Brother’s speed claims for the MFC-9320CW aren’t that outlandish, at 16ppm for both black and colour print. Under test, we got quite close, with our five-page text print producing 10ppm but the longer, 20-page test boosting that to 13.33ppm. The five-page text and colour graphics test recorded a slower 7.69ppm, however.
We copied a single, colour, A4 page in 33 seconds and a five-page, black text document from the ADF in just 30 seconds. Both these results are impressive and make the machine a useful photocopier, as well as a printer and scanner. There’s no duplex function on the machine, though instructions for manual duplexing are included.
Print quality is easily as good as an equivalent laser printer, with sharp, clean text print right down to small point sizes and clear, intense, solid colours for business graphics. Fills are smooth and bright and registration of black text over colour is very tight. A colour copy, while not quite as intense, still does pretty well at reproducing an original.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect is the quality of photos. While colours aren’t quite as natural as we’ve seen from some inkjets, with something of a yellow cast in some of our landscape shots, it’s still better than many lasers we’ve seen, particularly in terms of foreground detail. With a little work on the colours, this could be a really good vehicle for colour proofing.
The black and colour toner cartridges are available in just one capacity each: 2,200 pages for black and 1,400 pages for colour, but you also have to buy a separate drum unit, which has a service life of 15,000 pages. Working through the maths gives a cost per ISO black page of 3.65p and one for ISO colour of 14.21p, both including 0.7p for paper.
These costs are quite high with, for example, Brother’s own DCP-9045CDN producing equivalent figures of £3.17 and £10.81.
This machine shows that LED multifunctions can produce print easily up to the quality of equivalent lasers and do it with much simpler print mechanisms. Print costs from the MFC-9320CW are relatively high, though, which is a shame as it raises the total cost of ownership above that of some of its competitors. It’s a very feature-rich offering from Brother, but it’s not that cheap.
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