Brother rates the MFC-J5910DW at 35ppm for black and 27ppm for colour. Even if they’re for draft mode, these are silly figures. Our 5-page black text print gave 7.3ppm and the 20-page print only increased this to 9.1ppm. The black text and colour graphics document printed at 4.7ppm.
These tests are all run with A4 documents and when we printed a 5-page A3 text and colour graphics test, we saw 2.3ppm. The machine also produces automatic duplex pages but, unlike Epson, which has recently removed most of the ink dry time from its duplex prints, there's still quite a bit of ink drying here, with a speed of just 3.7ppm.
A colour copy took 18s and a five-page black text copy completed in 1:17, both of which are reasonable speeds. 15 x 10cm photos took around 1:14 at regular quality, rising to 2 min at best quality.
Judging from the many Brother inkjet all-in-ones we’ve tested, the company is going to have to re-engineer its piezo-electric print engine to get more than fair print quality from its machines. While black print is reasonably clear, it has noticeable spikes around characters, where the ink has run along the paper fibres. This is more obvious when the text is over a coloured background.
Colours are more insipid than on other, similarly-priced printers, too. Compared, for example, with the HP Photosmart 7510, there’s less ink in areas of colour fill and even reversed type appears to have a dark grey, rather than black, background.
Photos prints are fine, with good colours, smooth transitions and adequate detail, though some elements are lost in shadowed areas.
Two different cartridge capacities are available, with the XL cartridges giving impressively low running costs. We calculate an A4, ISO, black page should cost 1.8p, with a colour one coming in at 5.3p. If you can afford the high-capacity cartridges, these costs mean that even A3 pages will come out very economically.
The ability to print A3 pages can be a very useful feature of a home or small office all-in-one. The Brother MFC-J9510DW adds this to other good features like wireless connection – including phone and tablet print – duplex print, a useful ADF and fax capability. Shame it’s print quality isn’t better, though.