This Brother All-in-One is more all-in-one than most. Although it has a footprint not much bigger than an A3 sheet of paper, it can print, scan, copy, fax, download your digital photos, answer the phone and make you a nice cup of camomile tea. OK, the tea’s just on our wish list, but all the other tasks are within the compass of the MFC-620CN.
The low-profile, grey and silver case starts with a flatbed scanner, with a similarly low-profile automatic document feeder (ADF) built into its lid. In front of this is a comprehensive control panel, including a number pad for fax dialling and a 16-character, two-line, backlit LCD display with a four-way touch disc to control menu options.
Directly in front of the LCD display are four buttons for the main functions of photo capture, copy, fax and scan and in addition, down the right-hand side are single function buttons for colour and mono copies and job cancel.
Paper feeds from a removable cartridge that slides in from the front of the device – this is different from earlier Brother multifunction machines which fed paper from a vertical tray at the rear. The paper makes a 180 degree turn to eject directly on top of the cartridge at the front, using a pull-out paper support to hold printed pages.
There's a 5-in-1 memory card reader fitted under the front lip of the control panel, which can be used for uploading images to your PC, or for printing them out directly.
At the rear of the left-hand side panel is a mains socket and separate connections for the phone line cable and a handset – not supplied. USB 2.0 and 10/100 Ethernet connections are also available but, unusually, they’re inside the machine. You have to hinge the scanner unit up to the left to reveal them and feed the cables round from the rear of the device.
You need to lift the scanner unit up to access the ink cartridges, too. The Brother machine uses permanent print heads and the easy-to-fit cartridges supply only ink. This does mean a good few cleaning cycles, particularly if you use the MFC-620CN irregularly.
A software suite is supplied on CD and includes an OCR utility, full fax support and a network administration utility. There’s also a copy of Paperport 9SE.
Text print quality on plain paper is fair, though there's some ink spread into the paper nap and curves and diagonal edges are not that smooth. Graphic colours are bright and well saturated, though there was some speckle in areas of solid colour.