Brother makes both laser and inkjet printers (opens in new tab) and with this model, the line between the technologies is blurred. The Brother MFC-J6940DW leads the brand’s Business Smart series, which is designed for business users in the office.
You will often find a laser there, but this is an inkjet that prints just as fast as a laser printer (opens in new tab) and can handle the same heavy printing load. Brother recommends a duty cycle of up to 2,500 pages per month.
But because it’s an inkjet, there are more functions than on a laser. For example, you can print on coated photo paper and in addition to the ADF (automatic document feeder) for 50 sheets, there is room for two separate paper trays. As a premium business printer, you’ll find luxuries such as NFC, double-sided scanning and a large color touchscreen.
But the most impressive thing about the Brother MFC-J6940DW is its ability to print and scan on both sides of tabloid or A3 paper. Few laser printers can do that. At around £370 (about US$453, AU$683) it’s a lot of printer for your money, but can a cartridge-based inkjet handle the rigors of business use? Let’s find out.
Brother MFC-J6940DW: Design and Build
The Brother MFC-J6940DW looks like a hefty chunk of off-white plastic, but since it can hold a whole ream of A3 paper in its two drawers, it’s actually quite compact. To reduce bulk, Brother’s designers have tapered it inward from the waist so that it appears to lean forward a bit.
It’s a smart way to reduce the footprint, although it means you can’t load A3 paper in the trays without lengthening them, ruining the smooth frontline.
It’s very similar to one of Brother’s premium X-series models, but don’t be fooled. The Brother MFC-J6940DW has a slightly smaller cavity for its ink cartridges, which means it is not suitable for the super high capacity INKvestment Tank cartridges.
Those are the ones that can print 6,000 pages in black and 5,000 in color. That’s a blow, but at least this cheaper model benefits from the same design benefits as the premium X-series Brother MFC-J6957DW (opens in new tab).
These include the large glass of the A3 scanner, the equal-sized 50-sheet ADF, the generous 8.8cm touchscreen and the same smart cable management, where USB, Ethernet and fax cables enter through the side for internal connectivity. to close and where they won. not be accidentally disconnected.
The build quality feels robust and Brother says the life expectancy of this latest model has been significantly extended to improve efficiency and environmental impact. It’s a shame that environmental awareness doesn’t extend to making an INKvestment Tank model, or ditching disposable cartridges altogether and switching to bottled ink like other inkjet manufacturers have done.
Brother MFC-J6940DW: Features and Specifications
As a premium all-in-one printer aimed at the business user, the Brother MFC-J6940DW comes with a long list of features. This isn’t Brother’s best AOI though, so the specification is a little less spectacular than the Brother MFC-J6957DW. On the plus side, it has plenty of blank media space with two separate trays that can hold a ream of paper (500 sheets) between them.
Type: 4-in-1 Color A3 Inkjet Printer
Functions: print, scan, copy and fax
Connectivity: Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, USB, NFC
Data Storage Slots: USB Host Port
Print speed: 28 ipm (black and white)
Paper capacity: 500 + 100 sheets
Print quality: 1,200 x 4,800 dpi
Scan quality: 1,200 x 2,400 dpi
Apple AirPrint: yes
Consumables included: 4x cartridges (550 black and white, 550 color pages)
Dimensions/Weight: 576 x 477 x 375 mm (WxDxH)/31kg
You can fit another 100 sheets in the rear multi-purpose tray, another 50 in the ADF and yes, that can all be A3 paper if you want. On the negative side, it’s a fraction slower than the X-series and, crucially, it’s not compatible with the super-high capacity cartridges.
Being a 4-in-1 multifunction device, you can print, scan, copy and fax. It is also very well connected with Ethernet and USB ports on the inside, a USB Host port on the front and an NFC module. The latter feature allows you to disable sensitive print jobs by simply tapping your smartphone near the module. That’s a great feature in a shared office. There is also Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi Direct and AirPrint compatibility.
