To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Brother MFC-J5945DW review: Fast and affordable

Our Rating :
£464.00 from
Price when reviewed : £324
inc VAT

Brother’s MFC-J5945DW is a fast and economical choice for A3 printing


  • Affordable
  • Running costs are low
  • Fast printing


  • Cumbersome to use
  • Similar printers are better alternatives
  • Photocopies aren't the best

It’s no secret that inkjets have been slowly replacing laser printers in small and home offices, and Brother’s MFC-J5945DW demonstrates why. One of a new range of single-function and multifunction office inkjets, this MFP can print, scan, copy and fax one or two-sided A4 pages.

Brother MFC-J5945DW review: Design and setup

It can also print single-sided A3 pages, although not A3+. It has two 250-sheet input trays in the base and a 100-sheet multipurpose feed at the back, all of which support A3. There’s also a 50-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF) on top, although that’s only A4. The MFC-J5945DW supports wired and wireless networks, and is controlled via a colour touchscreen. It’s an easy printer to install and use, but setting up involves a one-off nine-minute wait for ink priming, and a 300MB download of Brother’s iPrint&Scan software on each PC.

The MFC-J5945DW’s A3 capability is certainly welcome, but it’s not perfectly executed. The main paper trays need to be extended to accept A3, but if you only expand the bottom tray then its paper becomes partially exposed to dust. You need to extend the output tray fully to receive A3 pages, but leave it there and A4 prints become untidy, and can occasionally overrun the stop. Having two output positions, manually selected, partially undermines the benefit of such flexible paper inputs.

READ NEXT: Brilliant printer for creative home use

Brother MFC-J5945DW review: Print speeds

On the plus side, this is an impressively fast inkjet, printing black text at 20 pages per minute (ppm), colour graphics at 10.2ppm and managing a heady five images per minute (ipm) when duplexing colour graphics.

Each A3 page of black text took about ten seconds and even a page of rich colour graphics completed in 16 seconds. Connected via Ethernet, all but one of our scan tests took ten seconds or less, and even scanning our postcard photo at 1,200 dots per inch (dpi) took just 25 seconds.

This MFP can multitask, too, for example scanning to one PC while printing from another one. We’ve seen better scan results than those from the MFC-J5945DW, but while photos were too dark and suffered a slight aqua tint, documents were more than adequate for office purposes.

The ADF can scan both sides in a single pass, meaning duplex scans and copies are fast – and come with less chance of a paper jam. This is a good device for archiving lots of paperwork. Print quality was generally good, with impressive black text in particular. Photocopies were a little dingy, but acceptable for most uses, while photos aren’t really this printer’s forte.

READ NEXT: The best inkjet printer for small offices

Brother MFC-J5945DW review: Performance

The MFC-J5945DW’s results may be closer to decent than spectacular, but its running costs are impressively low: we calculated just 3.7p per A4 page, which is about half that of Epson’s competing WorkForce WF-7710DWF.

The MFC-J5945DW is a comprehensively quicker device as well, although the WorkForce WF-7710DWF generally matches or beats it for quality. It also supports A3+ prints, A3 scans, and duplex A3 prints and copies, yet it costs around £200 less.

Brother MFC-J5945DW review: Verdict

For quality and flexibility, we’d choose either the WorkForce WF-7710DWF or its two-tray variant, the WF-7720DTWF. Brother’s MFC-J5945DW is a good effort, but we’d really only prefer it where its high speed and low running costs are more important.

Brother MFC-J5945DW specifications
TechnologyPiezo inkjet
Maximum print resolution4,800×1,200dpi
Maximum optical scan resolution (output bit depth)1,200×1,200dpi (24-bit)
Maximum paper sizeA3
WarrantyOne year RTB

Read more