on December 1, 2013
Just changed my review from 4 stars to 5. This printer has been working flawlessly for me for almost 2 years. Very few jams, no print head clogs or replacements. And the most affordable ink if you can find the XXL cartridges. You can buy a three pack for color (LC105CL) cartridges. They can all be purchased separately including the XXL Black (LC109BK). I print to this printer from my cell phone while hundreds of miles away. I'm so impressed. But the best thing is the paper handling capability! I love this printer more ever month. Finally a product built to last.
I just took my review from 2 stars to 4 stars. This really is a pretty good printer and I would recommend it, as long as you know up front that you will have to do some tweaking on the print quality (you have to read the comments below)...
Also, I want to thank those that have added their findings in the comments. This review would not be complete without you!
Here is my original review with a few other edits along the way:
At this time, this is Brother's new, Flagship printer. It has every bell and whistle you can imagine. I needed a printer that will handle Legal (8.5x14) paper. This printer will do that and does up to 11x17 paper. So Legal size paper should be no problem. One advertised feature that impressed me is the ability to copy or scan duplex (two sided) paper in one pass. It is also supposed to print duplex paper in one pass. Hence, it should be faster and it would be less likely that it will get a paper jam flipping the paper over. I'm not sure how much we will use this, but it is nice knowing it has that ability.
I have tested printing from my Android cell phone and it works. My prints came out the size of photo paper (about 5 by 7). I have not looked for a way to select the tray or paper size yet. But I can see how this ability will be useful to us.
Installation: I read in a review the software on the included CD is out of date. So I did not even try the CD. I went to the [...]site and downloaded everything I thought I would need. There are a lot of pieces to the software and doing this is a real pain. (Edit 1/28/14 - I believe I downloaded and installed more software than was needed. I now believe there is only one software download required. I believe it is the first one in the list on the Brother support page for this printer.) Also, the printer came with C firmware. At this time the latest firmware is G. So plan on downloading and installing the latest firmware. I think that is a lot of firmware levels for less than a year. It makes me think they released this printer before it was fully tested and ready. (Edit 1/28/14 - Wow, got notification of another firmware release today. I still need to download and try it. I will let you know if I can see an improvement in print quality. I'm hoping that Brother has been working on this issue.)
My biggest complaint is color printing and copying. The text is not that great either. As I mentioned above, this printer has every bell and whistle you could ever want. That is way cool. But if it does not print well, it seems to me that the advanced features are not important.
This is Brothers new top of the line personal printer. I just can't believe the poor quality of the color prints. When I removed my old Lexmark printer, it has about 6 pages in the output tray. As soon as I got the MFC-J6920DW setup and tested, I decided to try copying these pages. I wanted to see how the document feeder worked. The pages were a combination of text and color graphics. The colors were bright and vibrant going in, but the output looked nothing like the originals. The bright beautiful color was gone. The colors looked pastel and washed out, like the printer is trying to save ink. I tried copying the same pages with the printer set to "Best" rather than "Normal". These prints took for ever, and there was a only a very small improvement. They still looked nothing like the original pages my old Lexmark had printed. So, I called Brother support to see about changing the settings. Well, guess what, there are only two settings (Normal, and Best), and I had already tried them both. They had me try darkening the copy one step, but still no joy, and now the text was too dark and starting to loose detail.
Conclusion: The paper handling capabilities of this printer are amazing, and seem to be very robust. I don't think it will ever jam. (Edit 1/28/14)- I have now had jams; but always a result of me letting the paper out tray get full. The jams were a pain to get out as there were several pages in various places. I think it will be easier in the future now that I know where the doors and flaps are.) And all the advanced features are great. But lets face it, the most important thing an All-in-One printer should do is print well, and this printer just does not. Scenic photos I have printed using the best setting on plain paper look just horrible. I have not tried photo paper yet, but doubt it will fix the problem. I have been through all of the settings, and even call Brother support, and I just can't get the print quality to improve.
This printer is a perfect fit for my requirements, but the print quality is simply unacceptable. What a shame, Brother has some amazing technology in this printer. If you are picky about print and graphic quality like I am, avoid this printer. However, you may not be able to find a printer that has this ones paper handling capability. In that case, get it and lower your print expectations like I have.
