Nearly identical in almost every way to the Brother MFC-J6510DW ($250 street, 4 stars) inkjet MFP, the Brother MFC-J6710DW ($300 street) offers one critical feature that makes it much more useful for most micro, small, or home offices. It also makes the difference between the MFC-J6510DW being a highly attractive budget choice, and the MFC-J6710DW being Editors’ Choice.
The difference is simple: a second paper tray. Normally, that by itself wouldn’t be interesting enough to earn a separate review for each printer. However, these are both budget-priced, tabloid-size printers, which is to say they can print on up to tabloid-size (11 by 17 inch) paper. So the number of trays makes a significant difference in how you might use them.
Brother MFC-J6710DW View SlideshowSee all (4) slides
With only one 250-sheet tray, the MFC-J6510DW is a reasonable choice for an office that has only an occasional need for tabloid size printing, or for one that already has a letter-size printer and just needs to add the ability to print at tabloid size. With its second 250-sheet tray, the MFC-J6710DW lets you load letter-size paper in one tray and tabloid- size in the other, which makes it a great choice as the only printer for a small office that needs to print at both sizes on a regular basis.
Brother MFC-J6710DW The Basics, Setup, and Speed
In almost all other ways, the MFC-J6710DW offers the same features as its single-tray cousin. In addition to printing, for example, it can scan and fax over a network and work as a standalone copier, fax machine, and email sender. It can print in duplex (on both sides of a sheet of paper) at up to tabloid size, and both its flatbed and 35-page automatic document feeder can handle tabloid-size paper. It also offers both Ethernet and WiFi support, and in addition to the two 250-sheet trays, there’s a manual feed, so you can print on different paper stock without having to swap out the paper in either tray. Note too that the manual feed can handle a thicker paper size, up to 76-pound weight.
Brother MFC-J6710DW Specifications
- Printer Category
- Ink Jet
- Color or Monochrome
- 1-pass color
- Brother MFC-J6710DW Ink Jet Type
- Standard All-Purpose
- Connection Type
- USB, Ethernet, Wireless
- Brother MFC-J6710DW Maximum Standard Paper Size
- Direct Printing from Cameras
- Brother MFC-J6710DW Standalone Copier and Fax
- Copier, Fax
- Print Duplexing
Setup is standard. For my tests I connected the printer to a wired network and installed it on a Windows Vista system to run the tests. Not surprisingly, given the similarity to the MFC-J6510DW, the speeds for both printers were essentially identical, file by file, which translates to the MFC-J6710DW sharing its sibling’s fast speed.
I clocked both printers on our business applications suite (using QualityLogic’s hardware and software for timing) at 4.1 effective pages per minute (ppm), making them tied for the claim of being the fastest tabloid-capable inkjet we’ve tested to date.
Among single-function inkjets, the Editors’ Choice Canon Pixma iX7000 Inkjet Business Printer ($399.99 direct, 4 stars) was notably slower, at 2.8 ppm. And among inkjet MFPs, the previous Editors’ Choice HP Officejet 7500A Wide Format e-All-in-One ($299.99 direct, 4 stars), came in at 3.4 ppm.
Brother MFC-J6710DW Output Quality and Other Issues
Broadly speaking, the MFC-J6710DW scored about the same as the MFC-J6510DW on output quality, which makes it equal to or better than most inkjets across the board. However, its photo quality just barely made the grade.
More precisely, although photo output was as good as you would expect from drugstore prints, it was very much at the low end of the range, rather than solidly in the middle of it along with the MFC-J6510DW. Some photos where just a little dark, losing some detail in the shadows, and some were shifted toward magenta just enough so most people would notice the color was a touch off. The overall effect was to make the photo quality a tad below par.
Fortunately, photo quality is not much of an issue for a printer aimed at office use. Much more important is that text and graphics quality was easily good enough for most business use. Unless you have an unusual need for small fonts, you shouldn’t have any issues with the text.
Colors in graphics were a little dulled down, but still well within the range of reasonable if not eye catching. The quality is good enough for most business needs, including, for example, PowerPoint handouts. Depending on how much of a perfectionist you are, you may or may not consider them good enough for output going to important clients or customers.
When I reviewed the MFC-J6510DW I said that much as I liked it, I’d like it a lot better if it had two paper trays so you could keep two different paper sizes loaded at all times. The MFC-J6710DW adds that second tray for only a little increase in price. And it also keeps all the features that make the MFC-J6510DW so attractive, including copying, faxing, tabloid-size scanning, and duplex printing. The combination should be highly welcome in any small office that needs tabloid-size printing, and it’s impressive enough to make it an easy pick for Editors’ Choice.