Brother MFC J6545 – Inkvestment colour A3 printer

Brother MFC J6545
100% human

The Brother MFC J6545 is an A3 printer on steroids – or at least the courier that delivered it needed some to heft the 20kg printer (plus box and two years’ worth of ink) up three flights of stairs.

That intro to the Brother MFC J6545 is more to position it as a business capable device. A3 (perfect for those pesky large Excel spreadsheets and signs) and A4, all packed in a durable, business-class device replete with Print, Scan, Copy and Fax and multiple connection options.

The Brother MFC J6545 uses Inkvestment technology which simply means that it uses replaceable ink tanks rather than replaceable ink cartridges/heads. The bottom line is that Inkvestment printers are a lot lower cost to run over traditional inkjets.

Brother MFC J6545 inkvestment

Brother MFC J6545 Colour A3 printer

Website here

713-page manual here

Price: $947 exclusive to Officeworks

Note: Our revised review methodology lists FAIL, PASS, or EXCEED against the major test paradigms deemed to apply to each class of device.

Size and placement – PASS but you need a large area with good access front and back.

It is 575 mm x 477 mm x 310 mm x 20.1kg so find a large area to place it in.

Brother MFC J6545 desk
You are going to need a lot more space than this!!!

It has two front 250-sheet trays plus a 100-sheet rear multi-purpose manual feed tray.

Assume you put A4 in tray 1 (top) and A3 in tray two (bottom and only for plain paper) – the latter will stick out a further 30cm from the front.

Printer access (for scanner and jam clearance) is mainly via the front and top, but the multi-purpose tray opens to the back, and you will need at least 20cm clearance there too. It can handle heavier stock and up to A3 size. There is also a rear jam clearance flap.

Connectivity – PASS

It connects via Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Wireless Direct or USB. But that is just a small part of the story.

It has Brother iPrint and Scan (Android and iOS), Google Cloud Print, Apple AirPrint, Mopria, and supports most popular cloud storage services.

 We tested on a Windows device (also works on macOS and Linux) and it loads drivers and Control Centre that is for managing scanning, photo printing, and remote setup.

Sys Admin – PASS

It has a good suite of Sys Admin tools including installers via Active Directory and unattended driver install and installation. Monitoring is via BRAdmin or the embedded web server.

Print and quality – PASS

We printed a range of test sheets mixing text and photos (web resolution).

Brother claims speeds mono/colour of 22/20ppm for single-sided A4 (half that for A3) and duplex printing halves that again. There is a draft mode offering 35/27ppm. First print time (excluding print time) is 5-6 seconds.

Inkjets should always be left on (to reduce ink loss due to start-up purging), so it is fast to print. But in practice, the PC/Mac or other device needs to rasterise the text/images and feed them into the printers 128MB memory buffer.

We tested one and ten text pages (spot colour) and the first page out (includes print time) was 12 seconds and ten pages was 40 seconds – Brother’ claim is reasonably accurate. This slowed a little with mixed media (50% photo, 40% background shading) and text to about 5 seconds a page – very good.

Print quality was excellent. Black text was crisp and black and photos acceptable given the low res to start with. There was no banding at all, and it was more than adequate for office use.

Paper types – PASS

It uses standard bond paper from 64-220gsm and accepts some speciality papers to 260gsm. Duplex print is 60120gsm.

It’s not a photo printer but produces a reasonable quality 6×4” print in about a minute.

Reliability – PASS

 During a test, we get a feel for things like the build quality and susceptibility to jams. The paper path is ‘U’ shaped, and the paper handling rollers are a cut above consumer-grade.

The unit is well made and has a 2-year warranty. We were unable to find the duty cycle, but we expect it would handle more than typical smaller workgroups and small office/home office workloads.

Energy/Noise – PASS

Using our EmberIQ metre, we measured <2W sleep or idle and <30W printing. Maximum noise level is 50dB when printing.

User interface – PASS

The 9.3cm Colour touch screen uses the traditional Brother interface. It is logical and intuitive and needs no specialised training to do any task.

Consumables cost – EXCEED

Officeworks prices: The printer uses LC3337BK ($41 – 3000 pages) and separate LC3337 ($41 each 1500 pages) Cyan, Magenta and Yellow cartridges. Total $164. Mono print .014 cents and colour print (at worst) 10 cents a page.

Brother MFC J6545 ink

The high capacity versions LC3339XLBK ($74 – 6,000 pages) and LC3339XL (C/Y/M – $123 each 5,000 pages) – total $443. Mono print .012 cents a page and colour (at worst) 8 cents a page.

If you search online, you may find bulk deals but Officeworks generally price matches.

MFP – multifunction – PASS

It does everything you expect – print, copy and fax. It is missing duplex scanning and NFC, and that is in the MFC J6945 version that again if you look online you may find a bargain.

GadgetGuy’s take – Brother MFC J6595 is an exceptional SOHO and workgroup printer

Good speed, good quality. A3 and A4 and great low page cost – what more could you want. Well apart from Duplex scan that Gadget Guy uses once in a blue moon – not much.

We have been using Brother inkjets for several years (I have been using them since 2005!), and I can’t say I have had a bad one.

And I love INKvestment!!!

Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Quality and fast printing
Brother reliabiity
Low print cost
If you want duplex scan and NFC look at the J6945