Edit 2/27/2014 - Hey guys, make sure to read the comments to this thread. There is some very good information in them. There is information on using photo printer paper and setting the color density to get better print quality. I believe the color density feature was added with the latest firmware update.
on July 16, 2014
The printer was not purchased on Amazon but since I am an Amazon customer and highly value customer reviews there, I'm adding mine. Received my MFC J6920DW on Monday and set it up the same day with a default sample print printed. Tried loading #10 envelopes but the trays had no markings for such. Started a chat session with Brother and the support person told me the envelopes had to be loaded one at a time from the back side of the machine, through the manual feeder. Didn't sound right. I found a Video on Brother web site that showed #10 envelopes being loaded into Tray 1 (the upper one) with the flap on top and the left side as you look at the machine from the front. Since the trays don't automatically sense the size of paper loaded, you need to manually tell the printer what size paper is loaded in which tray. There is no selection for envelopes in the available options for various paper sizes. So you have to set it at "letter" size. When printing from MS Word, in the printer properties dialog you have an area where you can select Paper size, as in Auto Select, Tray 1 or Tray 2. If you got envelopes in tray 1, since you can't tell the printer that you have loaded envelopes in there, you have to tell it to print using tray 1, and on the same dialog, set paper size to Com-10 (that is you have to make two selections on the same dialog. After several tries on my MS Word 2010, I finally figured out that the flaps should actually be on the right side. I successfully printed envelopes. I think the recommended number of envelopes is 10 in the tray. Problem is the return address prints about an inch from the front short edge of the envelope. I used to be able to get this done ¼ inches away on my old HP printer. The margin setting in MS Word has Auto, 0.4, 0.5, etc, but apparently the driver is not looking at that. When you set the front margin to 0.4, you still have an inch on the envelope. So the point is the envelope printing is nice since it will let you have 10 envelopes sitting in there for whenever you need to print one, but be careful when you do and you really have not too much control on the placement of return address.
Next issue is banding. I have loaded paper both portrait and landscape, and tried to print a solid 25% grey box that is sized to cover half the page (Insert menu, Shapes, select a Box, and then fill it with a grey fill). The print comes out with lines parallel to the long edge of paper, exactly 3.5 centimeters apart from each other. It make no difference whether you are printing using greyscale or color, high quality or whatever. The lines are there. I was with Brother phone support for 3 hours today and they finally told me to replace the machine. I have a feeling the next machine is going to be the same, but I will go ahead and buy another one since the features are very good (if they work).
Last issue: The printer is supposed to have NFC and with an Android capable of NFC (Android 4 and better), you should be able to print anything on your phone screen directly onto paper by activating NFC and touching the special area of the printer with your phone. This did not work on my printer and the support guy just gave up. (I have the latest and greatest HTC One M8 with NFC enabled both on phone and printer).
Why am I still interested in this printer? Simply because my last HP multi-function gave me problem after problem for 5+ years before it finally stopped scanning/copying from glass and wanted the documents in the feeder. Well you can't really put a driver's license in the feeder to scan it, can you? (it needs to bend and go through the scan head) Also the HP and Canons go through ink like there is no tomorrow and Canon doesn't have a two sided auto scanner at consumer prices. While my old HP printer used to scan one side, then flip the paper automatically and scan the other side, it looks like this Brother scans both sides at the same time in one pass, although I haven't really been picky about scan quality for text.
I would love to mention that this printer is VERY slow to print the first page. By the time you eventually click "Print" after setting paper size and appropriate tray, till the printer actually starts making noise, it is a solid 17 seconds, and then about another 18 seconds before a page of text is finally printed on draft setting. Print quality is acceptable and reasonable for text. The product manual says you get the fastest first page prints on USB-connected printer with Ethernet as a second alternative for fast prints. They say that WiFi printing is the slowest method. Mine is connected via ethernet and a router.
At the end I like to say I am in the technical field and have worked with Computers and printers for as long as there has been personal computers and printers, so I'm not a novice. I hope this review proves to be informative, as I wish I had seen something like this before I finally bought mine.
