Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
198 of 201 people found the following review helpful
Best all-in-one I've found for MacsJune 19 2009
M. D. Mitchell
- Published on Amazon.com
This is the newer version of the MFC-8860 from Brother, and is a step up from the MFC-8480 as the 8890 provides full duplexing on scanning, copying, and faxing. The MFC-8480 only provides duplex on printing.
I have Macs--several of them--so I've been looking around for a while for a multi-function laser machine I could use for printing, scanning, copying, and the occasional fax. I'm thoroughly impressed with this machine so far, and following the install from CD, everything just plain worked. The printer driver was installed, it included a fax option right in the driver itself (on one of the print option tabs), and so was the TWAIN driver for scanning, and so was their ControlCenter software, which provides access to all the settings for the printer, documentation, and a bunch of customizable presets for the different functions of the printer (most useful for scanning different kinds of documents to different apps on the Mac, including an OCR capability).
The duplex is great--the auto-document feeder reads both sides of documents for copying, scanning, and even faxing. Most less expensive models (like the 8480 and a Canon MF4370 I recently tested) will only duplex on printing, but the 8890 will both read and produce 2-sided docs for any function.
Network capabilities for Macs is also top-notch, with both wired and wireless network capabilities, you can use every function of the machine over the network, with seemingly quick transfer rates, even high-res color scanning. By the way, my previous favorite printer vendor, Canon, does not support network scanning to Macs on ANY of their multi-function printers, but this is not apparent until you buy one and try to do it--their support has since told me this is true. I think the only thing the Brother 8890 doesn't do via network to a Mac is faxing--it supports some kind of Windows fax server that Apple has no equivalent of. But since you can simply scan a document and have it sent to your Mac over the network instead, I hardly care.
So, if you want a fully network-capable machine that works with Macs, this is your machine. The 8480 is a bit less expensive, but does not fully support duplexing, for those with simpler office needs.
146 of 154 people found the following review helpful
servicable, reliable, good value, but has its problemsDec 5 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
I bought this when I opened my own law practice. I have a small real estate law practice, but I do go through a lot of printing and copying, and this machine has been reliable. I use it with my laptop and wifi. I bought the extra tray for legal size paper, which was pretty easy to install (although you have to lift up the whole printer and set it down just right on top of the 2nd tray, kind of a delicate and tricky operation) and it reliably chooses the right size paper automatically.
The good: it has been reliable. I've had no major jams or breakdowns in a year and a half of use. I can print 100 pages or more at a time, several times a month. It is my only printer/copier/fax/scanner, and when I've got clients waiting on me to print/copy things, it is good to know I can rely on it.
The mediocre: maybe this is just how my IT guy set it up, but it's not great for scanning. It scans each page as a separate image doc, so I really can't use it for scanning docs more than a few pages. Some people also can't open the image attachment. I also can't get it to scan legal size, so I have to copy and reduce to letter size before scanning. Maybe it scans legal just fine and I haven't fully read the instructions, but at least scanning legal size is not "user friendly", because I haven't been able to do it yet. I stress again though that it's possible this is a problem with my setup or just "user error."
The bad: It will not duplex copy on legal size. What the heck? If I have front and back on legal size, I have to run the front, flip the whole doc over and run the back, and then sort through and put the copy pages together. Also, I really have to "babysit" the machine when printing or copying a large volume. In both the originals receiving tray on top, and the copy receiving tray underneath, even when you flip out the extra "tongues", which are meant to keep papers in place, it still sometimes begins to push documents out onto the floor. Even worse, I have had copies get pushed out onto the bypass tray and actually get sucked back into the bypass intake, causing it to print on top of the copy and then jam. Not cool. I've come in to work one morning after someone sent me a large fax, and found various pages of the fax scattered all over the floor.
Needless to say this is all a big pain. For large volume printing and copying, you have to keep watch over it, and when it starts to push pages out, you kind of have to shove them back in so they don't get out of order, fall onto the floor, or get sucked into the bypass tray.
However, I've worked in other firms with the really fancy, high volume printers, and they have plenty of their own issues with jamming, etc. Quite the contrary, with this machine repair and toner replacement have been very easy. I've had virtually no "mysterious" jamming or repair issues like the big expensive machines have all the time. when there is a jam or toner needs replacing, the machine is pretty simple, so unjamming and toner replacement have been very easy.
So, bottom line, for the price I would recommend this printer. It's reliable and a good value.
I would also definitely recommend the high volume toner. I've been getting it on amazon, which is a lot cheaper than buying it in the office supply stores.
64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
Another good All-in-One from BrotherSept. 18 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
This is my 3rd or 4th All-in-One from Brother. I've always had good luck with the brand and so far this one is no different. Worked great out of the box, although setting up the wireless LAN wasn't exactly simple. But even I, a non-techy, got it to work after an hour or so of tinkering. Plus I got the incoming FAX setup to work well with my 2-line remote-handset phone with built-in answering machine (always a nail-biter). Regarding the envelope wrinkling problem, just follow the instructions of another reviewer that posted here (thank you!); open the back door, and push down on the two levers marked with the envelope symbol. I now run my machine with those levers down 100% of the time with no issues whatsoever. Prints well on plain paper, labels and envelopes. The scanner works well for business documents and the duplexing option is really very cool. I don't use the Fax very much, but incoming faxes are working just fine.
