Brother's INKvestment MFP Lowers the Cost of Printing

By Pedro Hernandez | Posted May 19, 2016

Nothing derails an otherwise productive day like an empty ink cartridge interrupting an important print job. A last-minute dash to the local office supply store, not to mention the high cost of printer ink, compounds the misery.

"The cost of ink and the frequency at which [small business owners] replace ink are their two biggest pain points," Eric Dahl, director of marketing for Inkjet and SOHO Laser Products at Brother, told Small Business Computing. To alleviate the hurt, Brother released its latest multifunction printer to use Brother's high-capacity INKvestment Series ink cartridges, the MFC-J985DW.

Multifunction Printing Meets Hi-yield Ink

As model numbers go, it's a mouthful, admitted Dahl. But for small office/home office (SOHO) environments that are keeping a watchful eye on their budgets, it's one worth remembering.

Available now in Brother's online store, as well as from the usual suspects—Amazon, Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot, and OfficeMax to name a few—the new all-in-one printer comes in two flavors. The stock MFC-J985DW ($199) comes with four high-yield INKvestment cartridges, enough to print 2,400 black-and-white pages and 1,200 color pages.

The MFC-J985DW XL ($299) includes 12 ink cartridges, which should last most people two years, said Dahl. In total, the MFC-J985DW XL ships with enough ink to print 7,200 pages in black-and white and 3,600 pages in color.

Of course, those cartridges will eventually run out, and when they do, owners of Brother's new multifunction inkjet printers can expect to pay less at the register, said Dahl.

Small business multifunction printer: Brother MFC-J985DW

More Ink, Less Spend, Full Function

A single INKvestment black cartridge costs less than $25 and produces approximately 2,400 pages. In contrast, said Dahl, competitors typically charge $35 to $48 for a comparable amount of printer ink. Another way of looking at INKvestment's money-saving impact is in terms of cost-per-page.

"You can print for less than a penny per page in black, and for less than a nickel per page in color," Dahl said.

Brother's newer high-yield cartridges are physically larger than typical inkjet cartridges, which lets them hold more ink. INKvestment cartridges contain "the same genuine ink," as found in all Brother ink cartridges, Dahl assured. "We didn't water it down or do anything like that."

Clever engineering let Brother keep the MFC-J985DW's dimensions tidy and desktop-friendly, despite the super-sized ink cartridges, Dahl said. The printer is "only an inch wider" than preceding models. At 18.3 pounds, the MFC-J985DW measures 19.6-inches wide by 9.8-inches deep by 18-inches tall.

Apart from the amount of ink included in the box, both the MFC-J985DW and MFC-J985DW XL are functionally identical. The XL version simply has a separate stock keeping unit (SKU) indicating the addition of extra ink.

Both of these multifunction inkjets print, copy, scan, and fax. Running at full tilt, they can pump out 12 black-and-white documents per minute or 10 color pages per minute. At 6,000 x 1,200 dots per inch (DPI), the printers produce crisp text and detailed images.

The MFC-J985DW features automatic duplex printing, a 100-page tray, and a single-page bypass for cardstock and envelopes. A 20-page automatic document feeder (ADF) sits atop the MFC-J985DW to make brisk work of multi-document copy and scan jobs.

The multifunction printer can capture documents and photos at resolutions of 2,400 x 1,200 DPI (using the flatbed scanner) or 600 x 1,200 DPI using the automatic document feeder. You can elect to "scan-to" Brother's cloud application suite, email, memory cards, a USB drive, or directly to cloud storage services including Google Drive, Dropbox, and Evernote.

In terms of mobile printing, the MFC-J985DW supports Wi-Fi Direct, AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, near-field communications (NFC) for Android devices, and Brother's own iPrint&Scan mobile app. A 2.7-inch touchscreen provides access to most of the printer's functions and settings with a finger tap or two.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Small Business Computing. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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