When you use a multi-function printer, what you gain in convenience you give up in desk space. The Brother Printer MFCJ6920DW Color Inkjet Multi-Function Center with Scanner, Copier and Fax is no exception to this rule. The thing is huge.
The combination of an excellent scanner with the rare ability to scan up to an 11x17 document, a built on document feeder, a fax machine, 2 paper trays, a comprehensive graphic display, and of course the printer all add up to a unit that will take up significant amount of desktop space. The printer is about the size of a 10 ream case of LTR paper if you add 4 more inches of width. Clearly it needs it room to operate.
With the exception of its bulk, the printer is very easy to set up and can be adapted to a computer or network wirelessly or through a USB printer cable. The wireless function is simple to engage and definitely a cool feature. Software installation is simple. You should be up and running within 30 minutes of opening the box.
Starting from the the top of the printer, it is pretty amazing to see how the tools are packed in. The lid opens up into the document feeder which has a 35 sheet capacity. I tried running different quantities of paper through the document feeder and found the actual, reliable capacity to be closer to 10-12 sheets which is still great for a consumer grade machine where document feeders are not a common feature. The scanner which can be accessed by lifting the lid (or the doc feeder) scans fairly quickly, about 7 seconds per sheet. The scan quality is very good for both documents and photographs, as good as any other scanner I've ever used. There is a scan to fax function but I can't comment on it as I have not used it yet since I do not have the printer hooked up to a phone line.
Below the scanner is the printer paper output tray. There is a tray extender on it which catches the paper as it leaves the printer. When it is pulled out (which it needs to be to catch the paper which really shoots out of the printer when finished) this extension sticks out another 6 inches or so from the front of the printer. I found this to be a problem because the printer is so large that there are really not many spaces which can accommodate the extra width (nearly 2 feet!) if it is left pulled out. If it happens to be next to a traffic area, there is a very good chance you can walk into the extended tray and damage it. In the space we have it is necessary to pull out the tray every time we use the printer and push it back in when we are done to avoid damage. Given the design of the unit, there is really no other place for the paper to exit, so the tray is a necessary evil.
Below that are the two paper trays which have a combined capacity of 500 sheets and can accommodate LTR, LGL and LGR sized paper as well as their European equivalents. We haven't loaded 500 sheets in yet, but have had no problems with jamming or paper feed with up to 300 sheets.
The printer quality is very good. I don't have a great deal of experience with ink jet printers since we most often use a laser printer, but on a high quality setting, the ink printing is on par with the toner prints from a laser printer for black and white documents. We have not run out of ink yet but when we do I will update this review. I can already tell that the scan to print capabilities are limited by the amount of ink available. We will only use this printer for scanning and printing the occasional documents instead of a more regular use because of the ink capacity compared to the far greater capacity of a toner cartridge. Color prints are impressive and actually have far more accurate and easier color matching than a consumer grade color laser printer. Reports printed on the Brother are sharp, colorful and look really good. The inking is consistent and doesn't saturate the paper. Even sheets which are heavily inked (like those with a colored background) are flat, smooth, and professional looking.
This is a great multi-purpose tool which should please anybody who has a need for everything this printer provides, especially with the wireless capabilities and the oversize scanner. If you don't need all the extras and just want a scanner or just a printer then obviously the size of this thing makes it an impractical option for you.
on November 21, 2013
After several years of use, my MFC-6490CW Brother AIO started giving me poor quality printouts, and nothing I tried would fix it. So I opted for a new one. This MFCJ6920DW is perfect, even better so far than the MFC-6490. I loved my old Brother AIO, but this one has all the features I wished the old one had. Evidently the folks at Brother listened to the customer feedback. This one has duplex scanning and printing, smarter paper selection, more custom settings, better document feeding, faster communication with the pc, smarter scan capabilities, and many more. I was a bit shocked to see that it has top and bottom side scanning. I guess the extra hardware was not cost-prohibitive.
Software installation was a cumbersome process, taking almost an hour to install the full "suite" of programs. On my secondary pc, all I needed was a simple priinter driver, but even that took 15 minutes and crashed near the end. Fortunately it succeeded anyway.
