Brother MFC-J5330DW review


It looks a touch crappy, but this workhorse makes a great commercial printer

The Brother MFC-J5330DW may sound like your typical multifunction printer, but it has a few tricks up its sleeve. First and foremost, this machine can print on A3 as well.

Thanks to its deep 250-page capacity paper tray, fast duplex (two-way) print speeds, the inclusion of a fax feature, and a 50-page ADF (automatic document feeder), we can see that the Brother MFC-J5330DW is targeted at busy younger On medium business user. This isn’t a home printer, so you won’t find consumer-friendly features like an SD card slot or NFC for connecting mobile devices, but this machine offers Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity along with the usual class USB ports.

The J5330DW is a well-specified inkjet with a fairly high print resolution of 4,800 x 1,200 dpi—which makes it good at printing photos on photo paper—and its scan resolution is only slightly lower at 2,400 x 1,200 dpi.

A3 paper, the ability to load one sheet at a time, is a real bonus that makes it possible to print full-color A3 posters, or A4 booklets.

design and manufacture

If the MFC-J5330DW was an A4 only multifunction printer, like the Canon Maxify MB2750, we’d complain about it taking up a bit more desk space. However, the fact that it can accept the A3 puts it in a very different bracket. A4 sheets can be loaded into the tray in portrait orientation, which means the drawer doesn’t cling awkwardly, as is the case with most A4 printers. Or you can push the tray forward and fill it with 250 sheets of A3 paper. However, the scanner bed is limited to A4.

The J5330DW is an inkjet printer that sells for £190.80 (about $250, AU$325) and has four of its cartridges loaded through the front flap. The top half of the printer opens up to see the top of the printer and also plugs in the Ethernet and USB cables. Brother has mounted these ports on the inside, leading the wires from the back to the outside to prevent people from accidentally unplugging the cable.

As mentioned, there’s a 50-page ADF on the top of the machine for scanning or copy jobs, and a document feed tray on the back for envelopes, headed paper, and the like.

The control panel is relatively small, but still very user-friendly, with a color touchscreen. It swivels up for easy access, along with the hard button variety of numeric keypad.

Features

As a four-in-one MFP, this Brother offering can print, scan, copy and fax like a soldier. And as with most models aimed at small to medium business, it’s also well-featured with both Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity, the latter of which includes Wi-Fi Direct if you want a wireless connection without the inclusion of a router. want to make.

You can also use the excellent companion app to print and scan wirelessly from a mobile device. The Brother iPrint & Scan app is a free download for iOS and Android.

Printing speeds of up to 22 ppm (pages per minute) in mono or 20 ppm in color are claimed, though we found this MFP to be slower than that. However, it prints on both sides of the page, and a bonus feature you only get with the A3 printer is the ability to print A5 notebooks.

Being an inkjet model, you will commit to buying expensive cartridge refills for the rest of the life of the printer, but the cost is no worse than rival brands. The four colored inks dispense differently, so you’re not forced to replace the entire lot when one runs out, and if you buy the high-yield XL at £20.30 (about $26, AU$36). If you choose cartridges, you can print 1,500 pages.

setup and operation

When you first set up the Brother MFC-J5330DW, the touchscreen display walks you through a time-consuming step-by-step guide that includes entering the date, time, and Wi-Fi details. And after we fitted four ink cartridges, we were asked by the setup wizard to remove and reinsert them. Probably we messed it up somehow the first time.

The setup process is pretty thorough if nothing else, and involves printing a color test page to make sure the print heads are aligned correctly—which they were.

In operation, thanks to the logical touchscreen display, the MFC-J5330DW was pretty straightforward to use. It’s small at 2.7-inches, but we found that we could type Wi-Fi passwords without mashing up the tiny QWERTY keyboard.

The only problem we encountered while updating the firmware was that it wouldn’t work over Wi-Fi using the companion app. We had to attach an Ethernet cable and use the printer’s touchscreen interface to download and install it. And switching from Wi-Fi to a wired connection involved restarting the printer.

Display

Print quality is perfectly acceptable in mono, and in color, it produced better results than the similar-style Canon Maxify MB2750. Plain text appears in a bold pigmented black color with smooth characters and no sign of smudges or running. The ink looks bulky compared to laser printers, but it’s consistent.

Documents with color charts and illustrations are brought to life with bold ink, and are free from smudging or blocking the mess. It also does a good job of printing photos on photo paper. Inkjets aimed at the office don’t handle delicate shading as well as their consumer-friendly cousins, but these results managed to look both vibrant and quite natural.

However, we did not achieve the print speed quoted by the manufacturer. For us, the ‘first page out time’ (FPOT) was a little over six seconds long, and it took the best part of a minute to print an A4 photo. Consistent plain text pages were very close to the suggested 22 ppm and that’s probably where speed really gets the essence.

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