Brother MFC-5890CN inkjet all-in-one A3 printer
A big printer for big paper
Review If you need to print on paper bigger than A4, your choices of printer are severely reduced. If you need colour and can only afford an inkjet, they’re smaller still, and if you’d like an all-in-one, you’re down to half a dozen possibilities. Make that seven - Brother now has its MFC-5890CN, coming in at a touch over £150.
Brother's MFC-5890CN: tank like?
There are more uses for A3 print than you might think. As well as proofing larger documents, you can, for example, print posters and spreads for folding down to A4 newsletters. Brother must have done its market research, as it’s introduced two new A3 inkjet all-in-ones to its range. The MFC-6490CW does A3 print, scan and copy, but the MFC-5890CN is a halfway house, with A3 print, but only an A4 scanner.
Although A3 paper has twice the area of A4, it’s width is the same as A4's length, and it's only 1.41x longer. This means an A3 printer only needs a carriage 1.41x wider, and Brother makes good use of this by building an all-in-one which isn’t monstrous on the desktop. It’s about the size of an A4 photocopier of a few years back and is comparatively squat to the desktop.
Its black and silver livery makes it look a bit tank-like too. A fairly tall, 50-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) sits on top, with a peculiarly high-angled feed tray which flips closed when not in use. Paper loads from a 150-sheet feed tray at the front, but there's no multipurpose feed for envelopes or special media. However, Brother has thoughtfully made both the paper tray and its cover telescopic, so you only need to extend them when printing A3 sheets.
Plenty of room for the wide screen
The extra width of the machine is used well to differentiate the various functions on the control panel. At its left-hand end are function keys for fast-dialling fax numbers, and to the right of these is a number pad for people you don't know so well.
In the centre is one of Brother’s trademark, double-width LCD displays. The main advantage of this is that you can preview photos from a memory card while simultaneously seeing a menu of options for things to do with them. There's a lot more space for information alongside the images.
I recently purchased the mfc-6490cw. The only difference between the mfc-6490cw and the reviewed model is the mfc-6490cw has 2 paper trays (150 sheet and 250 sheet).
For a small office or home network, this is not a bad printer. I love it for having an large format ADF scanner. I couldn't find a stand alone large format scanner that was anywhere near this price point.
To answer the 9 questions above (based on the mfc-6490cw):
1 - yes
2 - yes
3 - have not tried
4 - ink level
5 - about 35 MB on my last install
7 - nope
8 - Don't know. I'm not the one who buys ink
9 - I forget.... not near the device now
The thing I love about this is that it works very well with Ubuntu. Brother provides nice easy to use drivers.
already a mactard.. and my epson rx640 still wanted to install a load of useless programming rubbish. I don't use it, and don't run it.
oh yes and out of the box the driver only supported maximum ink mode, can download a better one but out of the box useless.
N0 7. was aimed at Olivetti, where I have installed one of thier lumps of junk fro a relative, set up as a shared printer under windows.
peep 'a' prints on the laptop, to the printer on a desktop being used by peep 'b', peep 'b' can't work due to the full screen popup, still not worked that one out, surely its a background service?
frankly if a printer review doesn't include info on the refillability of the cartridges its a pointless review, since the running costs are a key statistic.
and for 'networkable' still trying to get round a wifi printer, where connecting to that means you loose the net. umm yeah cus thats useful.
Agreed, these are all very valid questions. Safe for No.7 — get a Macintosh ;)
@limitations / Clair Rand
You forgot the comment regarding the printer being "networkable" but not actually working on a network or, at the very least not working on an office network.
Surely an all-in-one would need a separate A4 feed tray?