The Brother MFC-J835dw has been around for a while, but when I asked Brother Canada to send me a review unit of a small multifunction that’s available for a decent price and is perfect for small spaces (under $150 CAD), that’s the one they sent me.
Works for me.
I find that I use printers differently than I used to. In the past, I used printers for printing documents, sending faxes occasionally and scanning and copying. I also used to use them to print photos a lot, and had dedicated printers that I only used for printing photos.
Times have changed, and so have my needs. I no longer print photos and stick them in a photo album. I use iPhoto to create books from special photos like those from big trips. I also use iCloud to see my pictures on all my iDevices, and I use streaming to look at the photos on my computer, or even on my big screen TV.
The ink in the dedicated photo printers has long dried up and the printers recycled.
I virtually never send faxes any more, and I use dedicated scanners to deal with any documents I want to scan and convert to a PDF. If I need a high quality scan, I can run that through a scanner in seconds, so, you’re probably wondering why I would ask Brother to send me a economically priced multifunction?
It’s all about the way I use printers and multifunction devices now, and how many of the people I know use these devices.
I use them primarily as printers, and secondarily as copiers, and I’ll also use the scanner. If I were a University student, this multifunction would fit the bill for what I’d want in a device.
So, the MFC-J835DW suits my needs perfectly. It’s got a relatively small footprint, at 40.5cm W x 37.8cm D x 10cm H, and it weighs 9.3 kg. The duty cycle, or the maximum number of pages you can expect to be able to print on this device per month is rated at 2500 pages. That sounds like a lot, but the real number is their recommended monthly print volume of between 50-1000 pages.
The MFC-J835DW scans, faxes via PC, copies and, of course, prints. It works on an Ethernet network or via Wi-Fi. I never tried my unit via Ethernet – frankly, the kind of printer I want needs to be Wi-Fi and I need to be able to access from my iPhone or iPad – which Brother’s iPrint&Scan app offers.
Maximum paper size is legal (8.5” x 14”), and the paper trays will hold a maximum of 120 pages – and the MFC-J835DW duplexes automatically. That’s a biggie for me – I hate printers that don’t duplex automatically – I want to have type on both sides of a page unless I tell the printer not to do that.
The MFC-J835DW prints at a maximum resolution of 6000 x 1200, and it’ll shoot black and white pages out at 35 pages per minute (PPM), and colour pages at 27 PPM. It’ll work on a Mac or a PC. Copying works at 20 PPM in colour and 23 PPM in black and white, at a maximum copy resolution of 1200 x 1200 dpi. You can enlarge or reduce from 25% to 400%.
It’s got a terrific 3.3” LCD colour touchscreen you can use for setup (although it sets up quite nicely wirelessly) and for selecting pictures from a media card and you can even use it’s web connect feature to connect to your Facebook page.
You can print directly on a DVD, CD or Blu-ray disk, which is a nice feature, although not one I’d use very much.
I like the look of the MFC-J835DW as well – it’s glossy black plastic with a nice design on it.
Typical of most Brother inkjet printers I’ve tested out, the MFC-J835DW uses four cartridges – Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black, and they’re simple to access via a small door on the front of the device. The individual colour cartridges cost about $11 each, with the larger black one for about $13.
The MFC-J835DW is inexpensive, easy to set up, can duplex automatically, has a decent duty cycle, prints wirelessly and has inexpensive cartridges. What’s not to like?
So even if I don’t use all of the features available to me – like faxing and scanning or printing onto DVDs, I do make a ton of copies and like automatic duplexing and a speedy print cycle.
This MFC-J835DW is a nice little inexpensive multifunction device that’s perfect for a small computer room or a school dorm room.
PROS: inexpensive; decent print speed; easy wireless setup; great print quality; automatic duplexing; nice, small footprint.
CONS: hmm, the place I set my test version leaves me in the position to run into the paper tray (where the paper comes out), which isn’t robust, when it’s in, the pages end up on the floor.