Brother MFC-L5750DW review

The perfect mono MFP for small businesses with a great price, tons of features and low running costs

IT Pro Recommended
Price
£209
  • Excellent cloud app integration; Easy setup; Great print speeds
  • Duplex printing halves print speeds; Banding effects on photos

Brother's MFC-L5750DW is a one-stop monochrome MFP offering print, copy and scan operations. It offers a big, 123mm colour LCD touchscreen, and it has a connection for everyone, with support for USB, wired Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct and AirPrint - not to mention more cloud services than you can shake a stick at.

It doesn't slack in the performance stakes either. Brother's 1,200dpi mono laser engine is rated at 40ppm, and that's exactly what we saw in the real world: our 40-page test Word document was delivered in 59 seconds at both 600dpi and 1,200dpi resolutions. The printer employs the same 800MHz Cortex-A9 processor as Brother's workgroup printers, so graphics and photos don't slow it down either. Our challenging 24-page DTP document was whisked out in 35 seconds at both resolutions for a tidy 41ppm.

Impatient users will also appreciate how quickly the L5750DW springs to life. We waited just eight seconds for printing to start from warm, and even when the printer had to wake from its 2W low-power sleep mode, the delay was a brief 14 seconds. The only thing that slows the printer down is using the built-in duplex unit, which we found cut print speed in half, to 20ppm.

Print quality is great, with 12pt text coming out razor sharp on 75gsm recycled paper. Graphs and bar charts looked solid and clean too, making this a top choice for general report production. Photos weren't such a strength, exhibiting plenty of detail, but some unpleasant banding in backgrounds. Switching from 600dpi to 1,200dpi resolution yielded no appreciable improvement, although switching to 100gsm paper did clean things up slightly.

The 50,000-page drum is designed to last the printer's life, so the only consumable is the toner cartridge. After you've used up the 2,000-page starter cartridge, we recommend replacing it with the 8,000-page high yield version which works out at just 1.2p per page.

When it comes to scanning, the colour flatbed delivers a top resolution of 1200dpi, which drops to 600dpi when you use the 50-page duplex ADF on top. Copy speeds are good; a 10-page single-side document was reproduced in 35 seconds, while a 10-page duplex-to-duplex copy took 72 seconds.

Deploying the MFC-L5750DW on a network is swift: Brother's Windows-based setup software discovered the printer on our network and installed the generous software bundle on our desktops. This includes a System Tray status monitor, TWAIN driver, ControlCenter4 scan and print utility plus Nuance's PaperPort SE 14 software for OCR and document management.

These apps can all be accessed directly from the Brother Utilities desktop tool, which also provides quick access to the Web Connect portal. We used it to set up cloud printing and scanning services for OneNote, OneDrive, Box, Google Drive, Dropbox, Facebook and Flickr: in each case, we simply had to provide our account details and enter an 11-digit code at the printer's friendly touchscreen. Access to these services can be PIN-protected, as can Brother's Easy Scan to Email feature. This is a real time-saver, allowing us to register email addresses as destinations without having to configure SMTP settings.

The printer also offers the ability to scan documents as Word, Excel or PowerPoint files, and email or save them to the cloud. Brother's iPrint&Scan iOS app allowed us to print and scan from an iPad, and also provides direct access to diagnostics and printer firmware updates.

If you're worried about access security, support for local and Active Directory authentication lets you decide what functions each user is allowed to access. Confidential prints can be kept from prying eyes by assigning a PIN from the driver, which must be entered at the printer before the document is released.

There's a lot to like about Brother's MFC-L5750DW, which combines low running costs with a great range of features and user-friendly software. It's an excellent choice for small businesses who regularly need to produce black-and-white documents and reports, and its mobile and cloud scanning features are a great bonus too.

This review originally appeared in PC Pro issue 269

Verdict

There’s a lot to like about Brother’s MFC-L5750DW, which combines low running costs with a great range of features and user-friendly software. It’s an excellent choice for small businesses who regularly need to produce black-and-white documents and reports, and its mobile and cloud scanning features are a great bonus too.

1,200dpi A4 mono laser 1200 x 600dpi duplex colour scanner 800MHz Cortex-A9 CPU; 256MB RAM 40ppm 2 x USB 2 10/100 Ethernet 802.11n wireless 12.3cm colour touchscreen 250-sheet input tray 50-sheet ADF Duplex Rec. monthly cycle – 3,500 pages 435 x 427 x 486mm (WDH) 16.5kg Brother Control Centre 4 and Nuance PaperPort SE 14 software 1 year onsite warranty

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