Brother International (Aust) MFC-620CN

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Brother International (Aust) MFC-620CN

Pros

  • Small, good image output

Cons

  • Roller marks around the edge, lacks accurate photocopying

Bottom Line

A compact machine that produces some nice images but has minor quality problems in other areas.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 1 store)

Priced at $399, this unit is among the smallest MFCs we've seen, yet it packs a lot of features and versatility. It will print, scan, copy and fax documents, and uses Brother's new Capillary Tube printing system. This is the same system that can be found on the DCP-110C to minimise vibration and noise from the print head. Like the DCP-110C, however, this model still produced loud noise during paper movements and printing. The 620CN is a space saver: it has a relatively small footprint, a low profile, and its curved paper path means the input and output paper trays are located in the bottom of the unit and do not require long-reaching flaps for paper support.

The input tray can hold 100 sheets, and up to 25 sheets can rest in the output area. The unit has an automatic document feeder, which can be used for the fax machine, or for scanning in multi-page documents to your computer. This has an input capacity of 10 sheets.

Connectivity is by way of USB or 10/100 Ethernet ports, located under the lid of the unit. This eliminates the risk of cables becoming disconnected by accident.

Further convenience is added by the inclusion on the front panel of a card reader that accepts CompactFlash, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Secure Digital and xD-Picture Card formats.

During our tests, the 620CN produced excellent quality text and document output, and its photo output was also very good. But, like the Brother DCP-110C, this model produced consistent roller patterns at the right-hand edge of the images, possibly due to a characteristic of the paper output mechanism. Its photo output was relatively quick, though, with a full-page A4 image taking 6 minutes 48 seconds. Its text modes of fast, fast normal and fine produced text that varied in darkness at each level, with fast normal mode producing acceptable output, but fast mode output was a bit difficult to read due to low quality and sometimes disjointed characters.

Like the DCP-110C, the scanner in this unit struggled to produce some of the finer details of our test images, especially the greyscale ones. In addition, its TWAIN driver does not have an expansive feature set and lacks features such as descreening. Patterns from our source material were noticeable in all the scans we completed.

The machine also struggled to produce accurate photocopies, as it produced colours slightly darker than our original photo document and, in particular, struggled with browns and greys. Full colour photocopies were quick--ours took only 2 minutes 19 seconds. It did do a fairly good job at reproducing text documents, although the text turned out to be slightly muddy.

The MFC-620CN has simple-to-use control buttons and an easy-to-navigate menu system. Changing settings and browsing the menu produces annoying beeps.

While shortcut buttons make copy and scan functions very convenient, the Brother Control Center software can be used to quickly execute tasks from Microsoft Windows.

The integrated memory card reader on the front of the unit makes it easy to print borderless photos from a digital camera's memory card, and one can view the contents of a card by printing out index pages.

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