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Brother’s stated desire to get into the workgroup printer and multifunction market has been well realised with its new range of machines. At the top of these, the MFC-9970CDW is a multifunction with all the trimmings.
This printer’s most obvious differences from those lower down the range are its 130mm touchscreen and its 20-button quick-dial fax pad. Between them, these two components take up two thirds of the machine's control panel and the touchscreen is sensitive and positive to the touch.
Large, easy to read icons and well-designed menus make it easy to access features such as secure print and direct print from the front panel USB socket. The other third is made up with a number pad, illuminated mode buttons and others to start and stop jobs.
The A4 scanner, complete with 50-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF), has a fold-shut paper feed and a full duplex scanner head, so it can copy any combination of single and double-sided pages.
Even though the machine is intended for busy office environments, the main paper tray can still only take 250 sheets. There's a pull-down, 50-sheet multipurpose tray fitted as standard and a second, 250-sheet tray is available as an option, but it still seems a little under-specced.
As well as USB and 10/100 Ethernet, the MFC-9970CDW supports wireless connection and automatic setup through systems such as Buffalo Technologies' AOSS (AirStation One-Touch Secure System). Drivers for Windows and OS X are provided and Linux support is also available from the Brother website. A full copy of Nuance PaperPort 12 is provided for Windows users.
The four toner cartridges are supplied pre-installed, though you have to remove plastic packing pieces and tapes before running the machine. Separate drums, as well as a transfer belt and waste toner unit are all separate consumables.