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Spec me an A3 capable printer with min 2 paper trays (and Brother sucks)

Discussion in 'Printers' started by hans gruber, Jan 28, 2020.

  1. hans gruber

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    Joined: Feb 25, 2016

    Posts: 49

    My Brother MFC-J6920DW has decided it no longer wants to power up. I've had about 3.5 years. I turned my electrical sockets off the other day to wire in a usb socket. It was working fine before so I'm wondering if this has something to do with it (if it's a power spike the anti-surge extension did its job...not).

    I've never been keen on it. Awful paper handling. Another issue is I use VBA to try and scan multiple documents from the ADF. My old HP was fine with this as you could query the ADF status from VBA and select it to scan from. Not so with the Brother, which was a nice step backwards. Also great that I stocked up on ink, just a good job they were compatibles.

    So it looks like I'm in the market for an A3 (also for scanning) sized MFD with at least 2 paper trays that will hopefully play better with VBA wia scanner.

    Can anyone offer any suggestions?

    On another note I also have a Brother MFC-J5720DW at work. This again has proved a POS, so even though it's still functioning I'm not against replacing it. For this I only need A4 and would like 3 paper trays, possibly 4. Any ideas for that one?
     
  2. Phil2008

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Dec 17, 2004

    Posts: 8,221

    I only used brother and epson printers and brother comes on top every time, just because it goes through the ink really slow and it automatically checks for blocked nozzles every few days so the nozzles rarely gets blocked up.

    I have the mfc j5730dw, the upgrade to the j5720dw and I have no problem with the paper trays(I use tray1 for photo 4" 6" and A4 plain paper in tray2) I think brothers are really solid and good printers. The only problem with my printer the scanner lid wont lie flat when scanning thick things as theres no up/down movement on the lid hinges.

    I think the upgrade to my printer does a3 scanning, the 6930dw, and it gets more expensive if youu wan more than 2 paper trays, as your looking at a proper office printer such as the brother MFC-J6947DW
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
  3. hans gruber

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    Joined: Feb 25, 2016

    Posts: 49

    Interesting. It wasn't long after I bought both that the new models came out, which I was a bit annoyed about. I addition to naff paper handling they both have poor print quality. I always leave them plugged in and can hear them occasionally clean. Maybe unplugging would have been better as it seems the internal power circuitry has tripped. Given they have both been bad it would take a lot to sway me to choose Brother again.

    I have these 2 on my radar:
    HP OfficeJet Pro 7740 https://store.hp.com/UKStore/Merch/Product.aspx?id=G5J38A&opt=A80&sel=PRN
    WorkForce WF-7720DTWF https://www.epson.co.uk/products/printers/inkjet-printers/for-home/workforce-wf-7720dtwf

    The HP can be had for £128 with £60 cashback. For that price it's worth a gamble. Also as my previous HP worked well with wia scanner I would hope this one would too.

    EDIT: On researching I have to say the ink for the Epson is considerably cheaper. I have read that Epson do not like being left for a while without printing. I can go a month before doing a print run.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
  4. Phil2008

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Dec 17, 2004

    Posts: 8,221

    I had the mfc j5720dw aswel, but I damaged the paper feeding fuction by overfilling the paper trays and every so often it wouldn't detected the ink cartridges when I switched on the printer, so thats why I upgraded to the j5730dw, because the j5720dw had everything I wanted in a printer... Long lasting inks, automatic nozzle checking, double sided printing, 2 paper trays(1 for photo, other for a4), wifi, wired network and a auto doc feeder. Plus you can make you own scan, copy ect shortcuts, so a non tech minded person can use it with ease....... A perfect printer in my eyes and I thought about getting the A3 scanner version, but it would make the printer too big.

    Its bliss comming from a single paper tray, to a 2 paper tray printer with not have to swap between a4 plain paper and photo paper. the j5720dw/j5730dw automatically selects the correct tray to use aswel

    a set of compatible ink for my j5720dw was £15-20 and lasts roughly 6month, so I am guessing the j5730dw will last as long or longer as it takes larger cartridges, costing me £35 for a set of compatibles.

