Brother MFC-J6510DW review
Massively improved print speed and quality, and very low running costs. The scanner isn’t perfect, but it’s a superb deal
Brother is alone in actively pushing A3 all-in-one inkjets, which has given its existing range several years of success, despite some flaws. Rather than rushing out more models to capitalise, Brother has instead taken the time to fix those weak points for this update.
On test we have the cheapest of three new models, the Brother MFC-J6510DW. For £192 exc VAT it offers 802.11n Wi-Fi, Ethernet and USB connections, a 250-sheet input tray and 35-page ADF, plus full fax capability. Best of all, it will scan and copy at (or enlarge to) A3 size. This makes it a bit of a beast – you’ll need a 540 x 489mm area on your desk to house it – but you’ll soon forget that as you put it to work.
That’s because Brother has made monumental improvements to its A3 print engine. Gone are the crawling 5ppm mono and 2ppm colour prints; the MFC-J6510DW churned out text at rates of 11ppm and 7.5ppm respectively. It produced a best-quality photo in one minute at 6 x 4in, 1min 57secs at A4, and the all-important A3 photo rolled out in just 3mins 43secs. Compare that to over 17 minutes for the previous print engine.
Print quality is also greatly improved. Colours have tremendous vibrancy and real depth to shadows, gradients are perfectly smooth, and our only minor complaint was a tiny amount of speckling in solid areas of colour. As long as your photos are of a high enough resolution you won’t notice from a sensible viewing distance.
Documents look good rather than stellar, with a lack of depth to blacks and crispness to edges. And the scanner is similar, with a softness that reduces the impact of the vivid colour capture. This carries over to copies, giving text and images a slight fuzziness, but while far from outstanding, it’s acceptable next to all but the best-quality rivals. And it’s quick, taking just 19 seconds to scan an A3 photo at 300ppi.
There’s not a lot Brother can do about the sheer size of the MFC-J6510DW, but it could still do with a little design work. The 3in screen and menu system in particular feel clunky – if you can up your budget to the top-end model you’ll get a touchscreen to ease the pain. It’s also noisy, at times whirring and squeaking so much it sounds more like a Star Wars droid than a printer.
But they’re minor complaints that shouldn’t detract from an all-in-one that’s much improved. The purchase price is affordable, and if you shop around for the high-yield ink you can get running costs of just 1p for mono and 4.7p for colour. That’s very low, so if you have the desk space to fit it in your office this is about as good an A3 deal as you can get.
|Price ex VAT||£192|
|Price inc VAT||£230|
|Features & Design||6|
|Value for Money||5|
|Resolution printer final||6000 x 1200dpi|
|Integrated TFT screen?||yes|
|Rated/quoted print speed||35PPM|
|Maximum paper size||A3|
|Cost per A4 mono page||1.0p|
|Cost per A4 colour page||4.7p|
Power and noise
|Peak noise level||50.0dB(A)|
|Dimensions||540 x 489 x 257mm (WDH)|
|Peak power consumption||26W|
|Idle power consumption||4W|
|Copier rated mono speed||23cpm|
|Copier rated colour speed||20cpm|
|Fax page memory||400|
|6x4in photo print time||1min 1s|
|A4 photo print time||1min 57s|
|Mono print speed (measured)||11.1ppm|
|Colour print speed||7.5ppm|
|Input tray capacity||250 sheets|
|Output tray capacity||50 sheets|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Memory Stick reader||yes|
|Operating system Windows 7 supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows Vista supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows XP supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows 2000 supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows 98SE supported?||no|
|Other operating system support||Mac OS X 10.4.11 and above; Linux|