The ink cartridges are inexpensive ones that do not include the printheads. That is a good thing in the short term, because of the lower costs. In the long run, it may be a liability, because you cannot easily replace the printhead if it wears out or becomes hopelessly clogged. On my old MFC6490, I think that is the case and so it is now mostly useless except as a big scanner.
The document feeder works faster and better than my old one. I saw a drop in scan time of over 50% while doing a multi-page pdf scan (on both sides at that). That made me very happy. No more combining of alternate pages after the scan.
The fax machine part was a simple setup and worked perfectly with my existing answering machine/phone.
Delivery was fast and the box was in perfect condition.
As with the older unit, I will add to this review over the months and years with my experiences.
****Followup #1 on 12/24/2013: Not much to report so far. Works as well as I expected. The one thing I do not like is the noisy paper feed which has a very loud thud when a single sheet is fed. Nothing wrong with the printout but I can't help but wonder if something is wrong somewhere inside.
p.s. For those of you disappointed in the color prints (as am I), try photo paper before giving up. I was shocked at how much better they look than on plain paper. Don't forget to select photo paper in the setup.
****Followup #2 on 3/15/2014: As before, nothing to report except that this unit is still working fine. I have not yet updated the firmware and it is several versions behind. "If it aint broke...". After 4 months of use, I just now replaced the original black cart. The other 3 are still original, and this unit is used daily.
****Followup #3 on 2/5/2015: Still going strong. I had a bit of a scare a couple weeks ago when the printout was missing lines within each scan of the print-head. I had run out of Brother carts and had installed a no-name one a week before. I immediately removed the no-name cart and replaced it with genuine Brother one. Then I did a intermediate print-head cleaning. It was back to normal operation then. I don't really know if the non-Brother cart had created the problem or not, but from now on I am taking no chances. As a reference, I just found new $37 print-heads available from A**E****** (china)for the MFC-6490 and, since I still have it, I ordered one. I will see if that fixes it. They used to cost about $200 and was what prompted me to buy the new one.
****Followup #4 on 11/16/2015: Big problem. The print-head started missing a lot of lines on the black ink, so I changed the cartridge. There was no improvement, so I made many attempts to run the head cleaning steps. That made things worse and then it started missing lines on all colors big time. Some were missing almost all the dots in the test print pattern. After days of trying to fix this, I was tempted to simply give up and buy a new printer once again! But since I now am retired and don't use it for my business, I gave it another try. I ordered this cleaning kit from Amazon/Printhead Hospital: http://www.amazon.com/Print-Head-Cleaner-Brother-Printers/dp/B0089OIZL0/
It took many, many repetitions of the procedure before the test print was almost perfect (only one dot missing). At that point I said "close enough" and stopped. That was two months ago and it is still printing fine.
on December 26, 2014
DO NOT INSTALL FIRMWARE L IF YOU PRINT 11X17 PDF DOCUMENTS OF SIGNIFICANT (50+ PAGE) SIZE.
I have bought two of these units, and have therefore several months experience; however, I only really started using the machine about a month and a half ago when I started working from home. If had written this review before the latest firmware revision (came out Dec 12th, Version L), it would have been 4 stars.
Now I am returning one of the two units because it is broken and Brother technical support 1) seemed not to even consider there might be a problem with the new firmware ("we tested it") 2) offered no solution ("cannot regress the firmware").
The problem: After upgrading to firmware L, printing 50-200page PDFs of 11x17 produces a memory error at random points in the printing process. My main use of the unit is to print 50-200page PDFs of 11x17. I also scan large amounts of 11x17. The new firmware (irreversible) has made the unit defective.
Besides the above, which is a deal-breaker for me since all I do is print and scan large amounts of 11x17 documents to/from PDFs... my review is this is an excellent printer compared to the competition.
* 11x17 ADF 35page single pass duplex scanning ... competition usually has to pull paper back into the unit.
* Physical Size -- This printer is half the size of its main 11x17 competitor (and relatively light). Fits in a sliding door closet, locked away from my 1 yr old.
