Monash University’s 100 per cent Online Data Science Single Units are designed to provide the foundation for professionals to capitalise on all of these key trends in data science.
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!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel 3a review: Less is more
- 2 Huawei P30 Pro review: A photography powerhouse that leans into and elevates its natural strengths
- 3 Samsung Galaxy S10 review: Messy decisions mar smart evolutions
- 4 Dell G7 review: Growing pains
- 5 Nokia 8.1 review: The more things change, the more they stay the same
Latest News Articles
- Brother pitch themselves at SMBs with new 'Inkvestment' options
- Canon unveils its latest range of Pixma Inkjet printers and CanoScan scanner series
- Epson Launches First Double-Sided A3+ 4-In-1 Inkjet EcoTank Printer
- Epson launches new Expression Premium Photo Range
- Epson Australia Unveils New Expression Home Range of Printers
PCW Evaluation Team
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
- Huawei P30 Pro: Full, in-depth review
- Panasonic Lumix S1 review
- Google Pixel 3a review: Less is more
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?