Brother MFC-J6930DW

An inkjet of all trades

Computer Active (UK) - - Contents -

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

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