The Brother MFC-J5830DW ($249.99) is a color inkjet all-in-one printer geared toward micro and home-office users. It can print at up to tabloid size (11 by 17 inches), and is slightly smaller and sells at a lower price than the similar Brother MFC-J6535DW, which has better paper handling. Like the MFC-J6535DW and other Brother printers that use the company’s high-yield, modestly priced INKvestment cartridges, the MFC-J5830DW has considerably lower running costs than most inkjets, including the HP OfficeJet Pro 7740 Wide Format All-in-One Printer, but it falls short of that Editors’ Choice model in features and overall output quality. The MFC-J5830DW is a good alternative, though, particularly if you want to keep your cost per printed page low.
The MFC-J5830DW measures 12 by 20.9 by 15.7 inches (HWD) and weighs 37.7 pounds, meaning it’s large and heavy enough to be best kept on a table or bench of its own. Standard paper capacity is 350 sheets, including a 250-sheet main tray and a 100-sheet bypass feeder. Both tray and feeder support printing at up to tabloid size. It has an auto-duplexer for printing on both sides of a sheet of paper. This is all functionality found on the MFC-J6535DW, except that while that machine can automatically print two-sided documents up to 11 by 17 inches, the MFC-J5830DW’s auto-duplexer can only handle letter-size documents. The HP 7740 has a higher capacity of 500 sheets, split between two 250-sheet trays that can support up to tabloid-size paper. The printer’s maximum monthly duty cycle is 30,000 pages, the same as both the MFC-J6535DW and the HP 7740, with a recommended print volume of 2,000 pages.
For scanning, the MFC-J5830DW includes a letter-size flatbed (the MFC-J6535DW’s is legal-size), plus a 50-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF), which only supports simplex (one-sided) scanning. The tilt-up front panel hosts a 3.7-inch color touch-screen display and a numeric keypad. To the panel’s lower left is a port for a USB thumb drive.
The MFC-J5830DW can connect to a PC via a USB cable, or to a local network via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. It can also connect via a direct peer-to-peer connection to a compatible mobile device using Wi-Fi Direct. It supports Google Cloud Print, and works with the Brother iPrint&Scan app as well as Cortado Workplace, and is both AirPrint- and Mopria-compliant to facilitate printing from iOS and Android devices. By using Brother’s Web Connect utility, you can scan and upload images to sites such as Picasa Web Albums, Google Docs, Flickr, Evernote, Dropbox, Box, OneNote, Brother Cloud Apps, and Sharepoint Online.
I timed MFC-J5830DW at 16.9 pages per minute (ppm) in printing the text-only (Word) portion of our new business applications suite, a little short of the printer’s rated black printing speed of 22ppm. The first-page-out time was 8 seconds. In printing our full business suite, which includes PDF, PowerPoint, and Excel files in addition to the aforementioned Word document, the MFC-J5830DW averaged 11.4ppm. These speeds essentially match those of the Brother MFC-J6535DW, which tested at the same 16.9ppm with the Word document and 11.5ppm for the entire suite. The HP 7740 was considerably faster in printing out the Word document (23.6ppm) and slightly slower with the full suite (9.7ppm). In photo printing, the MFC-J5830DW averaged 1 minute, 25 seconds, per 4-by-6 print, while the 7740 was much faster, at 25 seconds per print.
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Output quality was very similar to that of the Brother MFC-J6535DW, with excellent text for an inkjet, and slightly below-par graphics and photos. Text should be good enough for most any business purpose except those requiring unusually small fonts.
Graphics are good enough for most internal business uses, and perhaps for PowerPoint handouts, although probably not for people you’re trying to impress with your professionalism. In general, backgrounds looked somewhat faded, and I noticed mild banding in a few illustrations. With photos, black images showed a slight brownish tint, and there was some loss of detail in a few bright areas. Most of the prints were about the quality I’d expect from drugstore prints; several were slightly worse.
The MFC-J5830DW shares the low running costs of the MFC-J6535DW, as they use the same ink cartridges. Based on Brother’s price and yield figures for the highest-capacity ink cartridges, they come to 1 cent per black page and 4.7 cents per color page. These are considerably lower than those of the HP 7740 (2.1 cents per black page and 8.1 cents per color page).
The Brother MFC-J5830DW can print at up to tabloid size and, like other printers that use the company’s INKvestment cartridges, such as the Brother MFC-J6535DW, has very low running costs. It is priced a bit lower than the MFC-J6535DW, but while that model can copy, scan, and fax up to tabloid-size pages, the MFC-J5830DW is limited to letter-size copying, scanning, and faxing. Its auto-duplexer can only handle printing two-sided letter-size documents, while the MFC-J6535DW can automatically print on both sides of a tabloid-size page. If you know you won’t need to copy, scan, or fax documents larger than letter size, the MFC-J5830DW offers some cost savings over the MFC-J6535DW.
The Editors’ Choice HP OfficeJet Pro 7740 provides better overall output quality than the MFC-J5830DW or the MFC-J6535DW, with nearly as good text and superior graphics and photos. It also has greater paper capacity than either Brother printer and adds duplex scanning, but its cost per page is considerably higher. Although it can’t match the HP 7740 in features or output quality, and can’t handle large paper as well as the Brother MFC-J6535DW, the Brother MFC-J5830DW is still a good choice for a tabloid all-in-one printer for a micro or home office if a modest price tag and low running costs are paramount.