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Brother MFC-5895CW review



Our Score



  • Full-bleed A3 photos
  • Memory card slots including Compact Flash
  • Telescopic paper feed tray


  • Very slow photo prints
  • Paper misfeeds
  • Irritating beeps

Review Price £160.00

Key Features: A3 print; Widescreen colour LCD; Full fax facilities; 50-sheet ADF; USB/PictBridge socket

Manufacturer: Brother

Brother was the first company to introduce SOHO all-in-one inkjets which could handle paper as large as A3. This is one of its second generation of printers and it still offers this larger print format, but without the scan or copy functions to match; it only has an A4 scanner.

This reduces its flexibility, but also its size. Although it’s wider than a typical A4 all-in-one, it’s around the same depth, certainly when its paper tray is telescoped in. Both the tray and its cover extend, so if you only print A3 occasionally, you can keep the tray small most of the time, when it’s completely contained within the printer’s body.

Brother MFC-5895CW Front

You have to use the same tray for everything, from 15 x 10cm photos up to A3 pages and readjusting the paper stops can be a bit tedious, if you regularly switch sizes. Printed pages end up on top of the paper tray lid, which has a fold-up end stop.

The control panel includes one of Brother’s 82mm widescreen LCDs, which we’re surprised other companies haven’t adopted, as they give a lot more room for display and are particularly useful when selecting photos for print. There’s a number pad and six speed-dial buttons for fax numbers and a strip along the front includes memory card slots and a USB/Pictbridge socket.

Brother MFC-5895CW Control Panel

There are some irritating idiosyncrasies in the way the machine works. Take the phone book; if you select this by mistake and want to escape, you soon discover there are only three keys on the keyboard which don’t produce an annoying error triple-beep. There’s nothing on screen to tell you how to back out and the Back key just beeps. It’s the Stop/Exit key which does it, reserved on most printers for cancelling a scan or copy job.

Also, if you switch the machine off, even when it’s in standby mode, it returns to standby when the power’s restored, which isn’t usually what you want.

The four ink cartridges slot in behind a cover next to the paper tray, which is the only physical installation required. Software support includes Nuance PaperPort 11SE as well as Brother’s own MFL-Pro Suite and drivers for Windows and OS X. Linux users can also download a driver.

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June 26, 2011, 8:29 pm

I noticed that in the base review you did not mention the ink capacity. I did find it in the speed and cost area. I do have an issue with any product being capable of printing A3 not having enough ink/toner to print A3 even in small quantities, as A3 is approximately twice the size of A4. The inks should have at least a rated yield of 4,000 to 5,000 pages (based on A4 size); otherwise why even have the capability of printing A3 at all. The ink cartridges for this unit with high capacity would not last very long if one were to print general signage / banners on A3, and for photos using the high capacity cartridges you will probably only get a hand full or so pages before the cartridges would run out. This does not include the potential issue of the cartridges drying out, become clogged and evaporating or due to cleaning cycles using even more ink.

Is there anything we consumers / end users can do about the sometimes unattainable, misleading and in my opinion down right fraudulent clams about print / copy speed ratings stated by the manufactures on some of their inkjet / laser products. It seems to me that they just throw darts at a dartboard to come up with these speed numbers. In some cases it is hyped beyond reality. I can understand 10 to 15 percent off of the speed rating but 50 to 80 percent off is down right unconscionable. Maybe trusted reviews can start by having some kind of simple vote survey by it's readers about speed ratings of their products in the real world compared to the manufactures stated speed ratings of the given unit.
Just a thought…

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