Brother's MFC-J625DW is nothing if not feature-packed. In addition to offering printing, scanning and photocopying, this multifunction device includes duplex printing, an automatic document feeder, Wi-Fi support and a colour touchscreen. Currently you can buy it online for around £110.
The J625 has a large-ish footprint of 405x378mm, but the design is quite low-slung as the printer stands at just 180mm tall. The curved edges and black finish mean that it's easy on the eye while retaining a professional air.
There are some neat design touches too, such as the way the automatic document feeder is hidden out of the way until you flip-up the mid-part of the scanner lid -- something that gives this model a much neater look than most other multifunction devices.
The front panel includes dedicated buttons for the fax, copy, scan and photo printing features, as well as a numerical keypad for entering fax numbers.
It's also home to a flip-up touchscreen. This is a resistive display and isn't as bright or vivid as the one you'll find on the likes of Lexmark's S605 or Kodak's Hero 7.1, but it still makes it quick and easy to change the printer's settings. It's also handy for selecting shots that you want to print from memory keys plugged into its USB port or cards plugged into its memory card slot.
The J625 uses a cassette-style slot in the paper feeder. This can take up to 100 sheets of A4 paper, but it's also got a photo paper compartment, so you don’t have to unload your A4 sheets when you want to print snaps. You do, however, have to slide out the paper tray and manually push the photo tray to the front to switch to photo printing, which is a bit of a pain.
The printer uses a black cartridge and three separate colour cartridges. These slot into holders that are located on the front right, behind a small flip-out panel. They're very easy to install and once you've got them in place you can load up the various bits of software on your PC from the installation disc, including Nuance's PaperPort document management software.
The J625 has Wi-Fi onboard, and you can set up a Wi-Fi network directly from its touchscreen display and share the J625 with all the computers on your home network. Alternatively, you can connect it directly to a single PC via USB. Both methods are very easy to set up.
Scanning and copying
The scanner has an optical resolution of 1,200x2,400 pixels and produces good, but not spectacular, results. Colour accuracy isn’t bad, but scans can be a little lacking in detail. The scanner does have an automatic document feeder that accepts up to 20 sheets of paper at a time and allows you to fax multi-page documents without having to manually feed in each page.
This is a handy feature to have if you often need to fax longer documents. The scanner also helps the printer to be pretty speedy when it comes to photocopying. It took just 18 seconds to produce a black and white photocopy of our test page. The copy quality was very impressive too, as there was plenty of detail retained in the pictures, and the text kept its solid look.
Speed, quality and cost
The printer is very speedy when it comes to producing printouts. In fact, it was faster overall than Canon's rapid Pixma MX885, which costs around £40 more. It took just 1 minute nine seconds to print our 10-page black and white text document, and took 2 minutes four seconds to produce 10 copies of our colour graphics test sheet. Our 10-page business presentation in colour printed in a speedy 2 minutes 20 seconds.
Duplex printing was obviously slower, but still not that bad, at two minutes and 42 seconds for five double-sided pages of black text. Photo printing was a bit slower than competing models, though, as it took a full minute to produce a 4x6-inch snap.
Print quality was mixed. Text wasn't as clean as we would have liked, as there's some feathering visible around characters on the page. And while colours in graphics documents and our business presentation were strong and bold, some banding did rear its head on larger blocks of colours.
On the standard setting, colours in photos looked a little muted, but switching to the vivid setting in the driver brought them to the fore without over-egging them too much.
Printing costs are pretty good. A black and white page works out at 3.2p, including 0.7p for paper costs, when you use the high-capacity cartridges, while a colour page works out at 6.4p per page, including 0.7p for paper costs. That's more expensive than Kodak's printers, but similar to or less expensive than most other manufacturers.
Its print quality doesn't quite match similarly priced machines from HP and Canon, but Brother's MFC-J625DW boasts fast printing speeds and plenty of features.