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on July 20, 2011
I bought this fax machine in 2007 (price then was $194). We have given it light use as a fax machine and copier over the nearly four years that we have owned it. Recently, we got the "toner low" message, which suggests that we have printed out nearly 2500 pages, and now have gotten a "Toner Life End" message. (See tip no. 1 below to see how we circumvented the Toner Life End message so the machine will keep printing.)

Occasionally a misfeed, but not often. Never a real malfunction with the machine.

The copies are good, though a little heavier than a first-rate copy machine. The only negative comment I have is that the machine is pretty noisy when it starts up. Some other reviewer said that it sounded like a jet plane getting ready to take off. Not exactly, but I know what was meant!

The price-performance ratio is excellent.

Here are two tips that I picked up from other reviewers, which can solve problems that bedevil those not in the know.

1. After the "Toner Life End" message appears, the machine refuses to print even if it has just received a fax. This can happen without further warning after the Low Toner warning appears, and the machine will refuse to print even though the cartridge in fact has more toner in it.

Here's the tip (courtesy of C. MacPhail). Remove the toner cartridge. On each side of the cartridge, you will find clear plastic-covered hole. (Apparently the light from an LED on each side shines through these holes to allow the machine to determine when toner is too low.) Cover both holes with a small piece of masking tape. I used blue masking tape. Not only will this get the document that is in the machine printed out without the need to use a new cartridge, but it will also allow you to use the cartridge until the quality of the print forces a replacement of the cartridge. That can be many hundred additional sheets.

2. You might get a Toner End Life error that you can't clear.

Here's the tip (courtesy of Jeffrey L. Schronce). Open front cover, leave toner cartridge in unit. Press options button, when "Replace Drum?" comes up quickly press the Start button. Immediately press the "1" and "0" button. The display will say "Accepted" and the error will go away. Make sure you enter those buttons quickly or it will not take.
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on August 25, 2014
Bought this about three years ago as I need a fax for my work. I use it primarily for outgoing faxes maybe 150-160 pages a month. I have incoming faxes maybe 5 pages a month. This seems like pretty light duty to me. All was well until a couple of months ago when the machine just stopped faxing. The faxes would run through the machine into memory, the machine dials the number and connects but the faxed page count remains on 1. I have found if you turn it off and back on there is a good chance it will then fax. However you need to repeat this maneuver nearly every time you want to fax out. No error codes are displayed.

I called Brother tech support and other than blame the number I was faxing to (which works when you turn the machine on and off) they were of no help.

Now I paid $99 for the machine so in that context it has cost me about $2.75 a month which probably isn't too bad. I sincerely hope no one is considering paying the prices I see today of around $350.00 plus shipping for this device.

I've replaced it with a Brother 2840 which is $99.00 at least as of now. Amazon prices can vary wildly day to day.
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on March 14, 2013
I have desired and wished for a useable FAX machine for years but thought that they would be too costly or complex for my tastes. After a LOT of research and reading of reviews on various machines, I ordered this one from Amazon. One of the best decisions of my life! This little guy was just the right size, was very affordable, had every feature that I could imagine, and was a dream to set up and learn to use. Everything went like clockwork and within a very few hours, had it purring. First test was for copying and it just took right off and gave me perfect copies at the push of 1 button. The next day, had to send off 11 faxes to close a financial deal and again, lickety split, it sent off all the faxes first try by just reading the manual (the recipient immediately verified receipt).

For the uneducated on these machines, you don't need a separate FAX telephone line or number to send faxes. It did it's thing right over our normal phone connection.

I highly recommend this little guy. It does everything a FAX machine should do and does it easily and well.

For the record on 'Brother', the manufacturer, I had a question that the user manual just didn't quite answer and I called the customer support number listed in the manual and very quickly had a knowledgeable service rep on the line that quickly, patiently and courteously took care of my problem. It's been a long, long time since I had such good service for a new product.

