Brother's DCP-J925DW packs in plenty of features, including Wi-Fi and Ethernet support, duplex printing, an automatic document feeder and direct printing to CDs or DVDs. Currently you can buy it from the Brother online store for £174.
The J925 looks very similar to Brother's other recent multifunction models in that it has a short and squat profile. This model has a slightly more premium design, however, in part thanks to a classy-looking swirly pattern that graces the two panels on either side of the automatic document feeder at the top.
It's also got a larger 8.3cm touchscreen that's mounted on a flip-up panel. This isn't quite as bright or vivid-looking as the touchscreens we've seen on other manufacturers' models, such as Kodak's Hero 7.1, but it's still responsive to the touch. That's a big help when you're trying to select photos to print from either the PictBridge-compatible USB port or the multi-format memory card reader that are both mounted on the front of the printer.
Brother has opted for a cassette-style paper tray and this can hold up to 100 sheets of A4 paper at a time. There's also a separate photo paper compartment. Yet unlike some other manufacturers' models, this photo paper try isn’t powered, so when you want to switch to photo printing you have to pull out the entire cassette and manually push a lever to engage the photo paper tray, which is a tad annoying.
Unlike the other models in the range, the J925 supports printing directly to the surface of CD, DVD or Blu-ray discs. There's a special plastic tray that you load your optical media onto and then feed into a slot above the paper out-tray.
The J925 can be used directly with your PC via USB or alternatively you can hook it into your network either via an Ethernet cable or by using Wi-Fi. No matter which option you choose, set-up is pretty easy, especially as the touchscreen has animated instructions for loading the paper tray and installing the ink cartridges.
Scanning and copying
The flatbed scanner has an automatic document feeder sitting on top. This can deal with up to 20 sheets at a time and is great when you need to scan multi-page documents. The scanner has an optical resolution of 2,400dpi and, though its overall quality isn’t bad, we did feel that some scans were a little lacking when it came to reproducing fine detail.
The scanner is fast to use for photocopying as the J925 managed to pump out a black and white photocopy of our test page in just 18 seconds. The resulting copy was of good quality too; there was plenty of detail retained in the pictures on the page and text looked sharp and inky.
Speed, quality and cost
There's no doubting that this is a speedy printer. It hammered out 10 pages of our black and white text document in just one minute and 12 seconds, while using its duplexer it took two minutes and 37 seconds to produce five double-side pages of text. Our 10-page colour business presentation was delivered in 2 minutes 20 seconds, while it took 2 minutes 4 seconds to print our 10-page graphics test. Photo printing isn’t quite so pacey, however, as it had to work on our 4x6inch snap for 58 seconds before spewing it into the paper tray.
It may have the speed, but the J925 loses out slightly when it comes to print quality. Black and white text looks a little light on the page and not as inky as it should. At the same time, the text tends to display slight feathering around the edges. Colour in graphics and photos also look a little muted and some banding creeps in on larger areas of colour fills.
As with Brother's other multifunction inkjet models, this one uses four inks: one black cartridge and three cartridges for colour. These are neatly housed behind a door on the front right of the J925. Thankfully, printing costs are relatively low. Using the high-capacity cartridge, a black and white page works out at 3.2p, including 0.7p for paper costs, and a colour page works out at 6.4p per page.
The J925 is a pretty decent all-rounder. It offers plenty of features for a reasonable outlay and benefits hugely from its speedy printing pace. We just wish its print quality was more refined.