Brother MFC-J6930DW review
High resolution printing is slow but this well-connected and feature-rich A3 inkjet MFP delivers on quality and extreme value
Brother's MFC-J6930DW is a business inkjet with connections. This A3 MFP comes as standard with Fast Ethernet, 11n wireless, NFC and USB 2, it supports WiFi Direct plus AirPrint, and works happily with more cloud and mobile services than you can shake a stick at.
It also dispels the myth that business inkjets are more expensive to run than lasers. Once you've used up the standard ink cartridges, opt for the high-yield versions and you'll get an A4 mono page for only 0.8p and a colour one for 4.2p.
At 23kgs, this inkjet is no lightweight and offers two 250-sheet input trays that can both handle A3 paper. The rear 100-sheet multipurpose tray provides a flatter paper path through the printer and along with A3 sizes, it accepts heavy 260gms paper.
The A3 flatbed scanner has a high 1200 x 4800dpi optical resolution and is teamed up with a 50-page ADF that has its own sensor for one-pass duplex scans. The colour LCD touchscreen rounds the picture out nicely, and we found it provides easy access to all print, scan, copy and fax functions.
It also makes light work of connecting to cloud services, with quick access options for box, Google Drive, Evernote, Dropbox, Facebook, Flickr, OneNote and OneDrive services. We selected Google Drive, loaded Brother's registration web portal on a logged in desktop, entered the unique code at the printer and enabled PIN protected access - simple.
Wireless access can be set up from the printer's panel but you can't have the wired connection active simultaneously. NFC provides tap to print and scan options for Android devices only but with AirPrint enabled, we could print directly from our iPad.
Using Brother's iPrint&Scan iOS app, we scanned documents to our iPad and browsed our Google, Dropbox, Evernote, OneDrive and iCloud accounts and chose files to print. We also used the Windows Phone version to network connect to the printer for scan and print operations.
So far, the picture looks rosy - but the bad news is the quoted print speeds are only possible on the driver's draft Fast mode. Even these aren't achievable in the real world, and our 35-page Word document with a full page text spread took 75 seconds for 28ppm.
Stepping up to Normal mode returned 18ppm while the Best setting took nearly 16 minutes for a sluggardly 2.2ppm. Similarly, our 24-page colour DTP print returned a pedestrian 1.9ppm in Best mode while a colour A3 poster on glossy paper took over 6 minutes to emerge.
Duplexing our 35-page print in Normal mode returned a noisy 10.4ppm. The scanner's top resolution delivers excellent quality but its ADF is slow, with a 10-page single-sided copy returning 12.2ppm and a duplex-to-duplex copy mustering only 5.3ppm.
Brother rewarded our patience as print quality is very good. Text at 12pts is clean and sharp with only smaller fonts exhibiting a slight dusting while mono photos revealed good levels of detail in Best mode.
The edge bleeding and print head scuffing we saw with Brother's old inkjet MFPs was mercifully missing, and the MFC-J6930DW delivered excellent detail, good contrast and bright colours for A4 photos and A3 posters. High resolution A3 prints have an unhealthy appetite for ink, but you can enable the Secure Function Lock from the web interface and restrict its usage to specific users.
Print speeds are entirely dependent on the chosen resolution but there's no denying this is one of the best connected MFPs. Print and scan quality are good enough for design work, running costs are commendably low and at only 177, the MFC-J6930DW represents great value for budget-conscious small businesses.