Brother MFC-5890CN inkjet all-in-one A3 printer
A big printer for big paper
The print quality of the MFC-5890CN is fair, but not exciting. Black text is reasonably clean though there are some signs of feathering into the paper, which is slightly odd, as in other places ink coverage is light, with some serifs left barely attached to their strokes. This is clearly visible under low magnification, but even to the naked eye the text looks fragile.
Good colour output - but fragile-looking text
Colour graphics are good, with smooth areas of solid colour and good registration of black text over coloured backgrounds. Colours are a little pale compared with those on-screen and those from a colour photocopy are more so, but our sample photos reproduced well, in the lighter hues. Dark colours, such as those in areas of shadow, merge to black in places, though detail throughout is good, thanks to the machine’s high resolution of 1200 x 6000dpi. Overall, results are workable, but not as good as from the likes of Canon and HP.
Scans from the machine’s flatbed or its ADF reproduced well, though colours again ended up lighter than the originals. The scan resolution is 1200 x 2400ppi, high enough for scanning photo prints, but there are no facilities for transparency scans.
Decent cartridge costs
The only consumables are the four ink cartridges and they are each available in two capacities, with the black cartridge running at 450 or 900 ISO pages and the colour ones at 325 or 750. These yields result in page costs of 2.0p and 5.4p for black and colour prints, respectively, using the more economic, higher yield cartridges. These costs are good for an inkjet in this class, with the colour cost one of the lowest we’ve seen in a while.
If you need the facility to print A3 pages, this machine can save you around £70 over the full A3 scanning and copying model. It produces reasonable print, but not nearly as quickly as Brother would have you believe. ®
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