* Ink price -- The ubber high capacity cartridges do really last MUCH longer than the starter cartridges and cost less than the competition.
* I scanned around 300 pages of 11x17 with no jams.
* Both trays can take 11x17... also, one can extend both trays fully even if one or both trays is holding smaller sized paper. (but only top tray does photo paper... see below)
* Network printer driver available... without installing the brother control suite.
* photo paper only accepted in the top tray. all troubleshooting functions use the top tray, and use letter sized paper. So, you may have to do some switching around to print 11x17 sized prints on photo paper. Not bad, however.
* Be gentle with the paper tray adjustment.
* Be careful putting in paper, must be flush against the side closest to the front, not the inclined rear of the tray.
* Non technical people at the office couldn't figure out how to copy letter sized, but this is only because they expected portrait orientation while this printer uses "landscape" orientation for letter size (parallel to the paper in the tray).
* For some reason the unit at the office keeps getting lost by the windows 8 machine at the office. The unit I use at home with windows 7 has no such issues. Not sure why. At the office, restarting both computer and printer solves the issue.
* If on a network, make sure to use the web interface to change the admin password. However, updating the firmware from the web interface didn't work for me. I had to use the computer based tool. Upgraded firmware to K on the office unit (bought first). Home unit came with K. Only upgraded to L on the home machine. Firmware upgrades are irreversible.
* No network scanner driver (unless install the control suite), but can scan up to 600dpi to USB. Yes, up to 11x17 straight from the ADF.
* Color image print quality on good quality paper is decent. My wife printed some images and they looked good.
* quite mode doesn't seem extremely quiet.
* Naming on the "high capacity" ink cartridges is confusing. There are multiple tiers, so be aware.
* I highly recommend selecting "vivid" as the default color mode... otherwise colors seem light.
* Unit handles bright florescent colors poorly on the scan. Workaround was to copy dark on best, then scan the copy. Took an hour to scan 50 pages. I noticed this on Yellow highlight and orange post it notes. I only scanned to the USB.
* Handicapped technical support. I am an IT go-to person. I know a bug when I see one. I upgraded to firmware L and starting having problems with 11x17 documents of any significant size. After 4 hrs of fairly irrelevant troubleshooting, Brother support blamed Acrobat when Acrobat printed just fine before the firmware upgrade. Actually Acrobat printed the exact documents flawlessly before the firmware upgrade. Maybe there is a small chance Brother support is right, but unlikely. I think their support team is highly discouraged from escalating an issue as actually being a possible bug. It was only after I told them I would return the unit, had bought 3 brother top end small office machines etc that Brother support agreed to maybe escalate the issue to a supervisor for possible consideration of a bug. Other reviewers complained about the support too, so be aware. I don't know if other companies are better. Likely not much better at this price point.
This is an good overall unit, with good handling of 11x17 and good network connectivity. However, it is not great on color accuracy with scanning (and only slightly better at copying). Printing may have improved since a year ago (based on reviews) and seems decent, at least when printing "best", and selecting "vivid".
PLEASE NOTE, If one plans to print 50-200 page PDFs of 11x17 on a regular basis... sorry... might be out of luck until further notice.
on March 5, 2014
I'm now on my 2nd replacement printer after having bought one just 3 months ago. Customer service is Very procedural oriented. It is obvious that they have minimally trained people who simply follow a script. They are pleasant enough, just are clueless outside of reading from a procedural manual.
I'm now on my 3rd replacement machine. With the first one, the touch screen failed to operate within 2 months. Called them. Went through their procedural script and determined that it was a hardware problem, so they offered to replace it. Got the new one in 3 days. Plugged it in. Tried to print the set-up page. Print heads were not working. Called again. Went through the script. Determined that the print heads were not right. Offered to send a new replacement machine. Third one arrives in 2 days. Set it up. Seems to be working. After printing 3 pages the paper-jam display comes up. After spending a half our trying to find the paper I called up product support. Again, went through the entire procedure twice. Determined that there was a mechanical problem and they would send yet another replacement printer. I'm still waiting.
