Brother's Latest Office A3 MFP 

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The Brother MFC-J6510DW all-in-one multifunction printer, copier, scanner and fax is an important machine in the company’s professional MFP range. Its ability to handle A3 size documents which, although not an everyday requirement, is a feature which many offices would find extremely useful.

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As can be expected of a machine which can handle A3-sized documents, it is quite large. It weighs 15.8kg and needs 590mm of desk space and is 489mm front/back depth. This increases to 690mm when the paper tray is loaded with A3 paper and so projects forward. Nevertheless, with its black finish, it blends easily into an office environment.

As well as USB 2, it has 10/100 Ethernet and IEEE 802.11b/g/n wireless interfaces so that it provides a full range of business connectivity. In addition also supports PictBridge and so one can print photos directly from a memory card or USB stick even when the printer is not connected to the computer.

Installing the software on a PC was straightforward as was installing the four ink cartridges. It is claimed that the XL cartridges offer Brother’s highest ink yield and thus offers a reduced cost per page

There is an 8.3cm LCD screen which is used when selecting the various printing and other options. These included mono or colour, various grades of paper and qualities of print, single-sided or duplex as well as paper sizes up to A3 plus, viewing photo images on the memory cards. However there is only one paper tray, plus the single sheet manual input slot. This is perfectly adequate when just the odd one or two prints or copies of a different size are required even though it is not easy to ensure that there is no skew on the paper as it feeds though. However, it will be inconvenient where larger quantities of different sized prints are required.

When copying or faxing, originals are usually placed in the automatic document feeder (ADF) which has a capacity of about 35 sheets. However, books or very heavy or flimsy originals to be copied should be placed on the glass platen as should double-sided originals for double-sided (duplex) copying. Having set up the appropriate options, including paper size, enlargement/reduction, and number of copies one just has to press the appropriate colour or mono ‘start’ button.

I did not measure the speed as it seemed to me that, overall, quality would be more important and, in use I found the print quality was very satisfactory for both mono and colour including A4 colour photocopying colour photographs even though, as one would expect there was a certain degradation in quality.

The optical scan resolution ‘on the glass’ is 2,400 x 2,400 and 2,400 x 1,200 d.p.i. when using the ADF although interpolated resolution settings of up to 19,200 x 19,200 can be selected.

Documents can be scanned (typically at 200 d.p.i.) and then faxed in the conventional way or, alternatively, there is the PC fax option. This is installed as a printer driver when the Brother software was installed.

I didn’t have time to try out the PaperPort SE software which was supplied with the MFC-J6510DW for turning paper documents into a digital form and organising them. Nevertheless, overall, I found that the MFC performed well as an office multi-function machine even though it would have been advantageous to have a second paper tray. Although some products may be found on the market doing similar jobs at prices noticeably lower than its £299.99 SRP (incl. VAT) it is a leading edge versatile product that is easy to use and consequently merits serious consideration.

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OverallBrother MFC-J6510 Multi-function A3 printer rated 80 out of 100

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