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Brother MFC-9330CDW review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £285
inc VAT

A swift laser MFP that's particularly easy to use, although we wish its scans and colour prints were a little better

The Brother MFC-9330CDW isn’t particularly expensive for a colour laser multifunction peripheral (MFP), but it’s got an impressive specification. This includes support for wired and wireless networks, a snappy 22 pages per minute (ppm) print speed, and automatic double-sided (duplex) printing. It’s quite a smart device, too, with an uncluttered control panel that’s comprised of a colour touchscreen and touch-sensitive buttons. The touchscreen needs a firm press, but the menu system is simple and effective. We particularly like the ability to access user-configurable shortcuts with a quick swipe to the side.

Brother MFC-9330CDW

Its straightforward menu makes it simple to get on a wireless network, while Brother’s install program is quick and comparatively painless. The TWAIN scanner interface that it installs isn’t the most comprehensive we’ve used, but it’s simple and covers the basics well. We particularly like Brother’s laser print driver, the main tab of which presents exactly the options we want for everyday jobs, with everything else we might need on the Advanced tab.

Brother MFC-9330CDW

This is generally a fast device, impressively so in some areas. It even scans very quickly over a wireless networks, delivering an A4 document at 300 dots per inch (dpi) in just 23 seconds, and needing only a second more to capture a 6x4in photo at 600dpi. Photocopying is even more impressive, with single-page mono or colour copies taking 18 or 21 seconds respectively, and a 10-page colour copy completing in only 54 seconds. In mono, the same job took only 43 seconds. It delivered our black text test at 17.4 pages per minute (ppm), and our mixed colour test at a decent 10.8ppm.

The results weren’t bad, but we’ve seen better. Black text was good, but colour graphics and photos were a little under-saturated and drab. We had a similar complaint about our scan results, which contributed to our overall impression that the MFC-9330Cdn isn’t well suited to working with colour. We also noticed that its scanner struggled to distinguish between dark shades, and while the resulting loss of detail shouldn’t be a problem in the office, it wouldn’t be ideal for scanning dark photos.

Brother MFC-9330CDW

While much of its competition uses just four consumables, the MFC-9330CDW has four toners, a drum kit rated at 15,000 pages, and a transfer belt and waste toner unit both rated for 50,000. While this makes maintenance a little more involved, it does result in slightly lower running costs, particularly for users printing reasonably high quantities in colour. It would cost £1,275 to buy the MFC-9330CDW and print 18,000 mono and 9,000 colour pages, which is at least a couple of hundred pounds less than we’d expect in this class. A good quality office inkjet would be far cheaper, however, and would offer further savings through lower power consumption.

Overall this is a likeable, straightforward MFP that’s cheaper to run than many competing laser devices. It’s a good choice if you really don’t want an inkjet, although we wish its print and scan quality was just a little higher.

Basic Specifications

Maximum native print resolution600x600dpi
Max optical resolution1,200×2,400dpi
Output bit depth24-bit

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A422ppm
Quoted speed, colour A422ppm

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.01m 1s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.01m 58s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfacesUSB, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless
Optional printer interfacesnone
Noise (in normal use)53dB(A)
Duty cycle30,000 pages (max), 300-1,500 pages (recommended)

Paper Handling

Maximum paper sizeA4/legal
Maximum paper weight163gsm
Standard paper inputs2
Standard paper input capacity251
Maximum paper inputs2
Maximum paper input capacity251
Duplex (code, cost if option)Yes


Printer technologysingle-pass colour LED
Language(s)PCL 6, BR-Script
Supported operating systemsWindows XP/Vista/7/8, Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later, Linux
Maximum printer memory192MB
Other laser features and optionsnone

Buying Information

Price per colour A4 page7.4p
Price of 2nd paper cassetteN/A
Warrantyone year RTB

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview14s
A4 document at 150dpi15s
A4 document at 300dpi23s
6x4in photo at 600dpi24s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi1m 16s
Single 35mm negative at 2400dpiN/A

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.018s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.021s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.054s

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies99
Copier zoom range25-400%
Max mono copy resolution600dpi
Max colour copy resolution600dpi

Fax Features

Fax modem speed33.6Kbit/s
Fax memory (maximum mono pages)500