Many printer companies have been caught up in the spiralling hype of print speeds, but Brother is among the worst for exaggeration. It claims speeds of 35ppm for black and 28ppm for colour, both in fast draft mode. However, when we printed our five-page draft document, we only saw 9.1ppm, less than a third of the rated speed. In normal mode, the printer managed 3.1ppm in black and 2.6ppm in colour, around a tenth of the claimed speeds.
Scans and copies are easy to set up and execute, and the quality of scans at the 1,200dpi resolution is acceptable for small office use, though photos suffer from some colour distortions. This is also visible in photocopies, which come through much paler than the originals from which they’re taken.
Black text prints are OK, though even to the naked eye you can see rough edges caused by ink soaking into the paper. This is more noticeable with bold characters. Fast mode text, effectively draft, is paler but still quite well formed.
Our initial black text and colour graphic prints showed quite a bit of banding and the colours looked very muddy. A full clean of the colour heads, particularly the yellow, sorted this out, but given this was a brand-new machine and not one that had done a round of reviews, we remained disappointed. After cleaning, photos came out bright and well-balanced, though shadowed areas were over-dark.
The MFC-J615W can only take standard yield cartridges, giving running costs of 2.4p for black and 9.2p the colour, at the best cartridge prices we could find on the Internet. The black cost is reasonable for this class of machine, though the colour is a little high in comparison with some of its rivals.
This is another workable all-in-one from Brother and offers a similar value proposition to many other machines in its inkjet range. However, there’s little obvious improvement in speed, print quality or feature set over what has gone before and it would be good to see some innovation in Brother’s new models. It looks pricey against some of its competitors, too.