    I had the mfc-j410 years ago and that was awesome on inks, as 1 set would last near enough a year, costing £15 for a set of compatibles. That was the first brother printer I had owned, and I used it like a workhorse and it lasted a good 6-7 years before the heads finally gave up. It never once got clogged, even when unused for a month or longer, it just checked the nozzles every week or so automatically... Basically it just worked when I wanted it to and I now compare it to my other printers that I have bought since and none has come close. I have just got the j5730 so I cant compare it to that yet, but I doubt its going to be as reliable, but time will tell as they say.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
  5. hans gruber

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    Joined: Feb 25, 2016

    Posts: 49

    It funny you mention the inks not being detected. I'd forgot about that. It's happened on both but more often the 5720. It's annoying as I only just missed out on the newer models by about a month. Now they have been out over 3 years so I wonder how often new models are released. I wouldn't want to do the same thing again. I think I've discounted the hp so it will probably be the epson 7720, unless I decide to give the 6930 a go.

    I get my inks from first call. The epson are same price as brother, about £12-£15 for 4. The hp are £50+ for 4!
     
  6. Phil2008

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    Joined: Dec 17, 2004

    Posts: 8,221

    Well I had a epson xp printer but it was costing so much in inks as they only lasted a few weeks, costing about £30 for a set. So I got rid of it and went back to brother.

    Well whatever printer you go for, send it back if your not happy with it, especially if its expensive. I bought the 5730 new but not in its original box for £100 and they are £200+ normal price. If I had the money I would of bought one of the new brother x-series(MFC-J6947DW) with 3 paper trays, but its like double the price for a extra paper tray and the x-series costs a lot to begin with anyhow.

    https://www.brother.co.uk/printers/inkjet-printers/mfcj6947dw
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
  7. Quartz

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 1, 2014

    Posts: 10,483

    Location: Aberdeen

    Do you want an inkjet or a laser or are you not fussed? Do both trays need to be A3? Could you stand having two printers?
     
  8. hans gruber

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    Joined: Feb 25, 2016

    Posts: 49

    For my home printer (which is the broken one) I want A3 flatbed scanning and printing. I don't need all trays to take A3 but would like 2 trays. I'm not against laser but have never had one. About once a month I scan a large number of A4 documents and print about 50 letters. Very occasionally I need to print and scan A3.

    I bought the 5720 for work just because it was smaller and the rear paper tray will take a few pages. Sadly the rear paper tray is awful and struggles to take the paper. I also have an old Lexmark at work that doesn't print anymore, but I use for scanning. It's in a more convenient place. I'm thinking of changing this for a cheap AIO and then I can do away with using the rear paper feed on the 5720.

    Back to my home situation the ink for the Epson is £10.99 for 4: https://www.firstcallinks.co.uk/browse.cfm?p=0000001734. This is slightly more than for my broken Brother, but half the price compared to MFC‑J6930DW. Of course if the Epson uses 4 x the ink of the Brother it will add up. The Brother can be had for about £190. The Epson was £175 at one site yesterday but is now around £195.

    I have a week or 2 to decide.

    EDIT: Does anyone know how often new printer models from the likes of Brother and Epson are released?
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
  9. Phil2008

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    Joined: Dec 17, 2004

    Posts: 8,221

    I have never had a laser, mainly because laser is poor at photo printing? but for people who only needs a printer for document printing and for those who dont do much printing, I recommend a laser or a brother printer as the heads rarely clog up.

    I would love to try a laser though, but I feel going laser would be a downgrade for me as I do photo printing?

    You must of had a faulty printer because I used the rear paper feeder on the 5720 for a4 photopaper and it fed the paper through fine.. In theory it should of been the front papertrays that would of failed to feed the paper into the machine if anything, as the paper goes up and back on its self, and paper from the rear just goes straight in and out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
  10. Quartz

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 1, 2014

    Posts: 10,483

    Location: Aberdeen

    Yes, a consumer-level laser printer is most definitely inferior to an inkjet for photos.
     
