A low-end multifunction printer from Brother.
- Media card compatibility, automatic document feeder, front-facing paper tray, acceptable document print quality
- Slow print speeds, no CompactFlash card slot, photo print quality could be improved
Brother's MFC-290C won't amaze you, but this multifunction printer is a decent budget buy for a family or home office.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
The Brother MFC-290C is a basic inkjet multifunction printer fit for the home that also has some business-friendly features. Though its colour reproduction could be better when printing photos, the Brother MFC-290C is sufficient for printing documents and school work.
The Brother MFC-290C has a single-line mono LCD on its front that makes it easy to choose between basic copy, scan and fax functions. Unlike the HP Officejet J4580 All-in-One, the Brother MFC-290C has an integrated PictBridge-capable USB port, as well as slots for SD, xD and MemoryStick memory cards.
The paper input tray is on the front of the Brother MFC-290C rather than rear, and it is fully retractable into the body of the multifunction, so it won't increase its footprint. An automatic document feeder is also included.
In our printing tests, the Brother MFC-290C performed adequately for its price, though its speed certainly won't amaze you. When conducting our draft quality mono and colour tests, the first page was out in an average 13.4sec. When printing normal quality documents the first page was out in 27.5sec.
The Brother MFC-290C printed draft quality mono documents at 15.8 pages per minute; when printing mono documents at normal quality the speed dropped dramatically to 3.2ppm. The multifunction also offers a "fast normal" setting which provides a compromise between speed and quality; we achieved speeds of 5.7ppm using this setting.
Colour printing speeds were roughly the same (unlike the HP Officejet J4580 All-in-One which performed noticeably worse in these tests). Draft printing averaged 15.5ppm, while normal printing achieved the same 3.2ppm we saw when printing mono documents. The fast normal setting yielded a speed of 5.8ppm.Though these results aren't especially appealing, the Brother MFC-290C can print photos at a reasonable speed. Standard 4x6in photos took an average of 20sec each, while A4 photos took 35.5sec.
Print quality is adequate without though not overly accurate. Mono text documents are readable, with no noticeable aberrations at standard font sizes. The Brother MFC-290C lacks the pinpoint accuracy necessary for printing 7pt font sizes perfectly, and we noticed some pixilation as well as misaligned characters. Larger font sizes revealed no problems.
Colour quality is acceptable for a multifunction printer commanding the Brother MFC-290C's price. Blues are slightly oversaturated in graphical documents, but apart from this the colour palette is neutral. The Brother MFC-290C has different colour settings for different media, so printing using the plain paper setting will deliver different results to printing on photo paper. As a result the colour palette changes when printing photos, with reds looking oversaturated. While this gives photos a luscious look in some respects, it can also lead to overly dark shades of purple. Photos printed by the Brother MFC-290C lack the vividness of photos printed by some other printers, and there is some slight banding.
A total of eight different scan presets are available when using the included software, with four of these accessible directly through the device's control panel. These are all customisable in regards to resolution, format and the application opened upon completion. With an optical 1200x2400 scanning resolution, the Brother MFC-290C has the ability to pick up fine detail in scanned images, though we found some detail was lost as images were under-saturated compared to the source. This doesn’t affect document scanning, but it can mar photos slightly.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- EC says LCD screen cartel is active globally
- Sharp to increase LCD panel production on higher demand
- Dick Smith report says Australians keen to switch to digital radio
- Samsung, Numonyx to develop PCM specifications
- Faster SD cards could reach devices next year
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCTest Capability LeadNSW
- TPIT Project Officer - TMRQLD
- CCTest AnalystWA
- FTOnline Solutions AnalystNSW
- FTMonitoring Tools Support l NimSoft , SMARTS, ehealth, TivoliNSW
- TPService Desk Analyst - Level 1VIC
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- CCSOE EngineerACT
- CCProject / Portfolio SchedulerNSW
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerACT
- FTSupport Analyst / Production Support - InformaticaNSW
- FTSenior IT Business Analyst - Permanent OpportunityNSW
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer - NetApp SpecialistNSW
- FTSenior Java EngineerACT
- CCServiceNOW DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)ACT
- TPBI & Report Developer (SQL Developer)QLD
- CCSharepoint Business AnalystACT
- TPiOS Developer (Mobile)NSW
- TPProject OfficerNSW
- CCIT Procurement OfficerNSW
- CCInfrastructure Test AnalystACT
- FTDeveloper - XML & JavaVIC
- CCPMO ManagerNSW
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerQLD