Friday

Brother MFC 9700

Multifunction printers are ideal when space or money is at a premium. They are ideal for the new, small or home office as they are compact, cost-effective and perform the jobs of four different devices all in one.

The Brother MFC-9700 is one such device, and it is priced squarely at the small/home office target market. While not the best looking appliance in the world, the quality of its output offsets any aesthetic problems with ease. The size is average for a multifunction device, measuring 19.5 inches wide, 18 inches deep and 16.8 inches high. This is larger than a standalone printer, but average for a multifunction.

Print quality is exactly what you would expect from Brother. Crisp and precise, with clean edges on text. Images reproduction pushes the grayscale a bit with a few jaggies on edges. Overall, toner spread was even and detailed enough for most needs.

The included user manual is easy to follow and will have users of all abilities up and running in no time at all. Installing the toner and drum can be a fiddly affair, no such problems with the MFC-9700. They both slide easily into the tray at the front and clip into place. Loading paper is just as straightforward, with the paper tray also being at the front at the bottom. Fill it up and off you go.

If you want a standalone copier, scanner and fax, this is all you have to do to get productive. If you want to use it in conjunction with a computer, you merely need to install the drivers and connect the MFC-9700 to the computer, identify it and it’s all done.

The control panel is simple and easy to use, with different button sets for each function. This allows ease of use, without getting confused over convoluted sequences, or having to follow a menu.

The automatic document feeder on the top is good for 50 sheets, and worked well when tested, not jamming once. There is also a multipurpose paper tray for non standard sizes like envelopes or labels.

Overall the MFC-9700 is a no-frills multifunction device for the cost conscious. It is a steady and reliable performer and won’t let you down. Consumables last a decent amount of time and don’t cost the earth. While there are certainly prettier devices out there, I think you will find it hard to find a more reliable one.

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