  11. hans gruber

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    Joined: Feb 25, 2016

    Posts: 49

    I ended up buying an Epson Workforce 7720. It's a big beast and quite noisy. I was hoping for better WIA integration but it's nothing special. I can select the ADF for scanning but can't query its status. I also had to install over USB as over wireless it sets up as a WSD device and WIA scanner won't work at all with it. Although I can supposedly disable WSD using Epson connect utility it didn't work.

    Overall I'm happy enough. It prints and handles paper well. I think the scanning function was better on my Brother though, but there's not much in it.
     
  12. Phil2008

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    Joined: Dec 17, 2004

    Posts: 8,221

    The only thing I dont like with epson's, they go through cartridges fast. I had to stop using the last epson I bought because it went through about £200 worth of cartridges in a year and that was from light printing.

    I am pleasantly surprised with the brother 5730 now that I have had it for a few months, as the black text looked quite washed out on the 5720, but on the 5730 the black text is a hell of a lot blacker and it prints fast too(think its something like 30ppm) as fast as some laser printers. So printing 2-3 pages of text out is not really much of a workout, as they get printed in a few seconds.

    A few days ago I used the rear paper feeder for the first time for real thick paper almost like card and it printed out fine from the rear feeder.. So at the moment have all 3 of the papertray/feeders with paper in, the only problem with the rear paper feeder is, that the paper gets dusty over time without the paper being in a tray, but the printer always seems to feed the last page into the printer, so therefore that page is always dust free from the other pages being ontop.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
  13. hans gruber

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    Joined: Feb 25, 2016

    Posts: 49

    If I'd gone with the brother I'd have bought the 6930. When I ordered the Epson it was £188 and the Brother was around £240. The Brother is now £199. Ink for the Epson is £10.99 vs £19.99 for the Brother at first call ink. I use duplex scanning quite a lot and the the Epson requires a double pass for this. My old Brother was single pass so I assume the new one would be the same. I also notice the 6930 can hold 100 pages in the rear feed whereas my 6920 and the epson 7720 can only have a single sheet in the rear feed. The ADF on the brother is also good for 50 sheets vs the epson at 35. The Epson however can supposedly print and scan at a higher resolution, but i won't really use this.

    If I could have it on trial I may have gone for the brother, but having had 2 brothers and finding both not being up to much, I didn't want to risk another dud.

    I have coded a work around to my ADF scan issue (using the error code generated when no paper) that I'm not sure would have been possible with my older Brother (maybe would be with the newer version). I have also downloaded a small program called NAPDF2 which allows you to set scan profiles and call them from command line so I can use shell in VBA to scan.

    You seem pretty happy with the Brother so maybe I would have been to. Perhaps they upped their game after the previous models.
     
  14. Phil2008

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    Joined: Dec 17, 2004

    Posts: 8,221

    I have been put off with buying Epson printers years ago. My first Epson printer was great, print and scanner quality were good, was ok on inks even though taking the pathetically small ink cartridges and it lasted a fair few years...Second Epson was the upgrade to the first and that was terrible, photo prints were bad, scan quality was bad and it kept on messing up the cyan cartridge so it wouldnt detect it and needed a new cartridge well before it was empty, so that put me right off Epson and I thought I would tried Brother. I was a tad wary of buying the Brother as it only cost £60-70, but no problems at all, everything was superb and it lasted a good 6-7years... I tried another Epson just before getting my latest Brother printer and still the Epson failed to impress as it just used ink cartridges up too quickly, even though everything else about it was ok.

    So yeah I understand your pain, from having bad experiences myself with Epson and no matter what anyone tells you, you wont go back to the brand.. I went back to Epson, but that was a silly buy as it was a spontaneous buy, and I paid the price and got my feet burnt a second time(stupid idiot as I am).. But saying that my last brother printer wasnt that great either, print quality were only ok and the ink cartridges kept not being recognized.

    So I think every brand is a bit on the dodgy side and if you get a faulty printer to begin with, just makes you hate the brand even more (because you dont know if its faulty or if thats just how they are, so you dont think about sending it back for a replacement).

    So will I ever buy another Epson printer, ummmm I dont really know as I have had 2 bad experiences with Epson and 1 with Brother (so far). but time will tell if the 5730 will of been a good or bad buy. But so far its a good buy as the thing just works when you need it, without any hair pulling or screaming.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2020