Brother MFC-J1300DW All in Box review: Ink-redible value
A solid small office MFP that’s buoyed by low running costs thanks to Brother’s innovative approach
The MFC-J1300DW is a small-ish colour multifunction peripheral aimed at the home or micro office. While Brother’s inkjets aren’t always the most exciting, this one distinguishes itself by arriving with enough ink for a claimed 7,200 full-colour prints. Brother says that’s enough to last three years – perhaps more pertinently it works out at just 4p per page.
Happily, this MFP isn’t a bust elsewhere. It’s well specified, with support for wired and wireless networks, and a medium-sized colour touchscreen control panel. On top there’s a scanner with a 20-sheet ADF. However, while the printer supports automatic double-sided (duplex) printing, its ADF can’t duplex scan, fax or copy.
This MFP’s ink arrives in a laudably small amount of packaging, and each chunky cartridge is visibly full. When they’re empty, there are “XL” replacements rated at 6,000 black or 5,000 cyan, magenta or yellow pages. Using these, ongoing running costs should be around 2.3p for a full-colour page – commendably low.
This is an easy MFP to use, and the results are generally not bad. It’s no slouch, delivering 12 pages of black text every minute (12ppm), and complex colour graphics at a fair 5.2ppm. Single photocopies were dispatched in under 15 seconds, while we made ten copies of a mono page in just a minute and a half. Scans, too, were fast, with a 300dpi A4 capture needing only 14 seconds, and even a 1,200dpi photo scan completing in less than a minute.
If this printer has a weakness, it’s the quality of its results. While nothing is poor, scans, copies and prints are all average at best. On plain paper, graphics lacked punch compared to the best inkjets, and black text was a little less crisp. Duplex prints were noticeably more faint than single-sided ones, and skin tones in colour photocopies looked slightly bilious. While scans initially appeared strong, detail was lost among the darkest shades.
Overall this is a solid MFP. While it appears expensive, don’t dismiss it: once you factor in its generous ink supplies and low ongoing running costs, it’s a good choice where value outweighs outright quality.
Brother MFC-J1300DW All in Box specifications
1,200 x 2,400dpi A4 Piezo inkjet
6.8cm colour touchscreen
USB, AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Android, iOS, fax
150-sheet input tray
512 x 272 x 470mm
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