Brother MFC-J825DW multifunction inkjet printer

This multifunction inkjet printer can do everything a basic home office needs

Brother International (Aust) MFC-J825DW
  • Brother International (Aust) MFC-J825DW
  • Brother International (Aust) MFC-J825DW
  • Brother International (Aust) MFC-J825DW
  • Expert Rating

    4.25 / 5

Pros

  • Feature-packed
  • Limited Web connectivity

Cons

  • Low paper capacity

Bottom Line

The Brother MFC-J825DW has a bevy of features for its reasonable asking price -- fax, memory card and USB printing, dual paper inputs including an automatic document feeder, a 3.3in touchscreen -- and is only let down by its lower-than-expected paper capacity of 100 sheets. Its print quality is acceptable for quickly-produced text documents, but photo prints look impressively detailed given the MFC-J825DW's office credentials.

Would you buy this?

The Brother MFC-J825W, at $229, represents the higher end of home office multifunction inkjet printers. As you’d expect it’s got every feature that this price-point demands: an automatic document feeder, a split photo/plain paper tray, scan/copy/fax built-in, a 3.3in touchscreen and direct printing through USB and memory cards. We have almost no complaints about the MFC-J825DW’s feature-set or performance save one small niggle in its undersized paper input capacity.

Brother MFC-J825DW: Design and features

The Brother MFC-J825DW has a low, wide stance, with a top-mounted flatbed scanner and automatic document feeder. The scalloped front of the printer is home to the aforementioned 3.3in colour touchscreen, multipurpose buttons and fax keypad. The touchscreen is on a tilting hinge, so the printer can be used from a variety of angles: a person of average height would be able to see the MFC-J825DW’s screen on everything but the top shelf of a bookshelf.

Further down the printer’s front are various slots for memory cards and USB flash drives: you don’t need to hook the Brother MFC-J825DW up to a computer if you’re only printing photos directly from your digital camera. SD cards including SDXC, all Memory Sticks and MultiMedia Cards are supported, covering the majority of digital cameras on the market.

The printer tray is one area where the Brother MFC-J825DW stumbles. It’s removable, which is great, and there’s a nifty sliding tab to switch between photo paper and plain paper, but the printer’s overall capacity is small: you can only fit 100 sheets of plain paper alongside 20 sheets of photo paper. Even with the automatic document feeder loaded to its maximum, the entire print can only hold 135 sheets of paper.

The Brother MFC-J825DW comes with a set of starter inks with around 80 per cent capacity, although once the printer’s initial cleaning, test printing and setup process is over you can expect this to be even lower. We don’t like the practice of including starter cartridges with any printer, but given that this Brother is well above the $200 mark we would have definitely preferred a full complement.

Brother MFC-J825DW: Performance and print quality

If you’re using it to print office documents, essays or assignments the Brother MFC-J825DW is well suited to the task. After the initial setup and cleaning we found it was able to produce clear text down to around 7pt in size, and larger blocks of text and black ink were printed evenly without any over-saturation. Printing in draft mode for faster speeds (35 pages per minute in black) triples output rates but results in slightly fuzzy edges on text and minor speckling in blocks of colour. We preferred the Normal mode documents; 12 pages per minute is a good speed given the quality of the text.

The prints from the Brother MFC-J825DW are middle of the road: text quality is perfectly reasonable for a mid-range inkjet, and photo prints are reasonably detailed. If you look at the Brother MFC-J825DW as if it belongs in an office, the addition of photo printing is a bonus: we haven’t seen many other office inkjet multifunctions with good quality photo printing included.

Printing speeds in our testing came close to the results claimed by Brother. We achieved the quoted 12 pages per minute for Normal mode monochrome document printing, and at 9.5 pages per minute we were close to the quoted 10 for coloured text. Printing photos was significantly slower, of course, at 2min 13sec for a best quality A4 glossy photo, but the end result was worthwhile and lower quality options are available for anyone wanting to use them.

Brother MFC-J825DW: Conclusion

Low paper input capacity and cost-cutting starter inks shouldn’t turn you away from the Brother MFC-J825DW. Its print quality is more than good enough for occasional or regular printing needs, and it’s got a comprehensive set of features.

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