Tue, 10 Mar 2009 Brother MFC-790CW review
A solid inkjet device with good colour print quality and speed
- Manufacturer: Brother
- Pros: High-quality text and colour prints, affordable ink
- Cons: Slow monochrome printing, low-capacity paper tray
- Price: £169.99
- Star rating:
Brother’s MFC-790CW is a multifunction colour inkjet device that can scan, print, copy, and fax. It features a 4.2in LCD touch screen. From the screen, you can control most of the unit’s functions, including copying, faxing, scanning, managing photos, and troubleshooting. It also comes equipped with three memory card slots and a 4 x 6in photo paper tray.
Setting up the wireless connection for printing and scanning was a clunky process. In order to set up the connection to a password-protected WiFi connection, you must type in the alphanumeric password on the touch screen, which isn’t an easy task. Once the MFC-790CW was connected, however, scanning over a network worked well.
Through the use of the touch screen, we were able to edit images, removing red-eye, converting to sepia, and more. The controls weren’t exactly intuitive, but the image was easily editable and could be printed directly from the printer without the use of a computer.
The standard paper tray holds just 50 pages. You must remove the entire tray in order to change paper types or feed more paper. We found the printer to be susceptible to paper jams. Brother says that the MFC-790CW can print 18 pages of black text in under a minute. However, our 10-page Word test, at the default printer settings, took 3 minutes 28 seconds. That’s comparatively slower than most competing printers.
The colour printing speed and quality was more impressive. It took the MFC-790CW 1 minute 42 seconds to produce our four-page PDF document, and a little over 50 seconds to finish a 22MB photo. The prints were good quality. The scans were excellent quality, with exceptional clarity. Unfortunately, the copies showed visible horizontal lines.
Installing and replacing the inkjet cartridges is simple, and replacement cartridges can be purchased from Brother; it’ll cost you £15 per black ink cartridge and £10 per coloured ink (yellow, cyan, or magenta) cartridge. Replacing all of your ink cartridges will cost £45, and a fresh batch can be used to print up to 450 pages. At 10p a page, the MFC-790CW is a comparatively cheap inkjet printer to maintain.