Brother MFC-680CN Review
While the prohibitively high price of the Brother MFC-680CN multifunctional printer was a major drawback upon its release in 2007, the device is now an interesting option for those bargain hunters looking for a unit that incorporates an incredible amount of hardware into a single device, and don’t mind if their printer is not the latest and greatest.
User friendly features such as photocopier style buttons for quick copies and PictBridge support for PC free digital camera integration make the Brother MFC-680CN, and the other MFCs in the series, favorites among home office users.
Though the single line LCD display found on similar device’s such as the DCP-135C is adequate for making menu selections, the Brother MFC-680CN offers buyers a built in LCD display which is not only easier to see, but helpful when selecting pictures from a media card. The unit also includes a handy phone handset which further increases the number of electronic appliances that users can now rely on a single device for.
As a copy machine, the the Brother MFC-680CN holds its own with a maximum black copy resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 dots per inch and a maximum color resolution of 600 x 1,200 dots per inch. When printing color photos, users will be better off scanning to a PC first instead of making a direct copy, but document copying is both fast and easy with the device, while copy reduction and enlargement ratios range from 25% to 400%.
Though it is not a fatal flaw, the Brother MFC-680CN does come with a very limited paper storage supply. With only room for 100 sheets, the device has enough paper storage for everyday home office use, but would not cut it in a fast paced business scenario, even with its networking capabilities. Luckily, when dealing with photo printing, regular paper supplies do not have to be removed thanks to the 20 sheet glossy paper tray that is large enough for standard 4 x 6 photo paper. Additionally, activation of the additional paper tray is extremely easy. All users are required to do is push the tray back into the machine and it will be automatically activated.
The unit’s fax modem is, unfortunately, almost cripplingly slow. At speeds of only 14.4 Kbps, faxes can be transmitted at a maximum speed of 6 seconds per page, which is 2 or 3 times as slow as Super G3 fax speeds, which is the current standard.
Other poor performing elements of the the Brother MFC-680CN include very slow scan speed and sub par print speed when dealing with imagery.
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