Thank you, Amazon and Brother!
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on February 1, 2013
I bought this fax for our home and my husband and my home business. I knew this fax from the office I worked in as a very busy private practice psychotherapy center in our town. Though our office manager used it more than I, I used it frequently as a therapist. I am not a very tech savvy person, but loved this fax at the office. It is easy to use and held up great while I was there, for 5yrs, and it was there when I joined the practice. So I know it lasts at least that long. We received and sent a great deal of faxes a day, several pages in length, and the drum and toner seemed to handle that well before needing a new one. Educated estimate use each day might be 100+ pages a day. It also makes great copies, though of course used the office copier more often for that, but when in a quick pinch checking out a client, I'd go for the fax to make a copy, since our copier seemed to more often than not give me trouble!
Again, not a major "office person" or very tech savvy, but since I knew this machine and can operate it, knew exactly that I wanted one of these for home business use. Easy set up, great instruction booklet, and of course had to call brother when registering it, and they were very nice and helpful, even though my question was a major "duh" thing. I also had a Brother fax yrs ago in our horse barn was cheap, took some beating being in a barn exposed to elements, even with it in closed and insulated room, it was also a tack room. So I just trust Brother's quality. Great price here to as usual.
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on May 31, 2013
Funny, I just read an article about "outdated" technologies people still use, and the fax/copier was listed amoung them, and the article had a picture of this Brother IntelliFax 2820 as an illustration. I have discovered that using a scanner at home to make a copy is "OK" in a pinch, but is cumbersome. If you just need document copies for your records, or a copy of a neighbor's recipe, this Brother 2820 fills the bill. It makes plain-jane, black and white, very readable reproductions in a very short time (about ten seconds). I haven't had to order a replacement toner cartridge, but I don't think the cost will kill you. Toner is almost always cheaper then ink-cartridge replacements. Set-up from the box is about five to ten minutes for the techno-literate. I would recommend this machine to anyone with basic, moderate volume copying needs.
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on July 30, 2009
Great machine, good functionality, particularly with the auto sensing of an incoming fax vs phone call. Our fax is on the same line as our phone; if I pick up the phone anywhere in the house and it's a fax, you simply do nothing and the fax machine takes over and starts.

Easy setup, pretty good menu system, good copies, no jams yet. Jams are a common problem with most fax machines I've had but that can be fixed easily if you have access to the rubber rollers that feed the paper...Panasonic machines are horrible to get to the rollers, this Brother fax is GREAT!

One nasty little issue is the caller ID function. We have caller id on our phone line and this fax has a caller id text to voice converter that announces verbally over the fax machine who is calling. There is no way to turn that function off so every time any phone call (fax or voice) comes in the fax is "yelling" at you who is calling. Using the menu to turn the handset and speaker volumes off does not stop this problem. Some folks might like that feature but we do not and since there is no way to turn it off it is pretty aggravating to us. After a month or so, my plan is to simply open the fax machine up and cut one of the speaker wires. This will void the warranty of course but we don't care since it's only a $150 fax machine.
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on September 19, 2012
I got this as a backup for when my laser printer dies. So far the laser keeps going strong, but I figure it will konk out someday. In the meantime I have tried the unit and it seems to work fine. I just wish these mfg's would come out with some more colors -- like mint green, or passion pink -- or even blushing red!

With everything looks so bland on the desktop it's no wonder we are all in a daze at work. Nothing exciting going on here. No pizzaz - no bling - no hotsy.

I'll say one thing about Brother (Epson, Samsung, Nokia, Kodak, HP, Sony et all) they do build some great working equipment. I mean this machine will work circles around most any combo from just 3 years ago.

I do have some extra purple house paint and an old brush. That might do. And, if you don't like this review - hey - that's your problem.

Did I say that I like the toner part of this machine. That's why I got it, just for using toner instead of ink, AND being a good price.
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I purchased this for my parents who were in need of a new fax machine. I know, I wasn't aware that many people still used fax machines but my dad is in sales and it turns out that a lot of clients still like the good old fax.

Their home office isn't huge and their laser printer was in need of a toner cartridge so when I saw this machine I thought I'd take a chance and see if it would fit both needs. As you can probably tell by the 5-star review, yes, this machine works perfectly. All I had to do was run the USB cable from the old printer to the Fax and it was up and running.

The bottom line is if you need a laser printer and a fax machine, this is a nice combo that will save you some space on your desktop. Definitely recommended.
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on September 20, 2012
We use 4 of these in a medical office. With high volume, they break about every 6-8 months. We keep buying them, however, as we always have exchangeable parts, and there really isn't a lot of competition in the fax machine market. These are better built than the other models we've tried.
We tried the 4100 Business Class machines from brother, found they didn't offer that much additional benefit, and were huge. These fit well on a counter, can double as a USB laser printer, and get the job done.
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on November 5, 2012
The only problem I had is that it is kinda hard to put the cartridge in and they only give you a starter cartridge but the starter is 1500 sheets. I would of liked regular ink cartridges just because they are easy to find at staples if you need one in a hurry, but for the price this is a great product for a small business. Was really easy to set up, took a half an hour. Now I have to find the toner cartridges, I think I found them for 20 dollars without shipping, way cheaper than ink and they last a long time so they won't dry out as fast as ink. I think I am going to enjoy this new fax machine.

Still working really well. I did use it to copy and took it off the fax mode for a moment. I switched it back to the fax mode which is just pressing a button, however it didn't go back quickly enough. It seems to be accepting faxes now. I hope I don't miss any. Other than that one time, it has been a great machine so far!
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