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This Brother printer is an all-in-one inkjet printer - colour printer, photocopier and scanner. For a standard A4 printer, it is one of the largest I've owned or used. It's a commanding presence on the desk in all dimensions, 38(w) x 35(d) x 18(h)cm. My previous printer wasn't especially slimline, but I just find this one quite ugly because of its boxy shape and hefty size, despite being cream in colour. The printer works with a paper feed tray at the front rather than a feed tray standing up at the back. The tray will hold up to 100 sheets.
The printer has additional functions in terms of printing directly from digital camera or memory cards and it boasts 'borderless printing' which is reliable in my limited trials of this particular feature.
Scanning can be done direct to usb which has proved very handy in an office environment, sharing documents, and scanning is a one-touch operation. This printer is the preferred scanner in our office, being the most reliable, quickest and having the best functions. Other printers take time to load scanning options whereas with this Brother, one touch and the scanner is ready to go.
Copying can be done at the same size or reduced/enlarged and is not quite as quick as standard printing, but is still speedy and quiet. There is no need to go through the computer for copying, this can be done by the printer alone - lift the lid, pop the original on the glass and press either "colour" or "black & white" depending on how you want it to copy.
The great thing about this printer is that when it's working in everyday operation, it's quick and quiet - two huge ticks. It will churn a letter out seemingly superfast, and after a quiet little click to get things going, there's hardly any noise at all. Even printing in high quality on gloss paper setting, it's still one of the quickest and quietest printers I've come across. The printing speeds listed for standard printing are 33ppm (black and white) and 27ppm (colour). I don't get anywhere near that speed on a normal setting, a page of black text taking between 10 and 15 seconds to print, clearly a far cry from those claims. On fast setting you can get much nearer, but the quality is severely sacrificed, it's only worthwhile for really rough/note-form documents, nothing that matters. It's still quick compared to my previous Dell printer so speed stays in "good points"!
I also like the number of one-touch buttons and how they are laid out on the printer. They seem to be arranged with the user in mind, frequently used buttons such as colour/black and white bigger and more prominent than others. The USB and SD card slots are also prominent at the front and easy to access and use.
The printer is fairly economical with ink, I don't seem to be replacing often, and ink levels don't suddenly drop. The levels seem to be used on a par with my Epson printer at home but it far out-performs my previous Dell printer. The stated performance expected from the Brother cartridges is listed as 300 pages in black and white. Inks are easy to load, in a quick, clean operation.
Unsurprisingly and unfortunately, these things come at the expense of a number of downsides...
My biggest problem with using this printer is the paper loading and number of paper jams I get. Firstly, it took me weeks to get used to using the paper tray. It's not especially difficult to pull it out and reload it, but it's not easy either, feeling clunky and awkward getting the tray out and back in again. I had a problem early on getting headed paper the right way round and the right way up I just couldn't remember from one time to the next! I wasted far too many sheets whilst I got to grips with it, before resorting to writing a description of the correct orientation down! More of an ongoing problem, though is that paper jams are far more frequent than I've known before, whether this is connected to the way the paper is pulled from the tray or whether more care is needed to make sure everything is perfectly square in the tray, I don't know but it's pretty annoying. I get a jam a couple of times a week. The back section of the printer needs to be opened to free the paper, and mostly this is a simple operation, but if the paper should tear in there then it can take ages to sort out. I have had 2 or 3 serious threatening-to-throw-through-the-window paper jams when a tiny scrap has been left behind in the printer.
The other thing I find awkward is the single-line digital display on the front which will advise about printer being in sleep mode or ready, paper jam or ink low etc. This is quite pale digital text against a grey background and scrolls through messages a bit too fast for me! It's poorly designed in my opinion, as I'd consider my eyesight to be quite good - less good eyesight in a bright environment would make this screen very difficult to read. Plus, it's positioned on the top surface of the printer, so it's not visible - for me at least - from a sitting position, I need to stand up and look directly down at it to read it.
Prints from this printer of letters and word documents are generally fine, and this accounts for 99% of my use of it. I've never had problems with inks clogging or having feint areas before being alerted to a low cartridge.
Colour prints - photos, I've not been overly impressed. The quality is nice - as I'd expect from a decent brand printing colour onto glossy paper - but it's not outstanding. The pictures are nice and clear but there is a lack of depth to the colours somehow - difficult to explain, but just not up to the mark in my opinion. Any photos or better quality printing I want to do, I have come to tend to use a different printer for that reason.
This is a decent printer, but unless speed alone is your key criteria for the purchase, there are better, more user-friendly printers available for a cheaper price. 3 stars = average, which I think is fair.