The Brother MFC-J6710DW offers 4-in-1 (print, scan, copy, fax) capabilities. It handles all of these on a variety of paper sizes up to to A3 (i.e., 11 x 17 inches or 297 x 420 mm). In our testing it all sizes of paper went through the printer with ease.
Black and white print quality was very good and the printer is fast with speeds up to 35 ppm black and 27 ppm color in the fastest mode. Color pages printed with the default settings were extremely washed out. To get good color representation you have to play with the settings including using the “Vivid” mode. If you do that, color pages and photos print with good color vibrancy and reproduction. You can even print borderless photos.
This printer has an excellent automatic duplexer for printing two-sided documents and you can use the duplexer even on the largest A3 paper. An auto document feeder holds up to 35 sheets and allows for unattended fax, scan or copy. When printing or copying multiple copies of multiple pages with the auto document feeder, you can elect to either sort or stack the documents – a nice feature.
This all-in-one has a front side USB port and front side slots for media cards, as seen in Figure 13. It can handle Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick Pro, Secure Digital, and Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC). The printer is PictBridge enabled. You can view, print, crop, or enhance photos right from the memory card. You can also create a slide show on the printers LCD and can scan directly to your media card.
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Figure 13: The external slots and ports
The scan, fax, and copy modes have good functionality. For copying, this includes many sizing options and the ability to copy both sides of the paper automatically. The fax capabilities are exceptional including the ability to view, enlarge, and reduce a fax.
For scanning this includes the ability to scan to a file, to a media card, network FTP, or to an image file. You can also scan directly to the default email on your computer or to OCR. Scanning to OCR in Windows put the text into Windows Notepad with very good results. You can also change many options in the software.
The software that controls the scanning and OCR is PaperPort SE with OCR by Nuance. Even though this is a lite version of PaperPort, it is excellent software for controlling and sorting your scans as well as changing formats and putting the scan through OCR to turn it into text. The Mac version includes Presto! PageManager for Mac.
If you purchase this printer, we suggest that you read the Software User’s Guide that is included in the CD and can also be found online. You will find the software very useful when you investigate all it can do. For Windows, there is also some additional software that you can install including BookScan & Whiteboard Suite that enhances and corrects scanned book images and FaceFilter Studio for enhancing photos.
Unfortunately, we had some paper jams when using this printer. Most of these resulted from not getting the paper loaded properly. Proper loading took a little effort. We found the paper trays a bit difficult to use. As shown in Figure 14, the cover of the paper tray fold back across the back half of the tray, but you cannot remove it. Depending on the size of the paper, sometimes this results in having to get fold the cover back and forth while trying to get the paper guides to their correct position. Fortunately, the tray has markings to guide you. Unfortunately, we still found this a bit difficult.
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Figure 14: The open paper tray
Also, you have to remember to pull out the paper guide to catch the paper as it ejects from the printer. As shown in Figure 15, this guide adds another 5-6” to a printer that is already monster-sized.
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Figure 15: The front paper guide
One very nice thing about this printer is that there are high yield and extras-high yield cartridges available. The extra-high yield cartridges are rated for 2,400 pages in black and 1,200 pages in color. The current cost at Staples is USD 31.99 and USD 19.49, respectively. This puts cost per page at 1.3 cents of US dollar for black and 1.6 cents of US dollar for color, which is very reasonable.
This brother comes with a three-year limited warranty and toll-free technical support for the life of the product. It was refreshing to find the Brother telephone number printed clearly on the first page of the User’s Guide. There is also 24/7 online help for the product.