First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- Great feature set
- Disappointing text quality, poor photo printing, slow printing
The Brother MFC-5840CN is good value for a networked MFP, but slow speeds and middling print quality limit its usefulness in an office setting.
Price$ 429.00 (AUD)
Buy now (Selling at 6 stores)
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Priced quite modestly, the Brother MFC-5840CN offers a host of features perfect for office tasks. Besides offering built-in networking, the unit allows you to drop 35 sheets into its automatic document feeder, or lift the cover to scan larger documents, such as books. Dual paper trays permit you to load different types of print media in each--say, 250 sheets of plain paper in the lower drawer and photo paper in the flimsy upper cassette. The fax machine can send colour documents. There are even memory card slots for digital photographers, but there's no PictBridge port for printing directly from a digital camera. The clearly laid-out control panel is built around a backlit two-line LCD. The software package includes ScanSoft's useful PaperPort document management suite.
The MFC-5840CN's four inks come in individual cartridges. Though the inks are all dye-based, text printing is dark. Nevertheless, considering that this is an office-oriented MFP, we were disappointed with text quality: lettering looked spidery, small fonts disappeared into fuzz, and white horizontal lines appeared in the solid parts of large characters. Blocks of closely spaced lines blurred together in our line art test, and we saw lots of cloudy horizontal banding.
Photos printed on plain paper looked dull and washed out, producing grey skin tones, and they showed some of the most intense banding we've seen. Photos printed on glossy paper looked bright, with a slight (but not unpleasant) yellow-green cast. Fine details were evident even in shadows, and colour transitions blended smoothly. Scan quality was adequate, but didn't stand out from that of competing MFPs.
The Brother ran slowly across the board. Text printed at a sluggish 3.4 pages per minute during our tests--far below the 6.2ppm average we saw for eight other MFPs we tested in June 2005. Colour graphics emerged at a snail's pace of 1.1 ppm. And the MFC-5840CN also took 30 seconds to scan a 4" x 5" photo at 100 dpi. Copying a page of text took 25 seconds, only a couple of seconds slower than the average of the group we tested in June.
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GGG Evaluation Team
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.