Brother releasing MFC-5890CN has achieved something quite remarkable with its. Everything needed in the small office is in this printer, A3, A4 printing, scanning and fax functionalities as well. A3 scanning was left out so if you’d like to do that often, the bigger version of the model is a better choice. Quite a multi-purpose machine, as it prints in both B&W and color modes too.
The unit itself can be called compact, but that doesn’t mean you can put it into your backpack after work. It’s just smaller than similar printers with similar capabilities on the market, and I have to say there are not that many that can do everything this printer can. It is equipped with USB 2.0 connectivity to be able to print from digital cameras or thumb drives without a computer and reads SD, CF and MMC cards for the same reason. An RJ-45 ethernet connector makes operation in network printer mode possible.
There are four different cartridges installed with all the pros and cons of the technology. These cartridges are easy to replace one by one after use, there is no need to throw out a half full casing only because the black tint is empty. It also takes some more space than a single cartridge system, but it definitely produces less waste.
The paper tray can take up to 150 sheets of paper and the device prints away at an agonizingly slow 10 pages per minute or 6 in color mode. Brother is one of the manufacturers that measure their printers’ official performance assuming draft mode. I don’t know if you print a lot in draft but I don’t really find myself doing that a lot. The official numbers are 35 pages in black and white or 28 in color.
This printer has no remarkable features, nor it is the fastest printer on earth. The print quality is not the best either, color mode pages are vivid, filled, while text mode prints are only decent with a strange fragile look to the letters. Under magnifier glass the cause is easily spotted, the lines are a bit thin causing the serifs to almost fall off of letters. Maybe it has to warm up before starting to produce proper quality papers, maybe it’s inherent from used technology, I don’t know. Scans are done in good quality both from the flatbed and the 50 pages document feeder on the top.
Brother has done nothing extraordinary other printers can’t do. Some of the features are almost weak, but I’d like to add, that this is a very cheap A3 printer model, and that’s the great thing about it. It does everything for only $180.