THE Brother J880DW feels like a Swiss army knife with its ability to handle almost anything from any direction.
As far as multifunction printers go, the J880DW sits somewhere in the middle - plenty of functions, all scaled down to a scale reasonable for the home or a small office.
It's important to note the large feature set for this printer doesn't translate into it being a nightmare to configure or use.
If you've ever set up a new smartphone with all of its hand-holding, this should be easier than that.
The first test we put the J880DW through was the "can it be set up without using the manual" test, which it passed with no problems.
The only stage we didn't think was bleedingly obvious was where to put the network cable to connect it to our router - the port is hidden beneath the flatbed scanner in what looks like an attempt at cable-tidying gone weird.
Fortunately, connecting it to the network wirelessly was painless using the small touchscreen on the printer's front panel.
Installing ink cartridges is simple though like most printer consumables the amount of disposable plastic involved is a nightmare for the waste-conscious.
The cartridges, which came with the printer didn't last as long as we'd hoped.
Light printing over the course of two weeks with only a half-dozen photos put the key (black) cartridge down to about a fifth of capacity.
The cyan, magenta, and yellow cartridges were used far less (worst case being yellow going down to two-thirds). The print quality is about as mid-range as the printer.
Perfect for documents, but not something I'd use if I were printing high-quality photographs for a high-importance task.
A colour image on normal office paper came out fine except for regularly spaced lines of missed printing which weren't solved by calibrating the print jets again.
These didn't seem to show up anywhere else and could only be seen if your eyes were a spread palm away from the paper.
The paper capacity is a little disappointing, with maybe only a centimetre-thick stack fitting in the main tray.
Nifty features including Google Cloud Print and NFC sharing (print something just by tapping your phone to the J880DW) were all equally as easy to set up and given how useful it is to store documents in the cloud, quite useful.
Installing the Brother iPrint&Scan app on your smartphone is free, intuitive and works well. The J880DW does indeed have the ability to send faxes and we were able to get it going perfectly. The J880DW just works.
It's solid and seems to have an answer for everything you want to do. It might not be the fastest or most precise printer out there, but for its price at $149, it's an absolute gem and I find it hard not to recommend it.
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12ppm monochrome and 10ppm colour print speeds+ (laser comparable)
Up to A4 automatic two-sided printing
Automatic Document Feeder for easy multi-paged copy, scan and fax
NFC, LAN and Wireless network connectivity
Large 6.85cm LCD display
Manual bypass slot for easy paper handling
USB and card slot direct print