Brother MFC-J825DW review

With its comprehensive set of features this MFP is a jack of all trades. It's pretty quick, but the results are unremarkable

16 Jan 2013
Our Rating 
2/5
Price when reviewed 
140
inc VAT

Specifications

print speed, USB, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless, 180x405x378mm

The MFC-J825DW is one of the most fully-featured inkjet MFPs in Brother's range. It can print, scan, copy and fax, connect to wired or wireless networks, and print photos directly from a memory card. Duplex (double-sided) printing is standard too, as is a large and responsive touchscreen that helps to simplify direct operations such as copying or photo printing. This screen rotates upwards, clicking between various viewing angles, but tap too firmly and it can fall back a notch.

Brother MFC-J825DW

Despite its comprehensive specification, this MFP shares the same cheap-feeling plastics as other models we've reviewed in this range. There's an attempt to liven up the top panel with a pattern and a glossy finish, but the rattly paper tray in the base is a particularly unpleasant and brittle feeling contrast. The tray's two compartments allow the printer to keep a stock of plain sheets and coated photo paper, but the photo tray is fiddly to load, and the user needs to switch between the two sources manually. In practice we're not sure it's any easier than having a single tray.

The 20-page automatic document feeder (ADF) is rather basic, with ejected paper coming to rest across the top of the input guides, but in use it worked perfectly. Despite our misgivings it was fast, allowing the MFP to finish a 10-page colour copy in just two and a quarter minutes. When using the scanning platen, the moving scan heads on our test unit gave off a slightly worrying grinding noise, but this isn't something we've experienced on other similar Brother MFPs, and the scanner worked perfectly regardless.

Brother MFC-J825DW

This is quite a brisk printer for text, 11.5 pages of which arrived each minute in our regular test. This rose to a shade under 17ppm when we used draft quality, but in this test the printer picked up an extra sheet of paper which was left blank. The 2.9ppm colour speed wasn't bad, but by default the order of multi-page documents was reversed.

Brother MFC-J825DW Windows Update

indows Update offered this July 2012 update to the drivers included with the MFC-J825DW

Although our tested times don't include it, many printers undergo a degree of housekeeping after a print job finishes before the next can be serviced. The MFC-J825DW displayed 'Please wait' for more than 25 seconds after each job, which could slow down the rate at which it delivers multiple short jobs sent in close succession. We had no concerns about the scanner's speed, however; it's one of the quickest we've seen, completing a 1,200dpi scan of a photograph in just 45 seconds.

Unfortunately the MFC-J825DW doesn't combine these high speeds with brilliant quality. While greyscale and colour copies were good, as were colour prints on plain paper, text suffered from spidery outlines just visible with the naked eye. Scans had fairly accurate colours, but detail was lost from the very lightest and darkest areas of the original, and in places they seemed slightly blocky, as though compressed.

With an impressive set of features and reasonable running costs, this MFP looks promising, but in reality it's no match for the Epson WorkForce WP-3540DTWF, which is cheaper to buy and run and produces better results.

Basic Specifications

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

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.0 8m 20s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.0 14m 37s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfaces USB, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless
Optional printer interfaces none
Size 180x405x378mm
Weight 9.3kg
Noise (in normal use) 50dB(A)

Paper Handling

Maximum paper size A4/legal
Maximum paper weight 220gsm
Standard paper inputs 2
Standard paper input capacity 120
Maximum paper inputs 2
Maximum paper input capacity 120
Duplex (code, cost if option) Yes

General

Printer technology piezo inkjet
Supported operating systems Windows XP/Vista/7/8, Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later, Linux (via free download)
Other inkjet features 8.3cm colour screen, touch panel
Other inkjet options none

Buying Information

Price £140
Consumable parts and prices £10 each
Price per colour A4 page 5.0p
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s) N/A
Warranty one year RTB
Supplier http://www.amazon.co.uk
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

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview 8s
A4 document at 150dpi 8s
A4 document at 300dpi 12s
6x4in photo at 600dpi 14s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi 45s

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.0 19s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.0 18s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.0 2m 16s

Photo Features

PictBridge support Yes
Borderless printing A4
Direct (PC-less) printing Yes
Supported memory cards Memory Stick, SD, MMC
CD printing Yes

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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