on April 18, 2014
I run a small home-based business, in which a printer/fax/copier/scanner is integral in my daily procedures. I have always used Brother printers, and love them. But because of how much I use the printer, I typically have to replace my printer about twice a year. My last printer was a Brother MFC-J6910DW, and I loved it. So when it finally konked out, I wanted to buy another MFC-J6910DW to replace it, but I couldn't find that same model anywhere. It's not even listed on the Brother website. So I reluctantly looked at other Brother printers, and after much consideration and research, I finally decided to order the MFC-J6920DW, and hoped for the best. Wow, what a pleasant surprise! I absolutely LOVE my new printer, even more than the old one, which I didn't think was possible! I've read other reviews, where people are saying that it is a huge unit. It is big, but it is smaller than the MFC-J6910DW. My new printer is much quieter than the old one. I've also read other reviews, where people said it took a long time to set up. I didn't have that issue AT ALL! I was up and running in just a few minutes! I have mine set up as wireless. When I initially got my old printer (and all printers prior to that), I had to go through several steps to set it up as wireless, including attaching the USB during set-up and having to dig out the wireless password and enter it into the machine and hope I didn't accidentally omit one of the 27 digits, or transpose numbers (I HAVE done that on several occasions, and couldn't figure out why the printer wasn't working...). But on the MFC-J6920DW, it automatically connected to the wifi, and I didn't have to do a single thing. The "shortcut" feature -- you can customize settings that you only need occasionally, save them as a "shortcut", then just press that shortcut number the next time, so you don't have to go through all of the customization all over again -- is awesome! This machine practically does everything except make my coffee in the morning.
My only issue -- and this applies to all of the Brother printers I have had as well -- is that I wish it was easier to print envelopes. If I need to print an envelope, I have to take the paper tray out, take all of the paper out, readjust the guides, put an envelope in, put the tray back in, print the envelope, take the tray back out, readjust the guides, put the paper back in, and put the tray back in. A LOT of work to print just one envelope. I wish Brother would add an envelope feeder on their machines. That is the ONLY thing that could possibly make the MFC-J6920DW any more perfect!
The Brother MFCJ6920DW Color Inkjet printer was extremely easy to setup. I have mine wired into my network. Setup required only plugging in a power cable and network cable. My Mac's all found the Brother printer with no problems. This printer replaced an older HP that I always had problems finding from my Mac. I'm sure the wireless setup takes a little longer but I would guess that it's still straight forward.
The MFCJ6920DW's print quality is good for the overall cost of the printer. Printing and scanning over the network is quick and problem free. I don't have a need for 11 x 17 printing but it's nice to have the option.
on June 30, 2014
I'm a small business owner & loyal brother customer. I prefer Brother because Brother supports American jobs & we have two other Brother printers in our office, an HL-5140 & an HL-5250DN, which are hands down the two best performing printers we've ever owned.
We've been using an HP L-7680 printer, scanner, copier, fax for about seven years & after ten thousand or more copies & scans, the document feeder finally failed. We decided to replace the L-7680 with a new Brother MFC-J6920DW Business Smart Pro Series printer, scanner, copier, & fax.
We purchased it for (3) reasons, cost-effective color printing, high quality & high speed document scanning, & 11" x 17" printing & scanning capability. We've had the J6920DW for about three months now & we do very little color printing & the ink cartridges are already half empty. The color printing & color scanning is horrific quality, dark blue document signatures scan in aqua blue. Last & most frustrating, the feeder jams every two to three uses, even with very clean, crisp paper.
I can't even find the words to express my disappointment & frustration with this machine. We're shopping for a replacement, most likely the HP model that replaced the L-7680.
on March 1, 2014
I just received this printer two days ago and set it up yesterday. It was very easy to set up. As others have pointed out, it's a very large machine, but I wanted a printer large enough for ledger-sized paper. I've printed, scanned, and used the automatic document feeder so far, and it all works well. The print quality is very good, even from AutoCAD.
The only criticism I have of this machine, and the reason I didn't give 5 stars, is that the paper tray bypass is on the back of the machine. It's very inconvenient to have to move this behemoth away from the wall and put an envelope or blank check into the bypass.