on April 25, 2012
I bought one of these a few months ago in November to replace my aging Canon printer, and I liked it so much I just bought another one for my parents and set it all up for them.
What motivated me to write the review was that I just had to replace the very low yield starter cartridge and the low toner warning with the message "Prepare New Toner Cartridge" wouldn't go away despite buying a Brother brand high yield toner cartridge (TN450), and I have found a lot of other people seem to have had the same issue. After scouring the net, I found the trick that isn't anywhere to be found in the documentation.
So let's get this out of the way right now. If you still have the low toner message after replacing the toner with a Brother brand cartridge, here's what you do.
1. Open the front toner compartment door.
2. Message reads "Front cover open."
3. Press the "Clear" button.
4. Message reads "Replace Drum?" and gives you a choice of Yes or No.
5. DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS. Instead, type in *00 on the keypad. (Don't forget the asterisk before the two zeros!)
This apparently resets the machine's internal page counter. You should see an "accepted" message. Close the compartment door door, press Stop/Exit and Voila. No more low toner message! Takes about 30 seconds.
Now for the review. What I like:
- Small, compact footprint.
- Works flawlessly from copying to duplex printing to faxing to wireless scanning.
- Simple to use.
- Simple to set up on a wireless network - don't even need to initially connect it to a computer to set up.
- NO warm up time. Wow. Even from deep sleep mode, it wakes right up when you send anything to it to print or feed anything into it to copy or fax and works instantly.
- Replacement high capacity toner cartridge (2600 pages) from Amazon was close to half what the Canon cartridge would have cost - one reason I decided to buy this printer rather than put $85 into a new cartridge on an aging AIO printer.
- Using the free Brother iPhone app, I can print from my iPhone!
- I didn't love having the low toner warning stay on even after buying their brand and having to scour the internet for an hour before finally finding an obscure, random post by someone who knew the trick for this printer - that YOU now all know too. :-) (There's no optical eye on these that you can cover like some of the previous generation Brother printers like the 2170w that allowed you to keep printing LONG after the warning came on, so that trick won't work.)
- I don't love that the somewhat loud fan that goes on when the machine is used at all seems to stay on for 5 minutes or so after the last activity before it goes silent.
- Lifting up the cover to place something on the glass could be smoother. It seems to sort of snap up and snap down when you get past a certain point in both directions.
- It's definitely a bit more flimsy feeling than my Canon was, but it's also a lot smaller and lighter.
But for the price and the performance, these are too insignificant to me to even knock off a star, especially after finding the low toner message trick. I bought the printer for it's functionality, duplex printing, the relatively low cost of toner, and especially its ability to scan *wirelessly* and allowing you to save in various formats including scanning multiple pages into one pdf document using the included ControlCenter4 software. Great for signed agreements you can scan and email within a few clicks instead of faxing. Lots of other All-In-Ones scan, but not wirelessly with this simplicity at this price-point.
After 5 months, I still love this printer and think it gives you the best bang for your buck right now.
on April 9, 2011
I have a network with both Windows (XP and 7) and Mac (10.5.8) machines on it, and was in need of a new printer. I was looking to replace a trusty IBM InfoPrint 12 which had been in use on the network (via a router with print server) for over 10 years (and only two toner cartridges). I even debated about fixing the InfoPrint, but I was not sure what it would take, and I needed a solution now. At first I was only thinking about a stand-alone laser printer, both in terms of cost and function, but then decided to look into multi-function machines as I also have an ink jet multi-function (usable only by my work machine) that I did not mind removing.
These are the criteria that I had in mind while selecting a product:
* laser print: for crispness and consumables (my ink jet seemed to drink ink, or it dried up)
* duplex: one of the items I did not like about the InfoPrint 12 is the lack of duplex
* compatibility across several OS platforms
* ability to scan via the LAN and not requiring direct USB
I was not concerned about the size of the unit, as it was going to have its own table (though it is quite compact). I was also not concerned about the fax functionality of the machine. While it is nice to have if needed, I had only used my old multi-function to fax once.
Taking these into account, I could not find anything that met them as well as the Brother MFC-7860DW. There are some higher caliber machines, but these were designed for more active use and their price reflected that. Some may think the MFC-7860DW is pricey, but there are others which are much more so. Since the MFC-7860DW are very new, I had some questions and wanted to see one in action, but I was not able to find any in stores. My main question was the software compatibility across OS platforms. A sister product from Brother (the HL-2270DW) had excellent reviews in terms of platform support, but I've been burned before on assumption, so I e-mailed Brother's pre-sales support. They confirmed that full functionality was supported for both Mac and Windows. It was time to purchase! I checked a few prices on-line and chose Amazon. Sure they were a few dollars more than the lowest but I like their delivery speed, customer support, and return policy (if needed). I also did not want to create (yet) another account for a single purchase.
