MFP Review: Big Printer Features for Small Business

You won’t find any hard and fast rules, but generally a business multifunction printer (MFP) possesses certain characteristics that differ from a machine designed for use at home. They’re also designed to withstand heavy use over time. These include print speed, duty cycle (the recommended volume of printing that you perform in a month), and ink or toner cartridge capacity.

In most cases, businesses print considerably more pages in a given period of time than average consumer printers do, and business people don’t want to stand around waiting for them or waste time frequently changing ink or toner or refilling paper trays. Brother designed its entire printer and MFP lineup with small businesses in mind, and their business-oriented capabilities generally fare well under scrutiny.

Finally, when discussing the capabilities of an MFP, a consumer model generally offers three functions—print, copy, and scan—while a business model such as Brother’s MFC-J6925dw (MSRP: $349.99) often adds a forth function, fax. 

Brother’s Out-of Box-Experience

Physically, the MFC-J6925dw is a large MFP that measures 21.8 x 17.0 x 12.2-inches and weighs in at a rather hefty 36.4 pounds. You won’t need a partner to unbox the unit or set it up, but it requires a fair amount of desk space. The MFP is actually larger in length and width at the top near the scanner and ADF than its footprint on your desk, which at 19 x 13.5 inches, is still a considerable amount of real estate.

Brother MFC-J925dw Multifunction Small Business Printer

The Brother MFC-J925dw Multifunction Printer for small business.

The reason for the size is that the MFP can print and scan pages up to 11 x 17 inches—generally labeled tabloid, or in European terminology, A3 size. The ability to print to this size paper lets you generate large spreadsheets or create four-page letter-size booklets by simply folding the 11 x 17-inch sheet in half.

In addition to the printer, the box includes a CD containing the software for Windows and Max OS, a Quick Setup Guide, a comprehensive 208-page user guide, and a telephone cord to hook up the fax. Brother’s software suite includes a copy of Nuance’s PaperPort 12SE document manager, which provides Windows users with a way to manage documents as well as scan them into PDF files. Mac users get a similar program called Presto PageManager. We noted that the included version of PaperPort (12 SE), is two revisions behind the current product, PaperPort 14.

You also get four ink cartridges in the box. Brother calls these INKvestment Series cartridges, as they have a higher page-print capacity than many printers from other vendors (as well as from Brother itself on other older models). The LC10EC, LC10EM, and LC10EY (Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow) cartridges each yield about 1,200 pages and cost about $15 each.

The LC10EB Black cartridge yields about 2,400 pages and costs $24, which provides an attractive cost per page. Brother claims a black page costs less than a penny to print, and printing a color page costs less than a nickel. We don’t test yield, but vendors use a standard test protocol to determine yield, and are usually pretty honest about these figures.

Printer Set Up: Quick and Easy

Setting up the MFC-J6925dw is easy. After plugging in the power cord (which is not detachable) and powering on the device, you insert the ink cartridges through a swing-away door on the right-front of the unit. The MFP has two paper drawers, one above the other on the front of the machines, as well as a rear paper input at the back of the MFP that opens up for heavier media.

Each of the paper feeds can handle media from 3.5 to 11-inches wide. Brother’s paper trays are a bit unusual. When using letter-size paper, you load it into the tray in landscape mode. Larger media, like tabloid size, requires that you extend the tray and load the paper in portrait orientation.

Each of the front trays accommodates 250 sheets of paper, which gives you a full ream available for a long print or copy job, or you can load different size paper into each of the trays. And each drawer has its own pull-out page output tray. Brother’s recommended monthly print volume ranges from 250 to 1,500 printed pages, which strikes us as quite reasonable.

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