The Brother Work Smart MFC-J885DW offers a good blend of decent print quality and economically priced ink. Its connectivity options and features are on par with the best wireless all-in-one printers, and it also delivers on convenience, with ink cartridges that are easy to swap, simple mobile printing and automatic duplex printing. It's just a bit slow compared to the best printers.
The Brother MFC-J885DW offers quality printing for both black-and-white and color documents, but it is a little slow. Black-and-white documents printed at an average of 10 pages per minute (ppm) in our tests, color documents at around 9 ppm, which is about five pages less per minute than the best all-in-one printer, the HP Officejet Pro. However, the print quality is pretty good, with only minor ink spotting and some alignment issues, and most of these errors are only noticeable under high magnification. Photo printing was also slow, taking more than a full minute for each 4 x 6 photo in our test, but with good overall photo quality.
A convenient front access panel on the printer lets you swap out ink refills, and Brother's no-fuss cartridge design keeps messes to a minimum. Standard-sized cartridges work out to 12 cents per page, with a 550-page yield. Higher-capacity inks are available to drop the cost per page to just 7 cents, making the Brother MFC-J885DW more affordable per page than most top-rated wireless inkjet printers.
The printer's main paper tray holds up to 100 pages, which is standard capacity but doesn't compare to the best home inkjet printers. A secondary photo paper tray holds up to 20 sheets, but it has a sliding design that requires proper positioning to use. Getting the tray into proper position isn't as easy as we'd like, and you may need to practice a bit to get a feel for it.
The automatic duplex printing lets you print two-sided documents with ease, but scanning pages still requires you to flip pages by hand. Our tests found the scan and copy quality to be better than average for all-in-one printers, and it has integrated fax capability in addition to copy and scan. The web connectivity lets you scan documents directly into cloud-based storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox. You can also print directly from memory cards (both SD and Memory Stick formats) and USB storage thanks to built-in media slots.
Like our top-rated wireless printers, the Work Smart MFC-J885DW supports networking over both Ethernet and Wi-Fi, with Wi-Fi Direct for establishing a direct connection with your Wi-Fi-capable devices, without requiring a network connection or even a router. Mobile support is broad, with Apple AirPrint for iPhone and iPad and Google Cloud Print for Android and Chrome OS devices. Other mobile printing options include Mopria support and a proprietary app from Brother.
Brother covers the Work Smart MFC-J885DW with a two-year warranty, longer than the one year of coverage most manufacturers offer. Support services are reachable via phone or email, with live chat on the Brother website along with a searchable user manual and FAQs.
The Brother Work Smart MFC-J885DW is affordable and user-friendly, thanks to inexpensive ink options and a number of convenient features, but the real draw is the solid and dependable print quality. While faster printing or a larger paper capacity would be nice, it still stands as a viable alternative to the best home-office all-in-one printers.
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