Lauren Coley offered me a chance to review the Brother MFC-6490CW. It’s a very business like multifunction printer, scanner and fax. One thing caught my attention: 11″x17″ printing and scanning. So I said yes.
I tested this one a bit more than the other printers I’ve done, because the printer goes back to Brother as soon as I’m finished.
Most of the setup was no problem. The documentation is much more thorough that the average printer.
For reasons I cannot fathom, you connect the USB or Ethernet cable inside the printer. Seriously, you open the scanner deck, and there’s a little channel to route the cable up and into the machine. That’s a pain, and it eats up some of your available cable length.
And it’s big. Quite big. Bigger than you think. For a home office, I think it’s actually too big. For a small workgroup with an office, it’s just about right.
I couldn’t get it to recognize my home network with a direct ethernet cable to my router, so I went USB, which is supposed to be the fastest connection anyway. I also changed it over to wireless to test it, and the change over was relatively painless.
Like a big copier, this printer has two paper trays, so you can load two different types of paper, or just a whole bunch of paper all at once. That’s quite handy in a small office printer.
Text quality on plain paper is excellent, and the printable area is practically the whole darn page.
Photo quality is excellent. I’m sure it’s not professional photographer level, but for general business, it’s terrific. And with 11×17 capability, you can make all sorts of signs for your retail or show displays.
Copy quality is fine. Faxing also worked flawlessly. It handled a wide range of different paper sizes, with no problems.
I love the ability to print 11×17. That’s a huge bonus for small business.
All in all, it’s a great printer for small businesses that are just shy of needing a big dedicated copy machine.
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