Brother Brings NFC Printing to Small Businesses

Brother focuses on small business collaboration and productivity, a fact that is reflected in a steady stream of product releases.

On the heels of the OmniJoin launch, the company’s Web-conferencing-in-a-box product, Brother recently announced the new Work Smart MFC-J870dw multifunction inkjet printer. Not only does it sport a sleek and modern design, the all-in-one also includes a first-of-its-kind feature that opens up new printing options for people who use mobile devices.

Print From Mobile Devices

Walk up to a Work Smart MFC-J870dw printer, and you’ll notice a curious icon etched into the panel under the Brother logo. It’s an invitation to tap your NFC-capable mobile device to print and scan.

Short for Near Field Communication, NFC is a radio communications standard that allows devices to transfer data and complete transactions, including payments in some cases. Several mobile handsets include NFC chips, including Samsung’s popular Android-powered Galaxy S4 smartphone.

According to Marie Le, Brother’s director of marketing for color inkjet products, the company claims a “world’s first” by bringing the technology to a SOHO multifunction printer.

During an in-person demonstration, Le showed how the combination of an Android phone with NFC, Brother’s iPrint & Scan mobile app and the MFC-J870dw lets people “touch to connect,” giving them access to the printer’s printing and scanning capabilities without logging into the local Wi-Fi network.

No NFC? No problem. The MFC-J870dw also supports Wi-Fi Direct printing, which essentially establishes a direct, ad-hoc connection with mobile devices over the ubiquitous Wi-Fi standard. Similarly, the printer does away with the hunt for a USB cable during initial setup. A new Wireless Assistant walks you through the steps of getting the printer connected to a network over Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n)—no PC required. The printer includes an Ethernet port for wired network setups.

The Brother printer also supports Google Cloud Print and Cortado Workplace, which extends your mobile device wireless printing options. The cloud-savvy hardware can also connect to Facebook, Picasa Web Albums, Flickr, Google Drive, Evernote, Box and SkyDrive.

On the front of the device sits a 2.7-inch touch-screen display and a context-sensitive TouchPanel, which lights up the only keys required to complete a task. As a result, scans and print jobs become guided and streamlined activities. Customizable profiles, up to 12 of them, turn frequent, multi-step tasks into quick-access shortcuts.

Fast Mode delivers up to 33 pages per minutes (ppm) using black ink and 27ppm in color. Otherwise, the printer churns out pages at a rate of 12ppm in black and 10ppm in color. An Ink Save Mode, four cartridge ink system and available high-yield inks help small businesses keep ink costs in check.

Taken altogether, the MFC-J870dw blends mobile connectivity, ease of use and affordability to offer small businesses flexible printing, scanning and collaboration platform said Le. “It gives the connected user the ability to easily print and scan from every device,” she told Small Business Computing.

The Brother MFC-J870dw multifunction printer is available now for $149.99.

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

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