Brother intelliFAX 2820 Review
Under no circumstances should a serious buyer consider a fax machine with a 14.4 Kbps modem. That being said, the Brother intelliFAX 2820 is equipped with just that. Is this some ancient, discontinued piece of hardware? Could that explain the inappropriately sluggish modem speed? No, the Brother intelliFAX 2820 is a currently in production model available brand new from Brother and, for the price, should not be given a second glance, or a first one for that matter.
Other than the Brother intelliFAX 2820’s unacceptable modem speed, the device is equipped with the full fax feature set that one would expect in a Brother device. Its fax page memory is particularly substantial with its 500 pages of digital storage space. Somehow with only 8 MBs of memory this unit can store hundreds of pages worth of data from incoming faxes when they cannot be printed out immediately. This protects against paper outages and paper jams. It also allows users to continue whatever functions, such a printing, that they are currently executing without being interrupted by an incoming fax.
The unit’s document feeder is quite small, but its 20 page capacity should be enough for the limited fax volume that the Brother intelliFAX 2820 is capable of. The ADF also allows for a simple convenience copy function that, though slow, can create a respectable reproduction from an original.
The device’s fax resolution is respectable as well and adjustable all the way up to ultra fine 203 x 392 dots per inch. Unfortunately faxing at this quality with the device’s weak modem will take a considerable amount of time.
A 14.4 Kbps modem operates at half or less the speed of the current Super G3 33.6 Kbps modems. The thought that Brother is still trying to sell a fax machine with a 14 K modem boggles the mind. This technology is as old as the internet itself and what makes the situation even worse is that, to this day, Brother sells the Brother intelliFAX 2820 brand new. It would be more understandable if the printer was some ancient dinosaur available only as a used model on Ebay, but to try to sell this ultra slow machine at full price is just ridiculous.
It’s hard to be too critical of the Brother intelliFAX 2820’s slow printing abilities, as the device is obviously a fax machine first with multifunctionality thrown in as an afterthought. Still, with only 15 pages per minute of print speed, the device falls way behind the multifunctional units available on the market today. These MFCs from Brother as well as other brands often cost less than this machine yet can deliver roughly twice the print performance.
Continuing the comparison to multifunctional units on the market, its easy to see that the only thing the Brother intelliFAX 2820 has going for it is its corded handset, but flatbed units do allow external telephones to be hooked up in the same way and they also include a whole world of features not found in this limited fax machine.