Print speed and quality
We found Brother’s advertised print speeds to be extremely accurate during our print speed tests. When printing our 40-page black and white text document in the standard print mode, the MFC-J6710dw printed at an average rate of 12 ppm with a first page out in 12 seconds. When printing mixed documents (black and white text with some color), the MFC-J6710 printed at an average rate of 10 ppm and when printing full color documents (no text), the average rate was closer to 6 ppm.
Photo print speeds in standard print mode were very quick for an office inkjet. The MFC-J6710dw was printing 4×6 color photos in about 15 seconds and 8.5 x 11 inch color photos in under a minute. Of course, when printing the same sized photos in best quality mode, the print speeds rose dramatically; it took the MFC-J6710dw almost seven minutes to print an 8.5 x 11 inch borderless color photo. In Brother’s defense, a status message actually popped up to alert me before printing that an 8.5 x 11 inch borderless photo in best mode could take an extremely long time.
I thought the MFC-J6710dw did an excellent job with black and white text documents and mixed color documents, but when it came to full color documents or photo prints, we started to see some issues.
First and foremost, we had some quality issues on both the full color documents and photo prints with lines running through the images. They are faint and barely noticeable on full color, vibrant images (especially on the 4×6 sample images below) but much more noticeable on black and white images and lighter backgrounds.
I tried printing our black and white puppy image in the best mode to see if this would correct the issue and it did slightly – the resolution was better and there were fewer lines, but there were still noticeable flaws as you can see below.
The second issue I had with color printing was with spooling the paper. Anytime I used thicker media – photo paper, presentation paper, etc. – I had problems with paper jams. When the paper did come through as it should, half the time the paper had imprints on the edges where the printer pushed the paper through. It’s hard to see the imprints when scanned in, but its more noticeable on the black and white “best” puppy shot above (enlarge and look to the left) than the color balloon image below. The scanner did leave some feedback on the color image below that’s distracting but I used the MFC-J6710dw to scan all the images in and really only saw that problem with this image.
I understand that MFC-J6710dw is an office printer – it’s a part of Brother’s professional line of inkjet printers – so that focus isn’t on photo printing. And while the MFC-J6710dw does a good job with black and white and mixed color documents, I still feel like many businesses may choose an inkjet because they want to be able to print photos – or photo quality full color documents – for presentations, etc.
Ink control tests
In our tests, we exhaust (printing until the color runs out) a new set of cartridges. In this case, exhaustion means the printer will not print another quality document without a replacement. We print at a ratio of three pages of black and white text to one full page of color. We decided on the 3:1 ratio because we felt that the average user is printing more text than color.
The Brother MFC-J6710dw included four high yield starter cartridges: LC75BK, LC75M, LC75Y and LC75C. Brother also offers extra high yield capacity ink cartridges for the MFC-J6710dw: the LC79 (CMYK). However, we did not test those cartridges since they were not included in the original packaging.
At the ratio of 3:1 in Brother’s printing mode, the MFC-J6710dw printed about 364 pages before the printer elicited a status message alerting me that the magenta cartridge was running low.
At 526 pages, identical status messages popped up alerting me that the magenta ink was completely out and that I could change the cartridge, revert to printing in black and white, or cancel the print job.
I thought Brother did a good job alerting customers to low ink as well as giving an option to print in black and white once a color cartridge expired.
I only had one paper jam during my ink tests, but I did have several paper jams in other phases of testing, most noticeably during the photo print tests when I was using a thicker medium, as I mentioned earlier in the review. I also noticed one misprint during my ink tests, but I think in that instance the paper was more to blame than the printer.