51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
A truly exceptional deviceDec 20 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
I was shopping around for all-in-one printer, to replace an old HP DeskJet 6127 Color Printer inkjet printer and an even older HP LaserJet 6p. I wanted an all-in-one with fax, print, copy, scan and built-in duplex with networking support for scan to PC and fax from PC. For some reason, the HP inkjet AIO printers do not support faxing from the PC (their laser printers do, but not the inkjet printers). They also are pretty horribly reviewed. So, even though I generally love HP printers, they were ruled out.
After a lot of research, I selected the Epson Artisan 810 All-In-One Printer. Set it up, connected it, and started doing some test prints. The quality was pretty awful compared to my ancient HP Deskjet, using the same paper. We decided to send it back, because we just couldn't put up with that bad text and dim image quality.
After some more thinking, I decided to keep the old inkjet for my color printing needs, and get a black & white laser multifunction printer. The Brother MFC-8890DW fit the bill, at a not unreasonable price. I was able to read all of the manuals at the Brother website and be certain that it could do everything I wanted. We especially liked the ability to copy, scan and fax from double-sided originals via the automatic document feeder - a lot of duplex devices only support duplex for output, not input. Additionally, the ability to work with legal-sized media was a bonus, as I'm going to law school next fall.
When the device arrive, I noticed a very nice, thoughtful thing Brother had done. When you open the boxes of most components, there are little diagrams telling you how to unpack the device. Brother, on the other hand, included instructions on how to re-pack the device. Since we tend to keep packing materials and reuse them when we move, this was a very nice touch.
The setup instructions were very clear, with step-by-step instructions for USB, parallel, wired and wireless networking setup split out, as well as Windows and MacOS software installations split out. There are also detailed instructions on setting up your fax line, depending on what other devices you have on that phone line and other things like distinctive-ring. Setting up the device was absolutely trivial - everything worked exactly as shown in the manual. The most complicated part of the setup was keying in my WPA-PSK code, which uses a mix of upper- and lower-case letters and symbols. Input is via a form of multi-tap input, which is probably trivial for texting young folk, but I prefer alphanumeric keypads. But it worked right the first time.
Software installation on Windows XP SP3 was also straightforward. The CD that comes with the device has support up to Vista, but there are Windows 7 drivers and a complete software package on the Brother website. The Brother Status Monitor application started up and asked if I wanted to monitor for firmware updates, which I did. It immediately found an update and took me to the Brother support site to download it. Installing the update went completely smoothly. The device beeps a lot while the update is in progress, but that's the only annoyance.
Another nice thing Brother does is to support testing your fax configuration by faxing back your registration form. After you fax it to them, you will receive a fax confirmation back from them. No need to go bother a friend to test your fax. Nice touch.
The printer is blazingly fast, even with duplex printing. The quality is quite good, but not the very best I've ever seen. There's a HQ 1200dpi mode available, which shows marked improvement on printed images. I've use dedicated HP laser printers for the last couple of decades, and they have better print quality. But the Brother's output is excellent.
Every feature I've tested works perfectly - print, copy, fax, scan, fax from PC, scan to PC, etc. We're using this at home, but it has a lot of features that are useful for a small office, including various network, security and remote management features.
This is an all-around excellent device, an absolute bargain. I give it my unqualified recommendation.
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Things you need to know about printing envelopes...Nov. 17 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
Let me start by saying this is a nice printer. Once you get it set up, it does pretty much everything you need it to do and does it well. Scanning, printing, copying, fax ... really nice. Setting it up can be a little tricky; you should know something about printers and wireless to make your life a bit easier. After that, no problem...for standard printing.
But then we come to printing envelopes. If you do a LOT of envelope printing, you won't like this printer. If you don't, you'll probably love it.
1. You have to use the MP (multi-purpose ... read "manual feed") tray to feed envelopes. This also requires that you open the back door of the printer.
2. You can't stack more than 3 (that's right ... three). And you have to remove them from the back tray one at a time as they are printed.
3. It can be very frustrating to get the setting right to get it to print envelopes at all. Some symptoms of this are: a. It will refuse to print unless you close the rear door, which you can't do when using the MP for envelopes. Not cool. b. It will complain about a paper size mismatch for the duplexer, even though you very clearly specified no duplexing when you sent the printout.
4. Unless you know about the secret levers (keep reading!) it will crease them severely.
Solutions (which it took me over 2 hours to figure out...you're welcome):
1. Be sure DUPLEX is set OFF on the main printer configuration menu. You can still print duplex on paper, it just won't be the printer default. This isn't usually a problem. You can generally set duplex as a default somewhere in your printer software if you want to, so you won't notice. Or you can select it in your software on an as-needed basis, which will also work fine. But if you don't set DUPLEX OFF on the printer configuration menu, it will throw a fit about the duplexer and demand you close the rear door whenever you try to print envelopes.
2. Inside the BACK door, toward the bottom, there are two small blue levers, one on each side. Push them both down to the Envelope setting. This prevents creasing, although they will still be slightly curled until they rest for a minute. You don't need to do this for any other kind of paper (including thick paper), just envelopes. I've heard you can just leave them down ... I plan to try that.
3. Unless you are printing Commercial-10 size envelopes, you should probably do a (usually one time) Custom paper size setup in your software. There are other selections, but rumor has it that setting up a custom size is the better way to go for sizes other than Com-10.
4. On the printer's Paper menu, set the paper size for the MP tray to ANY. Paper type can be left as Plain.