Hands-On Test Report, Photos, and Video: Another Outstanding A3 All-in-One from Brother, the INKvestment MFC-J5920dw

WC WYSK Outstanding Logo

“Don’t be put off by the $299.99 purchase price that is considerably more than its closest competitor, as the MFC-J5920dw’s Cost per ISO Page is less that half that of said competitor. This means that the premium that you pay up front will recouped as quickly as you print. In summary, this A3 All-in-One is more than suitable as the only printer for use in any home, office or micro-workgroup in companies that don’t require network user authentication or A3/Ledger scanning. ” – Terry Wirth

While it’s not a “true” large-format color inkjet All-in-One that can duplex-scan media and originals as large A3/11″x17″ (it has an A4/8.5″x14″ platen and its single-pass duplexing document feeder can only feed originals up to 8.5″x14″ in size), Brother’s new INKvestment MFC-J5920dw, which prints on media up to A3/11″x17″,  is an outstanding device in its own right. Like it’s recently tested sibling, the “true” large-format MFC-J6925dw, we found that it’s a remarkable device produced by the fine Japanese craftsmen at Brother.

Other things that distinguish it from its big brother is its matte black finish, rear-mounted 80-sheet multipurpose tray, and a smaller footprint. Of course, it shares the lowest ISO Cost per Page and Total Cost of Ownership for a cartridge-based printer in the industry, and its marketing and design leads us to think that the inkjet-printer “razor-and-blades” business model is likely on the way out. That is, it costs somewhat more ($299.99 MSRP) than similarly equipped printers , but its ink costs are so low that users should easily recoup its price premium within the lifetime of the unit and pay far less out-of-pocket for its high-yield ink cartridges.

Although our findings were the same as those for its tested big brother, we were nonetheless struck by the details and innovation throughout testing:

  • Re-packing instructions are printed on the flap of the shipping carton.
  • No tape (a first) and only a single insert to remove during setup and, unlike several recently tested units that had plenty of tape and inserts to remove, there  was no damage to either the shipping materials nor the test unit when we removed the materials.
  • A “Basic User Guide” printed in English only is provided (a rarity and varies by region), and it contains bleed-through chapterization indicators on its long edge.
  • Just like your copier from the days of yore, media is fed long-edge first, and originals can be positioned in either portrait or landscape orientation (a first for a desktop printer), thus maximizing productivity by 29 percent in theory while saving  desktop space.
  • A fast Duplexing Automatic Document Feeder (DADF) with single-pass duplex scanning can be folded closed-up for safety and aesthetics.
  • A touch panel/touch screen that can be adjusted to several angles for optimum viewing.
  • Media up to A3/11″x17″ in size can be fed from all three paper trays.
  • Local user authentication with function lock and user quotas.
  • Large ink cartridges that are easily accessed and serviced from the front of the unit.
  • Fax, LAN, and USB cables are routed internally for a clean appearance.

On the software side, software is of high quality and has a range of contemporary features:

  • Printer-fleet management capabilities with Brother’s BRAdmin management solutions (supplied), while BRPrint Auditor is available for managing locally connected devices.
  • A Printer Deployment Wizard is available.
  • No print drivers are required when remotely accessed from networked PCs.
  • Touch-screen shortcuts include scan settings that include network-folder destinations.
  • Robust cloud-based solutions.
  • Robust remote and mobile print and scan options.

The icing on the cake is the INKvestment advantage: the lowest black and color cost per page that we’ve seen from any non CISS (continuous ink supply system)-equipped desktop printer – only 1.2¢ for a black ISO page and 5.0¢ for a color ISO page.

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