August 19, 2011 by Sarah Meyer Reads (16,701)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Service & Support
    • 7
    • Print Quality
    • 7
    • Design / Ease of Use
    • 9
    • Performance / Print Speed
    • 8
    • Features
    • 8
    • Operational Costs
    • 8
    • Total Score:
    • 7.83
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Energy Tests
The Brother MFC-9970cdw is Energy Star qualified and after running our energy tests, I found that the MFC-9970cdw uses about the same amount of energy as many all-in-one inkjets I’ve reviewed in ‘ready’ and ‘sleep’ modes while the overall print energy usage was very consistent.

In ready mode, the MFC-9970cdw pulls about 9W of energy. When it drops into sleep mode after extended non-use, the MFC-9970cdw pulls in about 7W of energy.

Whether printing black or color documents, the MFC-9970cdw stayed in a range of 500-600W throughout the print job. The only time we saw higher numbers was when the printer was warming up before printing (usually coming out of sleep mode) with spikes near 900 to 1000W of energy. But this pull of energy lasted only the length of processing, which was typically 10-15 seconds.

During the actual warm up of the printer – after it’s been turned on or connected to power – the energy usage was also high, spiking at about 1000W. It generally took a minute or less for the MFC-9970cdw to conclude the warm up.


  • 4-in-1 color laser: print, scan, copy and fax
  • Print speeds: up to 30 ppm in both black and color
  • Print resolution: up to 2400 x 600 dpi
  • Front side USB port
  • Automatic duplexing
  • 256MB memory standard
  • 50-page automatic document feeder
  • Monthly duty cycle: up to 60,000 pages
  • Paper capacity: 250-sheet paper drawer, 50-sheet multi-purpose tray
  • Connectivity: USB 2.0, Ethernet, Wi-Fi
  • Energy Star qualified
  • 1-year on-site limited warranty

The MFC-9970cdw is the multifunction version of the HL-4570cdw and so it shares many of the same qualities: quick print speeds, overall good print quality, and unique features. But it can take businesses to the next level with the addition of a useful scanner, unique PC fax functionality and instant copies.

The only negative I see with the MFC-9970cdw is that it is probably out of the price range for most home offices and certain small offices, which is the area the HL-4500 series was marketed towards. The $699.99 seems to be a competitive price considering that the HL-4570cdw comes in at $499.99 and offers much less, but that’s only the initial cost. And while the high yield toner cartridges can bring down the cost per page over the long run, not many professionals working from home will see the benefits.

The MFC-9970cdw could be a great addition to a small or medium business that is looking for a color all-in-one replacement for their old, tired devices. It offers businesses plenty of options and includes all of the standard features businesses can’t live without.

The Brother MFC-9970cdw Color Laser All-in-One is available now through Brother and authorized vendors for the suggested retail price of $699.99.

Supplies and accessories are also available through the Brother Mall. Brother offers CMYK standard capacity toner (approx. 2,500 pages for black, approx. 1,500 pages per color) and high capacity toner (approx. 6,000 pages for black, approx. 3,500 pages per color) as well as replacement parts online.

Brother includes a 1 year on-site limited warranty with the MFC-9970cdw.



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