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While all-in-one
printer, scanner, copiers are ubiquitous but necessary if you don’t
want to fill up your office with loads of equipment. This is ever more
true when you need a fax machine and answer phone to boot. Brother with
its MFC-990CW all-in-one printer aims to do all this and make the tea
as well (OK we lied about the last one).

Brother has a long heritage of producing inkjet fax machines, with its
printers very much coming in from the laser side of things. This is
probably why this all-in-one looks more like a fax machine than a
normal printer.

That side, it is quite short in stature, even if the phone on one side
and wireless aerial on the other give it some extra width. Built into
the top of the scanner lid is a 15-sheet automatic document feeder
(ADF). However, paper is loaded into the bottom of the feeder.

A control panel sits in front of the ADF and sports a big touchscreen,
where most of the printer’s functions can be managed. It features menu
settings, and scan and copy control on this screen. Navigating the
touchscreen is OK but we felt that others managed to perform this
function better.

On the right-hand side of the screen are four mode buttons to start and
stop mono and colour scan and copy functions. To the left is a number
pad for dialing and using the built-in answering machine which boasts a
29 minute recording time.

The built-in cradle sports a DECT phone with a four-line, backlit LCD
display. the keys are quite a lot more substanstial than ones found on
mobile phones and indeed other DECT phones.

{mospagebreak}It comes with two memory cards slots which accept most current
standards of card. It also features a PictBridge port which can also
accept USB flash devices.

The paper tray can take up to 100 sheets and comes with a photo tray which can take up to 20 photo sheets.

The printer can print from USB, Ethernet and wireless. You can see that
it is a wireless printer from the enormous aerial on the side. Maybe
this would be better if the aerial could be hidden like so many of its
rival achieve.

setting up wireless is a lot easier than with others from its stable. And arming it with ink is a cinch.

Printing is by far one of hte fastest we’ve seen in a long time. Capable of 33ppm in black and 27ppm printing colour.

Photo images were ok but in our opinion, others manage this task
better. The prints seemed to be paler compared to others we’ve seen
elsewhere.

Overall, if you want a machine that does everything, it is worth
considering. The real arguement is whether any of these are
particularly done well.

Rating: 6/10

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