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.
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.