Brother MFC-J825DW review

It’s not as sleek as the HP Envy 110, but Brother’s new MFC-J825DW is still pretty neatly designed considering that it crams a printer, scanner, copier and fax machine into its compact black chassis. It measures about 180 x 405 x 378mm, so it’s a good choice if you need a versatile multifunction printer for a small office. It even includes a 15-page automatic document feeder that folds flat onto the top of the unit when it’s not in use.

Unfortunately, the Mac side of things wasn’t quite so neatly presented. Our review unit only came with software for Mac OS X 10.4 through to 10.6, and there was no automatic update for this through the Software Update feature in Lion. We had to call Brother for help locating new printing and scanning software for Lion on the company’s website, and then wait a couple more days for a firmware update to add support for AirPrint. Brother told us it would be updating the software sold with the printer in the near future, but if you’re using Lion you should definitely check that the latest software is included on the CD before buying.

Thankfully, after that rather shaky start, the MFC-J825DW performed well. Its 1,200 x 6,000dpi resolution produced very good results with all our test documents. Text was sharp and smooth, and although photo output on plain paper was a little pale, the results when using good-quality photo paper were very sharp and colourful.

Brother quotes speeds of 35 pages per minute (ppm) for black-and-white printing and 27ppm for colour. However, those figures assume you’re using the printer’s fast draft mode. When using its standard-quality setting we got a still-respectable speed of 8.5ppm for black-and-white and 7ppm for colour pages, while a glossy 4in x 6in photo took around 50 seconds.

The compact J825DW crams in a printer, scanner, copier and fax machine, and produces respectable speeds

OUR VERDICT

The MFC-J825DW uses the four standard cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks, with each one supplied in separate cartridges to reduce waste. Like most manufacturers, Brother supplies these in different sizes, but quoted us quite reasonable figures of around 2.4p for black and white and 7.1p for colour when using its largest high-yield cartridges.

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