Brother MFC-9970CDW review
A colour laser MFP with plenty of features, but it’s let down by slow colour speeds and poor quality
Review Date: 9 May 2012
Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell
Price when reviewed: £701 (£841 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
The MFC-9970CDW is Brother’s flagship colour laser MFP, aimed at workgroups of up to ten users. This compact unit will sit on a desk, yet claims print speeds of 28ppm in colour. It includes automatic duplexing, has an intuitive 5in colour touchscreen, and it’s also 802.11g Wi-Fi-ready.
The web interface could do with an update, but in time we could add users, create fax speed-dial lists and use the Secure Lock feature to restrict user access to various functions.
Scans can be directed to a local USB stick, an email address, the printer, an FTP server or a CIFS share, and for the latter two you can create up to eight profiles. Files can be printed from a USB device, but it would only recognise PDF, JPEG and TIFF files.
Brother bundles good software, with ControlCenter4 providing tools for accessing copy, scan, OCR and fax functions direct from the desktop, and Nuance PaperPort 12 SE for scanning and managing documents.
Performance is a real mixed bag, though. After a ten-second wait for the first page, our basic 28-page print took less than a minute, but colour printing was slow, with our 24-page DTP-style document averaging a worrying 9ppm at both 600dpi and the interpolated 2,400dpi.
Print quality varied, too. Although text was clean and sharp, mono photos suffered from poor detail in darker areas, colour prints lacked vibrancy, and banding was noticeable at the higher resolution.
Finally, there are three capacities of toner cartridge. With the standard cartridges mono and colour pages cost 2p and 12p, dropping to 1.5p and 7.5p with the 6,000-page alternatives.
The MFC-9970CDW offers plenty for the price – and low running costs. Brother was voted the best printer vendor in PC Pro’s Excellence Awards 2011, but for this particular printer we can’t overlook the poor quality and colour speeds.
Author: Dave Mitchell
- Microsoft patches TIFF flaw in next Patch Tuesday
- Microsoft expands encryption over NSA spying "threat"
- UK Cloud Awards 2014: nominations now open
- BlackBerry says "we're still alive" as sales hit new low
- Has HP turned a corner?
- Adobe admits it's struggling to notify hack victims
- Microsoft rolls out Office 365 admin app for mobile
- Office 2013 Service Pack 1 to arrive early next year
- Backup the best defence against CryptoLocker
- UK SMBs can now buy ads on Twitter
- Play it again: Berlin's Computer Game Museum
- Switching from iPhone to Android: what I miss, what I don't
- Tech City: Easy to score when you move the goalposts
- How to remove SkyDrive from the Windows 8.1 Explorer
- Switching from iPhone to Android? Switch off iMessage
- Why is Google pumping more money into Firefox?
- Sky Broadband Shield review
- Samsung Galaxy S4: how to double your battery life
- Motorola Moto G review: first look
- IBM Watson meets Willy Wonka
- gTLDs: what your business should know about new domain names
- Can Microsoft survive? A look at servers and tools
- Can Microsoft survive? The future of Office
- A real-world guide to business VoIP
- Sack your PA: how to stay on top of your work life
- Power lies with the internet giants, not the governments
- Software subscriptions return us to a life of servitude
- How to get a job in cloud computing
- Are today's tech start-ups simply get-rich-quick schemes?
- Choosing the right tablet for business
- The importance of load balancing
- Windows Phone App Studio: an easy way to create your first Windows Phone 8 app
- The end of Windows XP support: what it really means for businesses
- Don't rely on Chrome's password vault
- Using Buffer to manage your social media
- Microsoft needs its own Steve Jobs
- Forget credit cards: hackers want your Facebook account
- Can't get fast enough broadband? Here's what to do
- Leap Motion and the battle against UI stagnation
- How to build a really bad network
There are dozens of exciting prizes up for grabs on PC Pro Competitions. All our competitions are free to enter. Try your luck.ENTER NOW