface, though: the same slick 10.9cm color LCD touchscreen offers a wealth of user-friendly scan features.

    Brother ADS-4700W review: Setup

    Installation takes around 30 minutes per PC, with Brother's downloadable utility getting you started by loading the drivers, iPrint&Scan app, and firmware update tool. It also adds Brother's Utilities app, which you use to download and install Nuance's PaperPort 14 SE digital file cabinet and Kofax's Power PDF 3 OCR and document conversion tool.

    The ADS-4700W can be remotely managed via its web browser console and you can monitor it and all other networked Brother devices with the free BRAdmin 4 SNMP-based software. Mobile users also get in on the scanning act; the free Mobile Connect iOS and Android apps remotely connect to the scanner, pull in scans and offer to save them locally or email them as JPEGs and PDFs.

    Brother provides the best cloud support as the ADS-4700W can send documents directly to SharePoint Online, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, OneNote, Evernote, and Box accounts. They're simple to set up from Brother's Web Connect portal, where we registered our Dropbox account, and entered the unique 11-digit code at the scanner's touchscreen, and PIN-protected local access.

    Brother ADS-4700W review: Performance and features 

    Walk-up scan features are outstanding. Documents can be sent directly to any networked PC that has Brother's software installed just by selecting them from the touchscreen. The scanner's web console can be used to create up to 25 profiles for scans to FTP and SharePoint sites, email servers, and network shares, with each destination appearing on the touchscreen. The touchscreen allows you to create up to 56 scan shortcuts grouped under six custom tabs. Enable the setting lock feature in the web console and shortcut access can then be restricted by requiring a username and PIN. 

    Our tests showed the ADS-4700W was slightly faster than the quoted speeds, with duplex greyscale and color scans of 50 bank statements at 200 and 300dpi delivering between 44 and 46ppm. We chose sPDF for our output format and had to wait two minutes after each scan had finished for the iPrint&Scan OCR service to convert them.

    Moving to 600dpi saw speeds drop to 11.6ppm, but you won't need this for general document archiving as scans at 200dpi produce good-quality, accurate sPDFs. Paper handling is impeccable, too, with the scanner handling our stacks of statements, flimsy courier tear-offs, and receipts without any jams.

    The Brother ADS dashboard

    (Image credit: Future)

    The ADS-4700W is a fine choice for small businesses, with an impressive range of scanning features at an affordable price. Performance is good, output quality can't be faulted and the versatile LCD touchscreen menus provide great walk-up scan services.

    Brother ADS-4700W specifications 

    Swipe to scroll horizontally
    Technology 600dpi A4 color scanner
    Speed 40ppm at 300dpi colour/mono
    Touchscreen 10.9cm colour touchscreen
    Connectivity USB 3, USB 2 host, 10/100 Ethernet, 2.4GHz 11b/g/n wireless, Wi-Fi Direct
    Dimensions 300 x 216 x 191mm (WDH, closed)
    Weight 2.8kg
    Warranty 1yr RTB warranty
    Dave Mitchell

    Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.

    Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.