A generic monitor not specifically designed for photography isn’t going to deliver the colour quality we seek. Processing images on the BenQ SW271 gives the user a stunningly vivid colour range.
Brother International (Aust) MFC-8860DN
- Impressive speed, Long list of features, Built in wired Ethernet, Automatic document feeder (ADF)
- Shaded graphics printing
The MFC-8860DN is a jack of all trades and has a number of excellent features - above all it is capable of almost anything including printing, scanning, faxing and copying.
Price$ 1,199.00 (AUD)
The Brother MFC-8860DN monochrome laser is a multifunction duplex printer targeted at small to medium workgroups. Despite its large size, the MFC-886DN is also recommended for smaller offices as it is capable of excellent print speeds. It also boasts quality prints with an output of up to 30 pages a minute, 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution, an automatic document feeder (ADF) and built-in wired Ethernet networking.
The MFC-8860DN has faxing, printing, copying and scanning capabilities so it's a real all-rounder. It also has a number of excellent features within each capability, such as the ability to fax over a network, scan to your PC or e-mail and adding scans as attachments. All this can be done via the front control panel, or through the included Brother Control Centre Software that we found easy to use thanks to its clean interface. The printer also includes a built-in duplexer, so you can print on both sides of a page out of the box. Furthermore, the MFC-8860DN's 50-page automatic document feeder (ADF) also has duplex capabilities, so this means you can fax and scan both sides of a page as well.
According to Brother, it is capable of speeds of up to 21 pages per minute while copying. We found these figures pretty close to the mark, averaging about 19 pages per minute during testing. Its built-in fax machine supports 340 speed dial locations and can also store a whopping 600 pages in its 32MB of memory (which can be expanded to up to 512MB). The MFC-8860DN's scanner functions aren't too shabby either, with up to 9,600 dpi scanning and an option that allows scanning directly to an FTP site, image application (such as Adobe Photoshop), email address, or a file on a computer or network storage.
The MFC-8860DN uses a 250 sheet paper tray, which slides out from the bottom front of the unit. On the top is a flatbed scanner, with a 50 sheet automatic document feeder located in the scanner cover. The ADF can hold A4, A5, B5, B6, Letter and Custom sized paper.
Aesthetically, there isn't much to write about the MFC-8860DN. It's a fairly standard looking office printer with a light and dark grey design. It is a little too large to fit comfortably in the home, but should fit neatly into the corner of a small to medium sized office. The front control panel features a backlit monochrome LCD screen surrounded by a multitude of buttons - the most important of which are dedicated fax, scan and copy keys. Most of the printers functions can be operated and accessed via these controls, including the ability to copy both single and double-sided original documents to either single or double-sided copies. Overall, the menu was very easy to use and we didn't have any problems grasping any part of the MFC-8860DN's interface.
Setting up the MFC-8860DN is simple; we used a USB connection and inserted paper into the slide-out 250-sheet A4 tray located on the front. After installing the driver software we were up and running in a matter of minutes. The printer is compatible with both Mac and Windows XP.
The MFC-8860DN print quality is admirable for the most part. It does leave a little to be desired when printing shaded graphics and photos though, with obvious graininess and slight banding - a problem not uncommon in monochrome laser printers. Text printing was very good, with clear lines and fine detail.
The MFC-8860DN initial toner pack will print up to 3,500 A4 pages (5% coverage) and costs $88.20 to replace. There is also an option for a high-yield toner which prints up to 7,000 A4 pages (5% coverage). This is slightly more expensive at $122.85, but provides a longer life so you won't have to replace it as frequently. When the drum has reached its lifecycle (up to 25,000 pages) it will cost $235.20 for a new one. There are many factors that determine the drum life, such as temperature, humidity, type of paper, type of toner used and the number of pages per print job.
Overall, the MFC-8860DN is a fully equipped multifunction device based around a monochrome laser printer. The unit has a number of excellent features including an automatic document feeder and impressive print speeds. Its functions are all above average and should suit most small business and home office needs.
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