Brother MFC-9970CDW review

Kat Orphanides examines a multifunction printer that does everything but make the tea.

Any office printer will spend most of its life churning out mono pages of text, and it's the quality of this that defines how useful it'll be on a day to day basis. Print quality is predictably excellent - if you're spending the better part of 1,000 on a printer you'd demand your money back if it were anything less. Illustrated colour document prints also looked excellent - we particularly liked the fine reproduction of our shaded graphs and charts.

However, we were less impressed with the 9970CDW's photo reproduction. The detail and shading were all there, but everything had a marked red cast that wasn't readily apparent in our more solidly coloured illustrations. An enhanced Fine printing mode with an effective resolution of 2,400dpi ensures sharp rendering of finely detailed line charts and diagrams.

Mono print speeds are a solid 23ppm, while colour is a rather slow 10ppm. Both are acceptable for a typical ten PC workgroup, although they're slower than both Brother's quoted speeds and some cheaper colour laser printers. A high-volume mono printer laser may be more suitable if you need to churn out many pages at high speeds. We were pleased to see that the MFP has a maximum monthly duty cycle of 60,000 pages, though, which should easily serve all but the most demanding of workgroups.

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