An inkjet of all trades
Next time you get annoyed by the shortcomings of your basic colour inkjet printer, write a list of all the things it can’t do. With the MFC-J6930DW you’d struggle compiling this list.
Inkjets mostly only print up to A4 size. This one handles A3, twice as big. Most A3 multifunction printers still only offer A4 scanners. This one scans A3. Some inkjets can only print one side of the paper. The MFC-J6930DW does both, and unlike many rivals, its automatic document feeder (ADF) can scan both sides too.
Home-based printers have Wi-fi and USB, while business printers have Ethernet. This one has all three, supporting wireless printing direct from Apple and Android apps and all the popular online-storage ‘cloud’ services. Using Brother’s iprint&scan app, we even got it working from Windows Phone.
Like many home printers, the MFC-J6930DW has an easy-to-use colour touchscreen. Like a business printer, it has built-in fax, which can also deal with A3. There’s even a socket to print straight from a USB stick.
Your bog-standard inkjet printer probably has a 250-sheet main tray, plus a slot to load a few sheets of alternative paper. The MFC-J6930DW has two separate 250-sheet trays and a 100-sheet multi-purpose feed too. And… oh, you get the picture. It does everything. But does it do everything well?
Mostly. The first thing to be aware of is that although Brother quotes speeds of up to 22 pages per minute (ppm), that’s in the fast Draft mode. In Normal mode, our text-document tests peaked at 18ppm, while Best quality slowed this to a 2.2ppm crawl. In colour, this fell to 1.9ppm. A full-page A3 poster on glossy photo paper looked great, but took more than six minutes – and used scary amounts of ink. The scanner’s ADF is slow, managing only 12.2ppm on A4, or 5.3 duplexed (twosided) pages per minute.
So speed is the one thing it can’t offer, but we were quite happy with the print quality, and it makes sense to have a choice of fast or perfect. Buy Brother’s high-yield cartridges and you’ll pay only around 4.2p per colour page (bearing in mind these standard figures assume a page with not very much colour on it) or 0.8p for black text only, which amount to great-value running costs.
VERDICT: The versatility of A3 and the convenience of double-sided printing, scanning and copying make this a very tempting choice ALTERNATIVE: Brother MFC-J5730DW £159 If you don’t need A3 scanning, this more compact model canan still print A3 if necessary,y, with similar paper handling
This versatile printer does the lot, but won’t break any speed records doing it