Review Price £132.52
There's growing interest in inkjet all-in-ones that are able to handle A3 documents as well as A4 and Brother has several models that can do this, more or less. More or less because in this model, the MFC-5890CN, A3 support only extends to printing. The machine's scanner is an A4 unit, so A3 scans and copies are out.
As you might expect with the larger paper capacity, this is not a small machine. However, Brother has managed to style it so it doesn't take up a lot more desk space than a typical A4 unit. Running down from top to bottom, the machine has a fairly tall Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) on top, with a fold-out feed tray, which projects at a rakish angle when open.
Below that, at the front, is a sloped control panel with all the regular controls. From the left there are dedicated fax buttons, a number pad for dialling, the machine's LCD display, mode buttons, menu navigation and finally four buttons for mono and colour copying, job cancel and power save mode.
As is now quite common in Brother machines, the LCD display is double width, which is particularly helpful when printing from memory cards - all the common types are supported - as you can see a thumbnail of the image and a menu of options at the same time.
The single paper tray can hold 150 sheets of paper and has no single-sheet feed built-in, but does have an extendable base and top cover, so you only need to enlarge it when printing A3 paper. If most of your work is A4 or smaller, the tray doesn't project from the front of the MFC-5890CN at all.
Brother doesn't seem to have worked out yet where connecting sockets are conventionally positioned. The phone line and handset connectors are at the back of the left-hand side, next to the mains socket. USB and Ethernet sockets are tidier, but less convenient, as you have to hinge up the scanner section and reeve the cables through a channel to a position just behind the control panel, inside the machine.
The company does much better with the ink cartridges, all four of which slide in behind a flip-down cover to the right of the paper tray. A one-off charging cycle then has the machine ready for printing within a couple of minutes.
Bundled software includes Brother's MFL-Pro software suite, which handles scanning and uploading of images from memory cards, as well as printing and OCR, via Nuance PaperPort 11SE.