Setting up the MFC-J825dw
Brother includes a Quick Setup Guide that takes first time users through the installation process. Start with unpacking the device and then get it ready by loading paper, connect power cord and telephone line, install ink and choose the appropriate connection type.
The MFC-J825dw can be set up via a USB, Ethernet or wireless connection; we chose to set it up over a wireless connection. If you are setting up the MFC-J825 to be used with a PC that operates Windows, you can use a temporary USB cable. We chose to set up the wireless manually using the MFC-J825’s control panel since this method can be used with devices supporting Windows or Mac OS.
Choose the Setup Wizard under the Network WLAN option and the printer will automatically search for available networks. Choose the correct one from the list and punch in your network key (if applicable). The MFC-J825 will then attempt to connect. If successful, you’ll get a message on the LCD as well as a print out confirming the connection.
The next step is to install the drivers and MFL-Pro Suite via the provided CD. Choose your language and then select Install MFL-Pro Suite. For advanced users, you can customize your install by selecting the advanced set up option.
The setup wizard will begin and users will be asked to confirm their connection method and, in the case of the wireless setup, select the correct networked device. The wizard does the rest. Once the setup is complete, you will need to restart your computer.
Ease of use
The MFC-J825’s control panel is a mesh up of what we’ve seen on previous multifunction inkjet models such as the MFC-J6710dw and the MFC-6890cdw. There is a smaller 3.3-inch touchscreen as well as four device menu buttons, an alpha-numerical key pad and six quick keys. You can use the touchscreen to access all four devices as well as network, device and general settings.
As we’ve seen on all the new Brother models we’ve reviewed, the MFC-J825 includes the MFL Pro Suite with the Control Center 4 (CC4). The CC4 offers basic scan, photo, PC copy and PC fax software as well as device settings, troubleshooting and support.
As we saw during the MFC-7860dw review and MFC-9970cdw review, there are two CC4 modes: the advance and the home mode. I found the home layout to be more useful with the MFC-J825 since it’s aimed at consumers, home offices and small offices. The larger popup window provides more options for each device than the advanced mode layout.
For instance, when using home mode scans are filtered directly into CC4 and users get the chance to edit them before saving, printing, opening with third party applications, sending via email or converting to a text file.
The photo print software is fairly basic; users select the images they want to print, select the paper size, media type and layout. In most cases, this would work for any office or home, and Brother offers their Creative Center online for users who want to get more creative with their photo printing.
I had no issue receiving or sending faxes with the MFC-J825dw, and there are many options for setting up the fax machine via the printer and through the PC fax. PC fax is pretty interesting because users can send images saved on their PC or scan an image to their PC using the MFC-825dw and then send it as a fax to a client or customer using the PC fax option in the CC4. For users new to this technology, there are how-to guides on how to send and receive documents and images using the PC fax feature.
Brother included a front side USB port and built-in card reader on the MFC-825dw. Users can pop in their flash drive or memory card and print any saved PDFs or JPEGS as well as scan to their flash drive in a variety of format. With the MFC-J825dw you can do some simple editing of photos on the touchscreen before you print them.
And for the first time, Brother is offering web connected applications on the MFC-J825dw. Users can connect to a vartiety of applications including Facebook, Flickr, Google Docs, Picasa and Evernote and print directly from the web without the need for a PC or mobile device. In order to connect to most of the devices, you will initially need your PC to access the Brother Web Connect home page. For instance, if you want to connect to your Facebook account, you will need to select the Facebook application, sign in to your account and then you’ll receive a temporary code that’s good for 24 hours. Select the corresponding application on the touchscreen and type in your code along with additional information requested (such as your username).