Brother MFC-J6910DW review

An A3 MFP that does almost everything. It's reasonably-priced and cheap to run, but print quality isn't a strong point

7 Apr 2011
Our Rating 
4/5
Price when reviewed 
348.19
inc VAT

Specifications

35ppm print speed, USB, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11n wireless, 331x540x489mm

This hulking inkjet multifunction peripheral (MFP) is one of the most versatile printers we've reviewed. Its size arises from the fact that it can handle paper sizes up to A3, but its talents don't end there. This range-topping model can automatically print, scan and copy both sides of each sheet of paper, although duplex scans and copies are limited to an A4 maximum. There's also a fax machine with support for superfine (200x400dpi) resolution.

Brother MFC-J6910DW

We've criticised the appearance of Brother's A4 inkjet MFPs before, but although the MFC-J6910DW shares a similar squat design, it seems to work much better when scaled up to this size. There are two 250-sheet paper trays that will each take a range of paper sizes, although telescoping them out to accept A3 paper leaves them protruding from the front by around six inches, increasing the already considerable desk space needed. The automatic document feeder (ADF) holds up to 35 pages, and folds neatly shut when not in use.

Although most of the MFC-J6910DW's print jobs will come over the network, which it can connect to over Ethernet or via a built-in wireless interface, most faxes and copies are likely to be made via the machine's front panel. This contains a mix of buttons and a large touchscreen and is generally easy to navigate, although advanced settings such as duplex copying are hidden away somewhat. There's also a card reader for direct photo printing, but while this may prove useful, this isn't a great photo printer.

Brother MFC-J6910DW display

In fact, we weren't overly impressed with any aspect of this MFP's print quality. Photos are acceptable for a business machine, but the colours in some looked a little drab, and blue skies in particular revealed obvious grain. Colour prints on plain paper appeared faint, with solid fills having a granular appearance. Most significantly, black text didn't have the sharp, definite outlines typical of a laser printer, which could leave business mailings looking a little amateurish. Still, although photos were slow, all prints on plain paper were fairly rapid.

Fortunately, scan quality was much more encouraging. Colours were accurate and captures were unusually sharp and detailed for a business-oriented device. Some detail was lost from the lightest and darkest areas, but overall the results were more than good enough for general-purpose and light creative use. Copies were also much better than average for an inkjet MFP, with quite accurate colours and far less darkening than we saw in mono copies from the Brother DCP-J715W reviewed in Labs, issue 276.

Aside from its sheer versatility, this MFP's strongest suit is its running costs. These are lower for both colour and black prints than any of the laser printers we've seen recently. Its print quality is disappointing, but if that's not a priority and you need a do-everything A3 workhorse in the office, this is a good choice.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Maximum native print resolution 6,000x1,200dpi
Max optical resolution 1,200x2,400dpi
Output bit depth 24-bit

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A4 35ppm
Quoted speed, colour A4 27ppm

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.0 8m 55s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.0 12m 40s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfaces USB, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11n wireless
Optional printer interfaces none
Size 331x540x489mm
Weight 18.5kg
Noise (in normal use) 50dB(A)
Duty cycle 5,000 pages

Paper Handling

Maximum paper size A3
Maximum paper weight 220gsm
Standard paper inputs 2
Standard paper input capacity 500
Maximum paper inputs 2
Maximum paper input capacity 500
Duplex (code, cost if option) Yes

General

Printer technology piezo inkjet
Supported operating systems Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7, Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later, Linux
Other inkjet features 8.3cm colour touchscreen, duplex print (A3) and copy (A4 only)
Other inkjet options none

Buying Information

Price £348
Consumable parts and prices £14 each
Price per colour A4 page 3.3p
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge 600
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s) cyan, magenta and yellow 600 pages each
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s) n/a
Warranty one-year RTB
Supplier http://www.morecomputers.com
Details www.brother.co.uk

Print Quality

Number of ink colours 4
Number of ink cartridges 4
Maximum number of ink colours 4
Maximum number of cartridges 4
Quoted photo durability 100 years
Quoted photo durability source Brother

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview 8s
A4 document at 150dpi 12s
A4 document at 300dpi 16s
6x4in photo at 600dpi 19s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi 49s

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.0 23s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.0 25s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.0 2m 24s

Photo Features

PictBridge support Yes
Borderless printing A3
Direct (PC-less) printing Yes
Supported memory cards Memory Stick/Pro, SD, MMC
CD printing No

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies 99
Max mono copy resolution 1,200x1,200dpi
Max colour copy resolution 1,200x1,200dpi

Fax Features

Max mono fax resolution 200x400dpi
Fax memory (maximum mono pages) 400

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