The package arrived with some dents and tears in it (thanks UPS) but the printer was within a styrofoam shell and was unharmed. Unpack was a breeze, and the first function to test was copying -- looked great! Next I hooked it to an open port on my router and started software install. My Windows XP machine had some trouble with the PaperPort software. I did not have need to scan from that machine, so I just installed the printer driver and moved on. Full install on the Windows 7 machine went well. The full install on my Mac was even easier. The newness of the product insured I had the most recent versions of the software too.
Now that I have it installed, functional, and run bunch of paper through it I am glad I chose this one. Not only did it meet my main criteria as previously listed, I've come to appreciate these items too:
* a 250 page paper drawer (I do not like how other printers leave the paper exposed to collect dust)
* toner saver mode
* wired, or wireless, network capability (I chose wired due to the next item)
* super sleep mode (only available if on wired network)
* the separate toner and drum design (I think that it is good as they have different service lengths)
So, no negatives you think? If I had to choose one it would be the noise level. It is noisier than the InfoPrint 12 was, but I can live with it given the other benefits of the machine.
on June 1, 2011
I purchased this from OfficeMax not on Amazon.com. In doing so, I spent months doing research trying to replace a really old Brother MFC-420CN which I loved. I wanted a Brother machine as they are durable, reliable and don't wear as much as other machines (Always owned a Brother fax) - Having said that, this machine was a dream come true, it's inexpensive, small footprint and decent workhorse. Unfortunately the CONS outweigh the PROS.
Small footprint for duplexer
Very noisy while printing
Flimsy ADF feels as though it will come off
Duplexer sounds like it's in pain (noisy and very slow)
Starter toner cartridge gives you 200 pages @ 5% coverage
Here is a quirk:
If you have this in WIRELESS mode, that is the unit is NOT connected to the router via Ethernet cable, the machine *always* runs, even in sleep mode. The fan will stay on and its noisy. The lights (deep blue) will always be on.
If you have this in WIRED mode, that is the unit IS connected to the router or USB, the machine will enter "Deep Sleep" and looks like its actually off. No noise, nothing. (Lights are off)
This quirk is hard to find in the manual but there it is. Consider the noise level which I ignored when buying this and now regret.
on August 22, 2011
Alright, so I did a whole bunch of research before finally selecting this printer, and can honestly say that I am extremely happy with it.
I actually bought it from a different store during a promotion with a lower price + free gift, but I see that Amazon has it at the same price now. Btw, you should go to the 7860DW printer's product info page on Brother's website and easily check the prices offered by the various vendors that sell this item online or in stores. Quite efficient.
Now to the review.
1. Wireless is great. This thing comes off from deep-sleep in a flash and prints fast. Btw, some reviews said that it doesn't go into deep-sleep (fully quiet) when on wireless, but only in wired mode. That is wrong info. I have it on wireless and it goes into totally quiet mode after 3-4 mins idle.
2. Looks nice and sleek. Matte finish, so it wont catch fingerprints and smudges.
3. Nice, clean design. Smooth shape & form factor, unlike some other printers I looked at which had weird shapes and ledges etc sticking out and have potential to break accidentally.
4. This thing is sturdy. No cheap/flimsy parts.
5. Auto duplex is very useful, and is extremely fast.
6. The initial install (i.e. connect printer to wifi network and install to first laptop) was a few simple steps with the provided CD. No problems. Install on my second laptop was even shorter. Both my laptops are Windows 7, one is 64-bit and the other is 32-bit. And yeah, the printer was able to get the network login credentials from my laptop during install, so I didn't have to separately enter login/password etc for it. I thought that was cool.
7. I also installed Brother's free iPrint/Scan app on my Android tablet and my Windows Phone, and can print pics and PDFs from those devices wirelessly. Sweet! (Hope they update the app to enable printing Word docs and Powerpoints as well. That would be quite useful).
8. 'Scan to' xyz device function works great, including to my tablet through the app. Good quality color scans.
I've only had it for a couple of weeks, so if I discover new good/bad things, I'll try and update this review.
Btw, every place I'd visited to check pricing and deals (the usual popular brick n mortar stores that sell printers), the sales guy inevitably praised Brother printers, especially for durability/quality over HP and Canon. And this includes the sales guys in stores where they do not work for commission. So I hope this printer stands the test of time.
