Brother MFC-990CW- With Touch Screen LCD And Cordless HandsetPrinters — on December 16, 2009 at 4:47 am | 2 Comments
Sum and Substance:
Touch screen LCD, Ethernet LAN, Wi-fi, cordless handset, built in answering machine, inexpensive.
Slow print speeds, printer comes bundled in with small ink cartridges, one year warranty; instead of standard two year.
Inside the Trunk:
Software included ScanSoft PaperPort SE 11.0, Presto! PageManager 7 and power cables.
The Whiz Kid Speaks:
Brother MFC-990CW is an ink jet color printer which has 4.2 touch screen LCDs. It has internal memory of 48 MB
Supported memory cards are Memory Stick, CompactFlash, SD Memory Card, xD-Picture Card, USB flash drive, SDHC Memory Card, Memory Stick Pro
For copying the maximum Copying Speed is up to 22 pages/min (mono) and up to 20 pages/min (color), maximum copying resolution is up to 1200 x 1200 dpi (mono) and up to 600 x 1200 dpi (color), maximum document enlargement is 400% and max document reduction is 25% and maximum copies are 99
For cartridges nozzle configuration is 94 nozzles (black), 3 x 94 nozzles (cyan, magenta, yellow), maximum printing resolution is up to 1200 x 6000 dpi (mono) / up to 1200 x 6000 dpi (color), maximum printing speed is up to 33 pages/min (mono) / up to 27 pages/min (color), ink cartridge configuration are 4 cartridges (1 each: cyan, magenta, yellow, black), ink palette supported (colors) are cyan, magenta, yellow, black
For scanning – optical resolution is 1200 x 2400 dpi, interpolated resolution is 19200 x 19200 dpi, gray scale depth is 8 bit, color depth is 24 bit, color depth (internal) is 36 bit
For fax machine – max transmission speed is 33.6 kbps, data compression system is MH, MMR, JPEG, MR, fax resolutions are 203 x 392 dpi, 203 x 196 dpi, 203 x 98 dpi, total memory capacity is 960 pages, reception memory capacity is 480 pages, transmission memory capacity is 480 pages
Fax features include automatic redialing, distinctive ring pattern detection (drpd), fax forwarding, transmit verification report
For document and media handling, maximum original size is legal (8.5 in x 14 in), document feeder capacity is 15 sheets, minimum copy size is 3.5 in x 5 in, maximum copy size is legal (8.5 in x 14 in), minimum copy weight is 64 g/m2, maximum copy weight is 220 g/m2, supported media types are envelopes, cards, coated paper, photo paper, plain paper, transparencies, Borderless photo sizes are letter A size (8.5 in x 11 in), a4 (8.25 in x 11.7 in), 4 in x 6 in, 5 in x 7 in
Standard media capacity is 100 sheets, Output trays capacity is 50 sheets
Document and media handling details are as follows ADF – 15 sheets size: 5.8 in x 5.8 in – Legal (8.5 in x 14 in), Output tray – 50 sheets, Input tray – 100 sheets size: 3.5 in x 5 in – Legal (8.5 in x 14 in) weight: 64 g/m2 – 220 g/m2 , Bypass tray – 20 sheets size: 3.5 in x 5 in – 4 in x 6 in – 220 g/m2
Speed Details are printing: up to 33 pages/min – B/W, copying : up to 22 pages/min – B/W, printing : up to 27 pages/min – Color, copying : up to 20 pages/min – Color
For PC connectivity the options are USB host, IEEE 802.11b, Hi-Speed USB, Ethernet 10 Base-T/100 Base-TX, IEEE 802.11g
The printer supports following Os MS Windows XP Home Edition, MS Windows Vista, MS Windows XP Professional, Apple Mac OS X 10.2.4 or later, MS Windows 2000 Professional, MS Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
Brother MFC-990CW is a home printer and by no means it is boring looking. The unit is 18.4 inches long, 18.1 inch tall and 14.8 inch deep, doesn’t hog too much of space and will rest comfortably on your desktop next to your computer. The control panel takes a lot of space on the printer but the main feature is the 4.2 LCD touch screen that sits in between.