The Brother MFC-J6940DW can of course print double-sided, but it can also scan and copy double-sided via the ADF. That’s a feature that many AOIs can’t do with a single sheet of A4, but this machine can do it with a stack of A3 pages. Blowing up or reducing A4 documents is easy with this easy-to-use digital copier.
The box contains four standard cartridges that hold enough ink for 550 black and 550 color pages, but higher yield cartridges are also available that can give you 3,000 black and 1,500 color cartridges. As you might expect, a higher yield means a lower cost per page, but despite this, the running costs of consumables here are slightly higher than most laser printers and much higher than refillable inkjet printers.
For an inkjet printer, the Brother MFC-J6940DW prints quickly at 28 ipm (prints per minute) in black and white mode and has a fast first page of 4.4 seconds. That’s slightly slower than Brother’s fastest inkjet printers and there are plenty of lasers that can print faster, but that’s probably fast enough for most offices.
The enhanced print resolution is greater than any laser at 1,200 x 4,800, making it suitable for printing photos on glossy photo paper. It can even print on almost all types of media, from envelopes and self-adhesive labels to thick card stock and tabloid-sized coated paper. Flexible is one way to sum up this all-in-one device.
Brother MFC-J6940DW: Installation and Operation
A very short and easy-to-follow installation guide is included in the box, but it’s unlikely you’ll need it. This printer’s 8.8cm color LCD touchscreen makes it easy to plug in and follow the on-screen instructions. These prompts tell you when to load the four cartridges and help you connect to your local Wi-Fi network. It also gives you the chance to print two test pages, one to check print head alignment and another to make sure all your nozzles are working. Our sample looked good the first time.
With the large touchscreen interface, large hard buttons and fast printing, the Brother MFC-J6940DW is very easy to use. It is also supported by a strong companion app for iOS/Android devices called MobileConnect. This gives you very intuitive wireless control of your printer. Printing and scanning to and from the cloud is a breeze with this free app.
Brother MFC-J6940DW: Performance
The first thing we noticed during our testing is that this printer is fast. The first print time of 4.6 seconds and the fastest print speed of 28 ipm is about right. That’s the speed for single-sided black and white printing, but it’s not too much slower for double-sided color documents. Pages with black text look satisfyingly dark and compact, and the characters look bright and smudge-free down to the smallest point size.
Brother’s Innobella black ink is pigment-based and should therefore remain beautifully clear for a long time. When printing in draft mode, the difference is quite significant because a lot less ink is used when the paper flows and your text looks a lot lighter. It’s nearly as sharp, though, and it’s good to know that Draft mode will save you both ink and time.
The Innobella color cartridges contain water-soluble dye-based ink, which provides more vibrant tones, but less long-lasting prints. That’s not to say your color prints will fade quickly, and in our testing they proved to be quite smudge-resistant. They also looked pleasantly bright and well contained. Mixed color documents print well and photos aren’t bad either.
This is a business printer (opens in new tab)no photo printer (opens in new tab), but it’s good to print high-resolution images on coated photo paper. They could be a bit sharper and the colors don’t quite come out like a photo printing service, but for most of us it’s good enough.
The Brother MFC-J6940DW is also a great copier (opens in new tab), thanks to the expert handling of A3 paper. Whether you place a document on the large glass scanner glass or feed it into the 50-sheet ADF, you can expect a faithful copy that can be reduced or enlarged.
Brother MFC-J6940DW: Final Verdict
If you’re looking for a single multifunction printer for your office that can do it all, the Brother MFC-J6940DW might be for you. It has ample space for paper and can handle A3 media effortlessly. It prints quickly and consistently for an inkjet printer. Draft mode copies look rather pale, but everything else, including photos, looks impressive.
With features like NFC, a large touchscreen, double-sided printing and scanning all included, nothing is missing here. However, it is a bit expensive and that compares to laser printers like the Xerox B215 (opens in new tab), which print faster. And don’t forget refillable business inkjet printers, such as the Canon MAXIFY GX7020, which are more expensive to buy, but much more economical to run. If you’re going to be printing a lot, first look at laser printers and refillable inkjet printers.
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