Brother has made quite a name for itself in producing budget, A3, inkjet all-in-ones, like this new MFC-J5910DW. The premium on larger format printers has always seemed excessive to us, when all you're looking at is a bit more plastic for the trays and a wider carriage for the print head. Here, though, there's little detectable premium at all.
The wider carriage does mean the whole printer needs to have a larger footprint, and this Brother machine in particularly with its Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) tray open, manages to look like a tank.
In this case, the ADF can take up to 35 sheets, though both it and the flatbed scanner are only A4 devices. The machine can print A3, but can only scan, copy and fax A4.
The simple, well-spaced control panel is centred on a touchscreen, though, perhaps to fit inside a tighter budget, the colour LCD occupies only half the panel, with seven, single-function touch buttons taking up the rest of the space. These buttons include three for programmable functions, so you can dedicate them to regularly used set-ups and run them with a single touch.
Other controls include a numeric pad for fax dialling and mode keys, including one for photo upload, which works in collaboration with the dual MemoryStick and SD card slots and the USB/PictBridge socket. The machine also works with Brother’s iPrint&Scan applet, which enables direct wireless print from iPhone, iPad and Android devices. It worked fine when tested with our Samsung Galaxy Mini.
At the bottom of the front panel is a single, 250-sheet paper tray, which can feed paper from 15 x 10cm up to A3 and can be opened out telescopically for the larger size, so keeping the footprint small if you normally print A4. It's a bit fiddly to change sizes and the tray feels flimsy, when removed from the machine.
Brother provides a good software bundle with the machine, which includes Nuance PaperPort document management, as well as the company's own multifunction suite. The four ink cartridges slide in from the front, behind a drop-down cover, as has now become traditional on its inkjets.