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Brother Inkjet All-in-Ones - Part 2

SPONSORED: Brother Inkjet All-in-One Printer Buyers Guide
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MFC-5895cw: $199.99

The 5895cw marks an interesting contrast with the 795cw. For an extra $20 you lose the handset and Message Center as well as the photo bypass tray. Even the color LCD shrinks from 5” to only 3.3 inches.

On the other hand, you gain two key features with the 5895cw. First, the 15-page ADF steps up to handling 50 pages. Even better, whereas the base models could only handle up to 8.5” x 11” paper (letter), the 5895cw will take 11” x 17” (legal/ledger). This alone likely decides model choice for many businesses, even though it means a sizable increase in footprint—21.3 x 19.2 x 12.7 inches and 34.4 pounds.

Brother builds in a couple of other business-slanted features worth noting. Those who do a bit more daily printing should note that the 5895cw specifies a monthly duty cycle of 4,000 printed sheets compared to the 2,500 sheets noted for the previously discussed models. On average, that’s about 180 sheets printed per business day compared to 115. Exceeding a printer’s duty cycle on a sustained basis is more likely to lead to premature failure.

Brother notches up the input tray from 100 sheets to 150, but the other noteworthy business feature is Secure Print. This involves users issuing print jobs locked with a user name, document name, and PIN code. The PIN must be entered at the printer in order for the job to print. This is a great feature when needing to output sensitive material in a workgroup environment.

In all other ways, the 5895cw and 795CW are identical. Still, you can see how the extra $20 between the models goes toward optimizing the 5895cw for a more specific small office-oriented set of needs rather than a general, entry-level home office.

MFC-J6510DW: $249.99

If there is a line between home and office anymore in the inkjet category, it probably hovers right around the $200 level. With the 5895cw, we saw the inclusion of 11” x 17” output, but for another $50 the J6510DW adds 11” x 17” scanning with an extended flatbed. The paper tray will hold up to 250 sheets, plus there’s a 35-sheet ADF. Completing the paper handling improvements, the J6510DW is the first model in Brother’s current inkjet lineup to support duplex output, meaning printing on both sides of the paper. Simply put, the printer outputs on one side of the sheet, sucks the paper back in, then prints on the other side. With lower-end designs, duplexing must be done manually, and it’s a real pain when dealing with longer documents. Automated duplexing not only looks more professional (on paper thick enough to prevent bleed-through), but it also saves on a lot of wasted paper. In our book, duplexing alone justifies the $50 upgrade.

The J6510DW sacrifices none of the major features found in earlier models. Instead, it improves the monthly duty cycle to 5,000 printed pages—the highest duty cycle spec found among Brother’s inkjets. We also like the single-sheet bypass tray, meant for feeding in items such as envelopes and card stock, although it also takes 11” x 17” paper.

Not least of all, the J6510DW adds compatibility with Brother’s “XXL” Super High Yield ink cartridges, rated for 2,400 black pages and 1,200 color pages. This compares very well against the standard “high yield” cartridges, which typically average 900 (black) or 750 (color) pages. Yes, the XXL cartridges cost more, but the final cost per page is substantially lower. Given the higher usages typical in offices, this can more than help defray the printer’s upgrade cost over time.

MFC-6890CDW: $349.99

At the top of Brother’s inkjet stack, we have the MFC-5890CDW. We’d like to tell you that this printer adds loads of bang for your extra 100 bucks and even cleans the office dishes, but the reality is that the extra money really buys more robust paper handling. Specifically, the 6890CDW sports a chart-topping input capacity of 350 sheets—up to 100 sheets in Tray 1 and 250 sheets in Tray 2. It matches the J651DW on its 5,000-sheet monthly duty cycle, but then Brother brings back the ADF capacity of the 5895cw by reaching 50 sheets.

Yes, the 6890CDW preserves Secure Print functionality, but it only does 8.5” x 11” duplex printing and bumps the color LCD up to 4.2 inches. If the step back in duplexing size seems puzzling, add the odd omission of XXL cartridge compatibility to the curiosity list. At $349, we would have expected both of these features, but Brother is obviously looking to preserve the spread of its list price ladder. In the real world, we see Amazon currently selling the 6890CDW for $249 and the J6510DW for $199, thus slicing the price gap in half.

If the 6890CDW still seems questionable, keep in mind that time is money in busy offices. Some situations demand juggling paper formats more than anything else, and this juggling takes valuable minutes. Being the only printer in Brother’s inkjet family with two input trays commands a premium, and some businesses will find this a key feature. If your business does not, then the 5895cw or J6510DW likely make much more sense.

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    MauveCloud , March 11, 2011 8:03 PM
    I bought the MFC-6890CDW back in November. Had the MFC-J6510DW been released yet? If so, I didn't see it. I mainly saw the MFC-6490CW and MFC-5890CN as alternatives, which have no support for duplex printing.
  • 0 Hide
    Blaire Nadal , May 14, 2013 5:57 AM
    Brother printers is catching up with the speedy development of printer's features. And I believe that is actually what it should do since the market is a raging world. HP now had its partnership with Google and so on.