The device we’re going to review today is the most advanced member of the highly-successful Business Smart Pro series from Brother. We’ve already reviewed another device from this series earlier in the form of the Brother MFC-J6530DW. While that A3 multifunction printer had decent features also, it was intended for the low-volume printing market segment. We’re going to review the Brother MFC-J6930DW, which is basically a better, more advanced, and more expensive version of the previously reviewed device.
It may be more expensive but don’t be mistaken about the fact that the Brother MFC-J6930DW offers excellent value for money if it fits your requirements. The reason for this is that you’ll find more features on board the MFC-J6930DW than any of its competitors. To decide whether it is appropriate for your business’s unique needs, consider our review.
Strengths of Brother MFC-J6930DW
A printing device that aims to print in tabloid size needs to deliver high-resolution prints because users with A3 printing requirements demand it.
Considering that it is an inkjet printer, it shouldn’t surprise you that the Brother MFC-J6930DW delivers in that regard.
The MFC-J6930DW is rated to print at up to 6000 x 1200 dots per inch (dpi) but it isn’t the resolution as much as the output quality that stands out.
The print output is good enough for professional design-focused work. The text output quality is comparable to the best laser printers out there while photo prints are also exceptional. The device suffers a little when it comes to graphics printing but if you don’t plan to print graphics a lot then it is a clear winner amongst its competitors.
We’ve already mentioned paper capacity of this device above. The Brother MFC-J6930DW’s paper capacity makes it ideal for small businesses with heavy-duty printing needs or medium-sized businesses with light-duty requirements. It comes standard with a total paper capacity of 600 sheets.
This total capacity is divided into two paper trays of 250 sheets each and a 100-sheet multipurpose tray. This is a good capacity in the majority of scenarios but we were still a little disappointed at the lack of options for scaling up. Incidentally, the OEM recommends printing a minimum of 250 sheets and a maximum of 2,000 sheets per month.
Brother didn’t leave anything behind while populating the Brother MFC-J6930DW with connectivity options. It has everything under the sun. The device stands out because it boasts of wireless connectivity, Wi-Fi Direct, and even Near Field Communication (NFC). Additionally, you’ll get your usual Ethernet and USB 2.0 connectivity options too, of course.
Using Ethernet, wireless, or Wi-Fi Direct options will open up compatibility with Mopria, Google Cloud Print, Air Print, and Brother iPrint&Scan. Third-party applications such as One Drive, One Note, Flickr, Facebook, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, and Box will also become available to users.
Another feature worth writing about in this section is automatic duplexing. The automatic duplexing in the Brother MFC-J6930DW is single-pass. This means that the print speed is not reduced by half or scan speed is not doubled when the automatic duplexing feature is availed. This feature comes by way of the 50-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF).
Weaknesses of Brother MFC-J6930DW
The OEM has quoted some really great print speeds for this device but you can’t really take them at face value. The quoted print speed is only possible on this device if you print in the Draft Fast mode. In other words, you will only get the rated print speeds of 22 pages per minute (ppm) for monochrome documents and 20ppm for colour documents, if you sacrifice clarity, quality, and detailing.
You’re not going to be printing in the Draft Fast mode most of the times so these quoted print speeds are more marketing gimmick than genuine numbers. In reality, the device is much slower. At the same time, if you compare the Brother MFC-J6930DW to its main competitors, you won’t find it that behind in terms of print speed.
In fact, the actual print speeds of this device are more or less average with respect to its direct competitors. Therefore, so long as you don’t compare it to a laser printer like the OEM wants you to do, the print speeds won’t disappoint you.
You also need to be prepared for the fact that the paper feed of this device is quite noisy. If you print in bulk, then you should be ready for the sound levels. The device does come with ‘Quiet’ mode but that will reduce the speed available to you. It’s your choice what is more important to you – your peace of mind or your time. It’s a tough decision, we agree.
While the scanner on this device is accomplished in terms of function and versatility, speed isn’t its greatest strength. The scanning speed of the Brother MFC-J6930DW is on the slower side, regardless of whether you print in A3 or A4.
Without duplexing, A4 portrait documents will print at the speed of 18 images per minute (ipm), while A4 landscape documents will be delivered at 11ipm. With duplexing, however, the speeds are 36ipm for A4 portraits and 22ipm for A4 landscapes. Further, A3 documents in simplex will be printed at 8ipm and A3 duplex will be printed at 16ipm.
Key Features of Brother MFC-J6930DW
The Brother MFC-J6930DW offers good value for money. Unlike many A3 multifunction printers in the market, its price isn’t too high. The listed price of this device is just above $450 but you can probably get it for much lower. If you shop around with determination, you can get this device for anything around $300.
Even the running costs of the MFC-J6930DW are good, which runs contrary to how inkjet devices normally behave. In fact, it is comparable to many laser printers which are known for being pocket-friendly. The running costs do vary on whether you use genuine or generic cartridges, though. With OEM cartridges, you can expect to pay around 12.88 cents per page but with compatible cartridges, the per-page cost drops to 9.57 cents.
The dimensions of the Brother MFC-J6930DW mean that it is smaller than the usual standalone business printer. You can probably even put it on a desk, provided the desk is strong and big. The MFC-J6930DW measures 575mm wide, 477mm deep, and 374mm high. It weighs 23.6 Kg, which is why you need a sturdy desk.
On the front of this device, you’ll find the control panel which is dominated by a 9.3cm touchscreen LCD display. To one side of this screen, you’ll find context-sensitive touch buttons for functions such as ‘Cancel’, ‘NFC’, ‘Home’, ‘Back’, and ‘Power’ along with a numerical keypad. There is also a USB port to the front of the device.
Inside the housing of the device, there is a 576 MHz processor accompanied by 256MB RAM. This combination gives the Brother MFC-J6930DW good response times. From the point of giving the print command, the device will take approximately six seconds to deliver a colour document and 5.5 seconds to deliver a monochrome document.
The warranty on the Brother MFC-J6930DW runs for 12 months and allows for a Return to Base if the nature of the problem demands it.