Brother claims speeds of 33ppm for black and 27ppm for colour prints from the MFC-J825DW. While these may well be draft speeds, they're still nearly three times higher than those we saw. Our five-page black text print produced 7.7ppm and the longer, 20-page document gave 9.0ppm. A draft five-page document returned 11.1ppm.
The speeds are all more than respectable for an inkjet in this class and will be the envy of many competitors, so why does Brother feel the need to hype them further? The machine also prints duplex and our 20-side/10-page document gave 4ppm, again a very reasonable result.
A single page colour copy took just 17s, though a five-page, black text copy through the ADF took 1:16, which isn't as impressive. 15 x 10cm photos took from 36s to 1:05, depending on source.
Print quality is no better than OK, with fuzziness to black text when you look at all closely. The draft font is very different from the normal one and is dotty enough that you’ll want to reserve it for internal documents. Duplex pages suffer none of the size reduction some other machines show, when compared with single-sided pages.
Colour graphics, while smooth and showing no banding, are a little light in hue and this is much worse with a colour copy, when bright colours start to look really washed out. Photo prints also come through looking slightly insipid.
The four ink cartridges the machine uses are available in two capacities and using the higher yield versions gives running costs of 3.8p for a black page and 9.4p for a colour one, both including 0.7p for paper. These costs are respectable and broadly in line with other machines in the £100-£150 price bracket.
You can't fault Brother for the facilities offered by the MFC-J825DW: duplex print, direct CD/DVD print and easy print and scan from a mobile device are all very welcome. Photo printing is still fiddly, though and the main concern is print quality, which is not as good as from most of the machine's main rivals.