Hope this review was useful to you. If you have any questions, please use the comments section below and I will try to respond quickly.
on April 19, 2011
Having never written a review for Amazon, I feel compelled to pen one.
I just installed my Brother MFC-7860DW printer this morning and couldn't be happier. I'm replacing a Dell 1600N Multi Function Printer. While I generally liked the Dell printer over the years, it didn't play well with Mac.
To give you an idea how this was set up, let me describe it briefly. The Brother was installed in my home network via an Ethernet cable to my Apple Time Machine. My iMac is hard wired to the Time Machine and I also have a MacBook that lives a wireless life. The installation instructions that came with the printer were quite clear and I followed directions for a "Wired Network for Macintosh". The installation and setup to my iMac took less than 2 minutes and worked right away. I then installed the software in my MacBook and also selected Wired Network. It also went quickly and worked right away. I use Ooma VOIP for phone service and the registration FAX was sent successfully however I have not yet received a FAX. I should mention that I'm just a regular guy and not a computer guru in any way shape or form. I just read the manual and followed directions.
I should mention that I've only had this printer powered up for a couple hours and my first impressions are very positive. I've printed one sided and duplex jobs with zero complaints. I've scanned to my iMac, perfect. I made a single test copy and it was about 90% on the quality scale (I haven't messed with any sort of copy settings yet). I printed one envelope. It came out slightly wrinkled but not enough to not use it.
A few words about printer noise. I don't think it is objectionable at all. My old Dell printer would run/hum for 30 minutes after a print job and was quite annoying. This printer powers up with an incoming job, prints it with minimal noise and then puts itself to sleep. Yes, you can hear it run but I don't find it overly loud and certainly quieter than my old printer.
Time will tell but so far, I'm very happy with my purchase.
on June 15, 2011
I own a fax machine, scanner, and a b/w laser. It was finally time to upgrade all of these. This became apparent when I was trying to fax 60 pages of loan docs for my recent re-fi... one page and one call at a time. I literally threw that thing out the window after that episode. So, my scanner was getting a little dated (slow as molasses) and my b/w laser isn't network ready, so I had to physically connect via usb. I decided it was time to replace all of these with this new-fangled all-in-one.
I had a lot of reservations about this. I really was expecting the jack-of-all-trades, master of none and though I might wind up buying separate devices again but after a crazy amount of research, my confidence grew and I narrowed it down to the Brother a Canon and an HP that were all roughly equivalent - you are probably doing the same thing. So I always assumed that HP would be the highest quality product in this class since they've been around for so long, but the reviews spoke a different story. I was interested in the canon because a. I though it was the best looking and b. the scanner quality is important to me and I though canon would excel in this area. Again the reviews were not that favorable here either.
I'm a mac guy, so this was an important factor and hands-down the Brother was praised for it's compatibility with macs. So as good as it is for compatibility with my mac, my wife's pc was equally easy to connect - overall, a win for connecting to this machine.
The fax machine has worked flawlessly, I love it. The Brother has system memory for scanning the fax pages into the machine and then sending the document (I wasn't expecting this, my old fax scanned each page as it sent) so it is very fast - no jams, etc. The fact that it can fax this well and print very nice b/w laser prints already has me thrilled with the purchase... but there's more...
The scanner. So the scanner isn't going to compare to any high-end pro standalone, it does a pretty good job at scanning a typical image at flicker/facebook resolution. If you want to scan you wedding album and blow it up to 24x36, take your album to an image center with a drum scanner. There is a cool feature with the scanner in that it can scan a stack of docs (same feed as the fax) and the scan button on the machine sends the scans right to your computer (or you can select which computer). You can also control all of this from your computer. The scans are faster than my old stand-alone, but it's not breaking any speed records. You do not get the duplex scanning for faxes or images with this unit, it only does duplex printing. This wasn't a feature that I really cared about but it you scan tons of two-sided docs, you should get the model that offers this. I didn't think much of the duplex printing, but I just printed a 90 page manual and duplex-printing was a no-brainer.
I've had the Brother for about two months and it has had no problems and has definitely exceeded my expectations - I highly recommend it!
on July 3, 2012
I purchased this printer about 4 months ago and after only 200 pages the starter ink said it was EMPTY when it obviously had more ink. I could not get the "Ink Empty" sign to go away. 3 months later and I finally found a solution that will hopefully help others.
