Home Reviews Peripherals Brother’s new colour laser range

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Paperless offices are still largely a ‘nice idea’ but Japanese electronics company Brother is really trying to help achieve that aim.

“Printers have become more the on-and-off ramp for the cloud,” said Alex Tesoriero of Brother Australia. “It is not so much about speed or print cost anymore – although these are important - but if the printer supports Google Drive or DropBox – to name just a few,” he added.

The six new printers all use the same laser engine rated from 28 to 30 pages per minute in both colour and mono. Three have full multifunction capability (MFP) and three are laser only printers. Two are designed for heavy-duty commercial use, an area that Brother has not previously specialised in.

“Brother is establishing a commercial pre-sales unit to support our major retailers including Dick Smith, Harvey Norman, Officeworks and the Good Guys,” Tesoriero said. “Brother has developed specialist software and NFC contactless card access for business users. Its secure function lock features gives system administrators the ability to access and functions user by user,” he added.

Two of the MFP units have duplex scanning – important to business to scan double-sided documents.

I had a hands on demonstration with the top of the line SOHO model – the MFC-L8850CDW which is available exclusively from OfficeWorks. It has almost all of the top line commercial MFC-L9550CDW – missing NFC pairing and high capacity toners (see table on page 2).

It looked solid – as it has to be for SOHO and workgroup use, it is fully featured and very office like - in black and grey.

Commercial features

The MFC’s have up to a 4.85” Touch Screen LCD panel, making walk up faxing, copying, scanning, and customisation of tasks more convenient.

The MFC-9550CDW also supports NFC a contactless staff card to print or scan sensitive documents or perform other tasks that may require authentication.

A Secure Function Lock feature enables IT administrators to configure individual access restrictions by use and by function for up to 100 users or groups with a Web-based panel accessible via a browser, the settings can be easily configured by an IT administrator. Active Directory support allows the administrator to quickly connect users already set up on an office network, instead of having to set up individual accounts on the printing devices.

Print cost is good – the high capacity toner models should cost about 3 cents per page mono and about 12 cents per page colour – astute buyers will find toner at reputable online stores for a lot less.

Read on for specifications of all six models.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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