Brother is a big name in the multi function devices (MFD) industry. This time they are out with a touch screen printer. The touch screen LCDs let you access functions by just tapping your finger on the screen but it does get the price up. We don’t know if LCD is needed on a printer and we think it is more of a gimmick than a use full feature. But manufacturers have started to make touch screen printers whether you think they are use full or not and other printer makers are too joining since they don’t want to be branded as obsolete.
The LCD of the printer is very user friendly and also intuitive it is used to navigate the settings and controls on the device. The home screen shows you the progress of the job it is currently engaged in, current date/time, graphical picture of the remaining ink in the cartridges and speed dial access and calls history. You can tilt the screen up and down and there are notches, so you can take it up according to your preference.
The memory card reader of the printer accepts card formats like Compact Flash, Memory Stick, SD and xD slots. You will be using it often if you are a photo enthusiast to move pictures from your digital camera to the printer for printing. You can connect a digital camera directly to the PictBridge USB port and there is also Bluetooth for wireless printing from a compatible device.
The main problem with the device is to take printed pages out. The tray which gives out printed paper is quite deep and there is no way you can pull the tray out of the printer. So you have to squeeze in your hand through the tiny gap to take the pages out. If you have big hands then make sure you have a couple of sticks around to take paper out of the tray.
Brother has been putting the Ethernet and USB ports inside the unit since long time and this one too continues the trend. The ports are not easily accessible and you have to go digging in to put the cords in. You also lose quite a lot of cable because it goes inside the printer. We wished these ports were on the sides just like most printers do.
But the printer has built in Wi-Fi connectivity, so if cables bother you too much then go for the clutter free wire free interface. There is a wizard on the printer which lets you set up Wi-Fi easily. It just took about a minute and we were ready to go!
For ink, there are four cartridges – cyan, black, yellow and magenta that go up in the front bay. Brother gives tiny cartridges along with the printer which run out fast and you will have to buy new ones soon. The color cartridges will set you back by $17 and gives an output of 750 pages while the black cartridge costs $32 for an output of 900 printed sheets. We didn’t find this printer best in running costs, we recommend Canon Pixma MX860 for economical prints.
There is also a tiny handset that comes along with the MFD. It is a cordless 5.8 GHz piece so you need not worry much when around microwaves and wireless networks. There is a built in answering machine and the left side of the LCD has buttons like erase, play, hold/intercom keys and speakerphone.
There are three settings for print quality – fast normal, fast and normal to fine. There is an enhancement tool called “True2life” which lets you change the white balance, color density, brightness, contrast and other such settings.
Paperport is third party software from ScanSoft. You can install it on the printer for editing photos just like Apple’s iPhoto for basic photo editing like blemish erasing, auto enchancement and red-eye elimination. The software is very user friendly but it is more for light users and cannot compare with soft wares like Adobe but still is very use full for basic photo editing and playing around with the pictures.
The printer is good in copying, scanning and fax and using the printer wirelessly was easy and clutter free. The printer can hold only 15 sheets of paper, something that we were disappointed with. Printers of this class are known to hold at least double that amount. There are options in scanning like routing photos to e-mail, file, folder, etc. Virtual Control Center has four programmable buttons for your preferences. For copying, magnify from 25% to 400% of the original document.
The biggest drawback of the printer is the slow speed. We think this is one of the slowest printers that we have had in our test centers and it is certainly not for people who lack patience. Photo printing takes about 0.35 pages per minute which is slower than MFC-490CW which gave 0.65 pages per minute.
Printing is slower but it is really good in quality even when compared with earlier Brother printers. The photo quality and graphics blew us off our feet, smooth curves and gradients had solid color handling with almost no malformation or blotches. Print outs are not one of the best but it will satisfy a shutter bug enthusiast.
Most Brother printers give you two year warranties but this one gives you only one year warranty. We would have appreciated at least a two year support, if not more because this is a high end printer.
We were fully satisfied with the performance of Brother MFC-990CW. Sure it has some drawbacks like Ethernet and USB ports are located inside printer but the great printouts eclipse these shortcoming, we will recommend this printer for home use.