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Brother MFC-J6520DW Review - Performance and Verdict Review


Brother MFC-J6520DW – Print Speeds

Brother claims speeds of 22ppm for mono print and 20ppm for colour on the MFC-J6520DW, both of which we find over-enthusiastic. Our 5-page text print gave a speed of 8.1ppm, which increased to 9.4ppm in draft mode. The 20-page document gave 11.8ppm, still only just over half the claimed speed.

The printer takes quite a while before starting a job, up to 30 seconds, and this largely accounts for the speed differences we saw, as we include this time in our measurements. Duplex print is standard on the machine and the 20-page document printed as 10 duplex pages gave a speed of 5.7 sides per minute.

A five-page text and colour graphics print gave 6.5ppm and the machine was still pushing out nearly 4.5 pages per minute at A3. 15 x 10 cm photos took around 1 minute 10 seconds and a full A3 photo completed in just over 4 minutes. All these speeds are very reasonable from a budget device like this.
Brother MFC-J6520DW - Open
Paper feeding can be a bit difficult. Trying to feed Brother’s own A3 glossy paper resulted in misfeeds when feeding a sheet from the main tray or the single sheet feed, or putting a glossy sheet on top of a stack of plain paper in the tray. Also, if you change the size of the paper in the tray, you have to manually update the status from the printer’s control panel.

Brother MFC-J6520DW – Print Quality and Costs

Plain paper print quality is pretty good, with little obvious ink spread on mono text – though it could be blacker – and good, bold colours in office graphics. Photo prints are also fine, more than acceptable for general home and home office use. The new engine in Brother’s recent A3 and occasional A3 printers gives noticeably better prints than before.
Brother MFC-J6520DW - Cartridges
Running costs are very low. Using the high capacity cartridges, we calculate a mono, A4 page cost of 1.8p and a colour one of 5.6p, including 0.7p for paper. These are better than you’ll see from many A4 machines in the price range and heaps better than from any laser.

Should I buy a Brother MFC-J6520DW?

There’s little competition in this price range for an A3 multifunction. Canon has no A3 all-in-one and Epson, which has just introduced some A3 WorkForce Pro machines, starts them at £100 more than this Brother. Although HP’s slightly long-in-the-tooth, £124 Officejet 7500A can print up to A3, it only scans A4, and the Officejet 7610, which does both, costs £200.


Brother has built a very good budget A3 all-in-one, but there are a few rough edges it should sort out. Paper feeding can be irregular and there’s no automatic paper size detection. Paper feed is also noisy, up to 70dBA peak at 0.5m. However, if you can live with this, you get A3 copying, duplex A3 printing, low running costs, fax, photo card slots and wireless print for under £150. Great value.

Next, read more Printer Reviews or check out our Which printer is best for me? feature.

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