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Brother DCP-6690CW - Wireless A3 Inkjet Printer review

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Our Score:

7

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Brother is currently the only manufacturer of inkjet all-in-ones capable of handling A3 as well as A4 paper. The larger paper size inevitably makes the DCP-6690CW a big machine, but Brother has done its best to keep the size down and offers some interesting extras, like a wide touchscreen interface, wireless connection and twin paper trays.

The machine looks like a medium-sized business photocopier, but with wider paper trays both for paper feed and the Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) on top. The high-gloss cover to the ADF folds open to provide paper support and scanned pages feed to the top of the scanner cover. The scanner flatbed is A3 size, so the machine has full A3 scan and copy facilities as well as A3 print.

The control panel is remarkably free of buttons, partly because this machine has no fax facilities, but mainly because of its widescreen, touch-sensitive LCD panel. The touchscreen is easy to use and positive to the touch, with a beeped response to each virtual button-press. Physical buttons are restricted to mode selection and starting and stopping copy jobs.

Along the top lip of the front panel are slots for memory cards, unusually including CompactFlash, and a socket for PictBridge and USB drives. This is a pretty comprehensive set and enables direct print and upload of images to a PC.

The two large paper trays in the front of the machine are both expandable. This means if you only occasionally print or copy A3 pages, you can leave the trays closed in their A4 position and save quite a bit of desk real estate. Both the trays and their covers are telescopic.

In Brother’s usual quaint way, the USB and Ethernet sockets are fitted deep inside the machine, so you have to hinge the scanner section up and reeve the cables round to reach them. This is awkward when setting up or moving the machine, so most people will probably choose the wireless connection.

It’s best to handle wireless setup as a two-stage process: start by running the Wizard from the touchscreen of the DCP-6690CW and get it to find the right network and connect by entering a passcode as necessary. You then run setup on the PC and install the drivers. Brother supplies a copy of Paperport 11SE as well as its own MFL-Pro scanning software. Drivers are provided for Windows and OS X and Linux drivers can be downloaded from the Brother Solutions Center.

oldsol

September 14, 2011, 5:41 am

One of the most frustrating printers I have ever used. using tray2 it cannot print anything other than plain paper A3 and that will jam on a regular basis. The A4 is OK but be wary of trying to print with glossy paper. It picks up two or three sheets or does not pick up at all. I use a piece of paper glued to a glossy cover sheet and have a tab I can hold to stop it eating the whole thing. It just takes too long to set this stuff up and the limitation on A3 80gsm is a total have. Print quality is good enough and scanning works OK. Wireless is OK when it goes. If you are paying someone to use this in an office you will lose a lot of money. As I said very frustrating, do not bother.

avrilmacwynne

November 14, 2011, 8:33 pm

Not a bad price but not economical on print output. I am certain the ink does not output ANTHING like its claims, and I have been using so-called high yield inks and have to replace them frequently. The colour quality looks ok tho I have had trouble getting BLACK black. The tray feeds are dodgy - sometimes working, sometimes not - so put two sheets in as suggested in the A3 tray and then frustratingly two might feed through. The tray default seems to have a mind of its own which means that what you think might be a default in paper size (documents at A4 for example) changes, which means having to go to the document page set up to change. Much more efficient (!) to check it before attempting to print. I will not automatically update with Brother. Having said that the UK helpline people WERE helpful and patient on MANY occasions

avrilmacwynne

November 14, 2011, 8:38 pm

I should add that the top commenter may be unaware that when changing paper size the paper preference MUST be changed in the printer properties dialogue box - it is the act of changing that box which changes the tray and allows printing with all kinds of paper such as transparency, photo paper, inkjet. However the printer dialogue box is not specific enough about the very wide range of inkjet paper now available. Artists would appreciate more info eg Bockingford Inkjet Watercolour is that photo paper or inkjet paper. I have been printing by nominating inkjet. PS the artists market is one that is huge and untapped.

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