The Brother MFC-990CW is an ideal multifunction printer that can truly do it all: for around $230, you get a 4.2-inch touch-screen LCD display, 802.11 b/g wireless networking, a cordless handset with a digital answering machine, auto-duplexing, and Bluetooth connectivity. And that’s only a few of the extended features. Very few competitive printers offer all of these functions and accessories built into one device. But how does it perform?
For an individual or a family that needs a speedy, fully capable all-in-one device the Brother MFC-990CW is an excellent choice. The glossy black printer has a large touch-screen color LCD display panel that measures 4.2 inches with easy navigation features. It offers a variety of ways to transfer photos from digital memory cards; the most obvious is the media reader just below the display screen on the front face of the printer. Acceptable formats include Compact Flash, SD, Memory Stick, and xD slots. There’s also a PictBridge USB port to link up a digital camera, and Bluetooth rounds out the transfer options for wireless printing from an enabled portable device.
Despite its many features, the MFC-990CW does have slower than average print speeds. The 990CW has double the wait time of the MFC-490CW photo speed with only 0.33 pages per minute calculated through an average of three separately timed print sessions. The rest of the print scores aren’t as terrible, but still register below average, compared with other, faster, machines. This one did print text with especially sharp-edged letters with near-laser quality in black and white prints. The graphics and photo quality output surprised us the most: smooth gradients and curves, rendered with solid color handling with very little blotches or malformations. This is one of the best Brother printers to date.
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