Here's what the manual says: "To force the machine to continue printing after the LCD shows Replace Toner, set the machine to Continue mode (Menu 1, 8, and choose Continue) The machine will continue printing until the LCD shows Toner Ended." It is set on "Stop" as the default. Set it on continue and it should continue printing and hopefully save you some ink.
on April 20, 2011
I decided to post this Review because I did not find to many on this printer as april-20-2011.
First, I was looking for a laser printer, with scanner and copy capabilities, that could serve mac and windows computers wireless.
It was very easy to setup, I just followed the directions on the printed manual that came with the printer, the drivers from the CD that came with the printer worked perfect, first I needed to connect the printer to the wireless router, I just needed the SSID and password; during the installation of drivers on my mac intel core 2 duo with OS X 10.6.7, I needed to connect the printer directly to the computer with USB cable (not included) this was the recommended option to get wireless connection going, not a problem for me, and was very easy and fast, once connected you can download and install OCR and other software, but by then the mac was ready to print, which I did with no problems; then I proceeded to install on a windows computer with windows 7-32 bit, process very similar that on my mac, it took a lot of time to do the install on windows, probably 12 minutes versus 2 minutes on my mac, but It did not asked me to connect the printer directly with USB this time, the computer asked to restart and after restarted I just sent a document to print and worked.
There is a software that controls the printer for scanning or even settings on the printer, it is called control center version 4 on windows and version 2 on mac, but they function the same as far as I can tell, very simple to use.
The added bonus that I discovered while researching this printer was an app for iphone and ipad, I actually do not have either one but it works on my second gen ipod touch, you can print PDF's and photos, and if you grab screen shots (by pressing power button and home button) you can print almost anything from your apple device, so as soon as I opened the printer and had it connected to the wireless router, probably 15 minutes, and before I had it configured for my computers, I sent a photo from my ipod to the printer wireless and it worked just fine, the app is easy to use as well, not to many features but at least I can print if I need from my ipod which is great.
My review is based mostly at this time on the easy install and the wireless compatibility with the different products I own. But if it all goes as planned and the printer keeps printing wirelessly and with the same quality I will be happy with my purchase, speed is not very important to me, but it wakes up and prints at a good pace; the printer is noisy compared to my previous inkjet printers canon S900 AND EPSON R1800, not to complain about it but enough to mention it. Toners come in two capacities which is a good option. This is my first day with the printer, so I still cannot comment on toner usage, but just as a reminder this printer comes with just a "starter" toner that is rated for about half of printed pages than the standard toner.
on May 5, 2011
I loved the Brother HL-5140 laser printer --no problems for 5 years plus-- but now need the copy/scan functions, (have no land line for the fax). I was hoping to try another company (thinking, what am I missing?). But after thoroughly researching what is out there (in terms of my values and needs -- I like economical workhorses that don't waste my time), I kept returning to the Brother MFC 7860dw.
I like to ride the tails of the new features, well after they have been tested and improved on, bugs fixed, and the price has come down AND I've checked the reviews on Amazon, of course. I went out to a couple big-box stores and played with menus, lifted and opened, ...enough to see which ones felt so cheap they would drive me crazy. In terms of a physical relationship with a machine, I felt we were a solid match, so I just waited for the right price.
After all that, you might say I was invested in the product before I even bought it, which is part of the secret of technology: Have fun, learn the moves and tricks, don't assume anything, keep your sense of wonder about what the human animal has wrought (usually the layers of history of development show around the edges)-- all before you are under pressure to produce anything.
I am embarrassed to say I read everything in all the deadening documentation associated with this product except the online knowledgebase and the how-to files. Here is my honest suggestion: Do NOT read the manuals at all. Throw them in the box in the attic. There are a few gems buried in there, but most of the documentation for these products makes little effort to truly serve the user's real needs. Just learn on your own through playing around. Do write down what you learn or you'll forget unless you're using something regularly.
The most useful online support is a Troubleshooting document: read that before you have any trouble and you've learned from fellow travelers rather than from some bureaucrats paid to put out a document.
One point upon wireless set-up (not in the documentation): All was smooth until the machine was asking me to enter the numbers on the back of the router (the key, I think it's called). I was stuck: whenever I arrowed to the next entry space on the machine's menu, my entry would turn into an asterisk. Just keep going. This is what's supposed to happen. -- a little note in the documentation would have helped.
I've been using it for a couple of weeks now and I'm very happy with my choice. I have a small office at home with a Vista laptop using Verizon fios wirelessly. I have a couple of friends I quickly/easily added for wireless use of the machine also.
