Product Type: Brother fax machines
Newest Review: ... in use, and very quiet, particularly given the speed of it's printing. Although I had doubts about buying a Brother printer (being a long... more
A Multi-function Wonder
Brother MFC 6890CDW
Member Name: tirial
Brother MFC 6890CDW
Advantages: Easy to use, cheap ink, great quality, quiet
Set up was easy: It supports wired as well as wireless networks, through a standard RJ45 network port. Since we were using a wired network we plugged the printer in, let the computer find it and put the disc in to install it on the network. It was completely painless, and as easy to get it set up on the network of four machines as a single one. For non-network use, you can connect it view wireless or wired connection to your PC and let the software on the disc handle installation.
Physically it is a bit of a beast, but given it is an A3 printer, I had actually expected something larger. The controls are at the front, with USB, and Card slots above them for ease of access. There is a keypad for faxing, a central display and four function select buttons, but when in use the control display screen doubles as a touch pad, giving you options (and instructions). The actual connection ports are at the back, if you aren't using wireless. The top lifts to reveal the scanner/photocopier plate, but the lid also houses a document feeder for highspeed scanning, taking up to 50 at a time. Below this, at the front, are the two paper trays, and to the right of those the little door to access the ink cartridges.
The main task I use this for is printing, for which it offers a very good range of options and features. The print quality is high, and it is capable of photographic quality, although its normal document mode is still very sharp.
The printer has two paper trays, with specific purposes. Tray 1, the top tray, is the most flexible, taking paper sizes from 6x4 photos to A3. It is also the one you use for high quality work. Using paper larger than A4 in it however requires physically changing the tray set up, not just the internal guides, and can be fiddly. Tray 2 is the default for A3 and bulk printing. It prints normal quality, but not photographic, but can take significantly more paper. The duplex facility is easy to use, works from both trays and we've happily used it to created programmes and leaflets with no problems.
We've also used completely customised paper sizes for invites with no problem: as long as you set the guides, and use the "Custom Size" option to tell the computer what size it is, it works fine.
It is also very, very, fast, even in duplex mode, and not prone to paper jams, which is a prime selling point for me. The final good thing about the printer is that the cartridges won't break the bank. It takes four cartidges, one for each of the standard CMYK colours, which can be swapped seperately. Available in multipacks (all four colours for under £25), you can also buy black ink on its own if, like me, you go through it much faster. Changing an ink cartidge is painless - pop the door open, press the little lever to eject the old one, pull the tab off the new one and slide it in until it clicks. Then close the door and you're back to printing.
Scanning is the other thing I have used this for often. It can scan to an SD Card or USB stick directly, which is how I normally use it, and you don't even need software or a computer - you can do the entire scan through the printer's control panel, which is useful if the network goes down (or you don't want to power up your PC). The resolution on the scan is good - my best example was using the scan to blow up a passport photo-sized image to A3, with the image still recogniseable and surprisingly clear.
Other options it offers are fax and photocopy. The photocopy is simple and easy to use (a mix of printing and scanning managed through the control panel on the printer), but we've never had to use the fax facility so I can't review it.
Some concerns we did have were sound and energy, but this is both energy efficient, with an automatic energy save mode if it isn't in use, and very quiet, particularly given the speed of it's printing.
Although I had doubts about buying a Brother printer (being a long-term Epson user), I think this is one of the best printers I have used, and I'd happily get another one if anything happened to this. Fully recommended for any user, although users with home offices or who do a lot of printing will probably get the most out of it.
Summary: An excellent and very flexible device that does all an office needs
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