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Brother MFC-5895CW - Performance and Verdict

By Simon Williams

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

6

Brother rates the MFC-5895CW at 35ppm printing black and 28ppm printing colour. We presume these are draft speeds but, even so, they’re very optimistic. Under test, we saw a maximum draft speed of 8.6ppm and normal mode speeds vary between 4.0ppm on shorter, black text documents, and 4.4ppm on longer ones. These are both slow, in comparison with rival machines.

Things aren’t much better printing colour, with an A4 speed of 2.6ppm and an A3 speed of 1.7ppm. Compare these with 4.2ppm and 2.7ppm from the HP Officejet 7500A and you see this is a printer around 60 percent slower.

There’s no respite when it comes to photo printing, either. 15 x 10cm prints took around 1:40, which is OK though not speedy, but when it comes to an A3 photo - one reason you would choose an A3 printer - it took 14:27, one of the longest times we’ve seen for any printer. This really is a slow print engine, particularly when it comes to large paper sizes. We also saw paper misfeeds on both our standard multiuse paper and on Brother’s glossy photo paper – unusual with a new printer.

Brother MFC-5895CW Control Panel

Black print looks a little fuzzy, particularly on emboldened text, but is serviceable enough. Draft print is a lot fainter than normal mode, but may still be useful for…well, drafts. Colour print on plain paper is rather insipid and even more so on a colour copy. Photo prints, though, are above average in Photo print mode, though there’s better dark area detail in the much slower, Highest quality.

The four ink cartridges are available in two capacities and using the high-yield versions gives page costs of 2.8p for black and 6.7p for colour. These are reasonable figures, not best-of-class, but costs you should be able to live with.

Brother MFC-5895CW Ink Cartridges

Verdict

While Brother’s MFC-5895CW offers most of the features you might want from a small and home office all-in-one; print, scan, copy, fax and photo download, it doesn’t excel at them. In particular, A3 photo prints are slow enough to make them impractical in some circumstances. It feels as if the print engine needs a revamp to be up with the competition.

jake120

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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