Brother International (Aust) MFC-685CW
- Built-in 802.11g wireless networking, it can print while it scans, built-in memory card reader and direct USB port
- Photo prints look too washed out; scans can't be sent to a memory card, nor to another PC on the network
The MFC-685CW is a burger with the lot, with wireless connectivity thrown in for good measure. Its print quality for documents is adequate, and its scanning capability is good, but it's not a good choice for photo prints.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
Versatility is the main virtue of the MFC-685CW, which is a multifunction printer aimed at the small business market. It features comprehensive fax capabilities, as well as easy-to-use copy and scan functions, and it even has 802.11g wireless networking built in.
Brother has done a good job cramming so many functions into a relatively compact footprint that will take up about 35x45cm of desk space. The paper tray cassette resides inside the perimeter of the unit, so there aren't any messy, protruding tray flaps to deal with, and it has a curved paper path. There is a separate tray atop the main tray cassette for photo paper, so you won't have to remove your plain paper to print photos. But, it is a little fiddly to set up as the whole tray needs to be removed and the photo portion slid into place. In any case, you probably won't want to print too many photos with this unit, as it's not one of its strong points.
Colour photos printed on Brother's glossy paper looked very washed out and suffered from banding. The prints also took a while to dry, so were prone to smudging when mishandled. Conversely, its text output is more than acceptable. Despite being a little soft around the edges (much like this reviewer), text was still clearly legible and easy to read, and it handled reversed and highlighted text with ease -- that is, white and black text on different coloured backgrounds. Meanwhile, bold lettering and different sized fonts were also handled well, despite the feathering.
These tests were conducted using 'normal' mode, but the quality was almost just as good when using 'fast normal' mode... and much quicker. In fact, the printer averaged five pages per minute in 'fast normal' mode and only just over two pages per minute in 'normal' mode.
For scanning, this unit is quite good. It'll pick up fine details and it'll complete scans quickly (it took 34sec for a 300dpi A4 scan). The best part is that the unit can scan and print simultaneously. So if a big print job is under way, instead of waiting until it's over, you can start scanning straight away. The automatic document feeder makes it easy to scan in multi-page documents, too.
The USB port on the front of the machine can be used to connect PictBridge-capable cameras, or USB keys, which will be viewable on your PC screen. The 3.3in colour LCD screen on the printer itself is large and provides a good view for changing all of its settings, including the wireless function, which can be setup using a wizard.
While scans can be initiated from the unit and sent to a PC, they can only be sent to the host PC. It doesn't give you the option of sending a scan to another PC on the network. Likewise for any memory cards that are inserted in the printer's reader, they will only show up on the locally connected PC. Scans also can't be sent to a memory card, which is a little inconvenient.
Still, these are minor points and, overall, the functions of the MFC-685CW are useful and fairly well-performing (except for photo prints). It's a more than decent unit for a small or home office that requires fax and answering machine capabilities in addition to printing, scanning and copying.
Join the newsletter!
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
cloudandco Smart Cane
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Apple iPhone X
Toys for Boys
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Google Daydream View VR Headset
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Bose SoundLink Micro
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Xbox One X
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 TCL X2 review: QLED escapes the premium market
- 2 Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- 3 Acer Spin 5 review: Value for money but conditions apply
- 4 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 5 Sony LF-S50G review: Google Assistant and then some
Latest News Articles
- Epson launches new Expression Premium Photo Range
- Epson Australia Unveils New Expression Home Range of Printers
- Epson launches new high-speed Enterprise inkjet printer
- When life gives you a 3D printer, make a house
- Hacker hijacks thousands of publicly exposed printers to warn owners
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- CES 2018: Belkin go big on wearables accessories
- Amazon Alexa and Echo set for Febuary launch
- OPPO Load Up A73 Smartphone With Flagship Features
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- CCService Delivery ManagerWA
- FTIT Contract Analyst/ ManagerOther
- FTSenior Software EngineerOther
- FTSecurity ArchitectNSW
- FTNatural/ADABAS ProgrammerOther
- CCSenior PMO Analyst - TelcoVIC
- FTFront End DeveloperOther
- FTInfrastructure Security AnalystOther
- FTInfrastructure Manager / Service Delivery ManagerVIC
- CCSolution Architect - Financial ServicesVIC
- FTClient Delivery DirectorACT
- CCMining Planning System EngineerQLD
- TPBusiness Intelligence DeveloperSA
- FTCRM DeveloperACT
- TPSenior Business Systems AnalystACT
- FTSenior Data Quality Management OfficerNSW
- FTProgram CoordinatorOther
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- FTiOS DeveloperOther
- CCTechnical Lead (Java, Spring Boot, Web APIs) - Brisbane LocationNSW
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- TPSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTSolution Architect- SAP S/4 HANA - Orange NSWOther
- FTLevel 2 Desktop Support AnalystOther
- CCPerl Developer - DevOpsNSW