The wireless scanning is plenty fast for me so I have not even directly connected my laptop to the MFC 7860dw at all, and may never. I hesitate to add wired usage since I do not want any problems. Though I enjoy technology, not that much. (Let me know if adding a wired connection--AFTER having so much luck with wireless--is smooth; There were some posts on an earlier machine saying otherwise.)
P.S.: my earlier Brother created a smell when printing and I would crack the window, this one doesn't at all. The toner probably has been improved.
P.P.S: Software: I like the advanced mode of the Control Center 4 best -- switch to that right away so you can see what changes you've made as you choose things either on the hardware or software. The code for Remote Setup is "access."
I find the PaperPort scanning management software (version 12) a great addition, but it has a long learning curve. You have to stay with it over time and don't try to push it to it's limits.
on June 26, 2012
I have a small business that requires a lot of printing (paper, envelop, checks) and scanning. Brother MFC are so reliable that this is my 3rd one !! I have MFC8860DN (4 yrs old) and MFC9440CN (2.5 yrs old) that are still working like new. I've been using 7860DW now for 3 weeks and I'd like to share my feedback:
I chose Seller = AMAZON, so the shipment was free and fast 2 days delivery. It was delivered to my front door in good shape. I also order high yield toner TN450, that came a day later.
- Setup was quite straight forward. I used it as wireless, just follow the instruction and all was up and running in <15 mins. Note that I am also the LAN admin of my own wireless network, so, I know all the required wireless details in my head. If you are not as techie, I suggest you spend sometime to gather the info first.
- Installation of the MFC s/w from the provided CD is pretty much the same as other MFC with network model and it was quite easy to follow. The different is that for this model, the s/w is installed as a separate one. So, in my case, I have one MFC s/w for my 8860DN & 9440CN and a new one for this 7860DW. Not an issue for me as my PC's are quite powerful (core 2 due or quad with >4GB RAM). I tried printing and scanning from the PC to 7860DW and 9440CN and all worked fine (just a matter of select which printer frin the list when printing from what what applcation).
- Printing speed is relatively fast for multiple page (or copy) printing, Duplex feature is fantastic
- The manual feed worked ok but the way it take in the feed could have been designed better. This is why I gave 7860DW only 4 stars
- I found the noise generated from 7860DW to be noticeably better than 8860DN or 9440CN
- I noticed that 7860DW required more time to get itself ready from sleep mode. I'd say <10 sec more than 9440CN/8860DN, but this is not a big deal for me. As I know this machine is not designed to be a heavy duty one
- What I like the most is check / envelop printing. 7860DW uses a lot less heat, so the envelop/check comes out looking really good. I tried making prints on the same sheet of paper (manually fed) like 15-20 times, and there was no sign of paper has been over heated.
- ADF - Auto document feeder worked very well for scanning and copying. Again, it is a little slower that 9440CN/8860DN
*** Now about scanning ***
- Unfortunately, the only scan s/w you have is the MFC s/w, you WILL ALWAYS get a huge file regardless of your resolution setting. This is because the PDF compression used is not as optimized hence there is nothing you can do :-(
- In my case, I used Acrobat PDF s/w instead. So, when I have to scan, I basically open Acrobat apps then click on CREATE - PDF from Scanner - Configure Preset (just to select the scanner 7860DW from the list). The scanned document will always come out clear and the file will always be in reasonable size ( 400-600KB as I always scan at 300 dpi). The scan time from Acrobat is always a lot faster than the Brother installed s/w. NOTE: Acrobat s/w is quite expensive (even when they have promotion). But if you scan a lot, I highly recommend to get one - it is the best I've seen to date when it comes to scanning performance.
About the toner:
- The start up toner that comes with the printer won't last long (I'm printing approx 100 pages a week). So, within 2.5 week, I already see the warning TONER LOW on the printer.
- I just put in TN450 in place and will update again later on how long it last.
- At the same time, I just found refill kit on AMAZON for <$20. Will give it a try and will update again in the next couple of months !!
- NEVER throw away the starter toner that come with the machine. Order the REFILL KIT but choose the one that come with RESET GEAR.
*** UPDATE 08/16/12 ***
I am amazed at how quickly the toner life is for this machine. I used brand new TN450 for only 5-6 weeks and I alreay have the warning TONER LOW. That is not even 50% of what a high yield toner is supposed to last !!! With this alone, I take out one star. That said, I still say this machine is still a pretty cool machine, as an owner, we just need to learn how to refill it ourselves to keep the cost down. I will update again once I refill the toner.