Brother MFC-J5340DW Review This AIO Can Handle Big Paper In 2023
At $249.99, the Brother MFC-J5340DW is the least expensive all-in-one printer capable of printing on tabloid-sized paper (11 by 17 inches). As a member of the same new generation of printers as the MFC-J5855DW, it offers many of the same fundamental characteristics, such as good output quality, support for printing from and scanning to mobile devices, and quick speed. However, it is slightly slower and has restricted paper handling. Yet, its low price and tiny size for a tabloid-capable printer make it suitable for use in a small office or at home if you must print at tabloid size but rarely switch between different paper sizes.
1. Scanning and printing
With dimensions of 12 by 20.9 by 15.7 inches (HWD) and a weight of 37.5 pounds, the MFC-J5340DW is remarkably easy to accommodate in a small office. Paper loading, cable connection, and ink cartridge insertion are virtually all that is required for physical setup. Unlike the MFC-J5855DW, it is not a Brother Inkvestment tank printer, therefore there is no ink tank to fill. Nonetheless, loading ink into the printer still takes a few minutes during setup.
The software, which contains scan and fax utilities as well as print and fax drivers, must be downloaded from Brother’s website prior to installation. The process is straightforward, but there are numerous files to download and install, as well as updates to the initial set of data, so it takes longer than with most printers.
Brother now offers mobile printing and scanning apps for Android and iOS devices. In my experiments, the Android version utilized a Wi-Fi Direct connection without issue. Using the menu commands on the 2.7-inch touch-screen control panel, you can also fax, copy, and scan to a PC; print from or scan to a USB drive; and both scan to and print from cloud services, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and OneDrive.
There is a 250-sheet paper drawer and a one-sheet bypass tray for printing. Both can accommodate paper up to tabloid size, and both support automated duplexing (two-sided printing). Nevertheless, the automatic duplexing feature only works with legal-sized paper.
Overall, the printer is acceptable for light-to-medium printing by small- and home-office standards, and it should be reserved for circumstances in which you rarely need to swap paper kinds or sizes. The bypass tray allows you to use a different type of paper than what is in the drawer, however for all but the shortest print jobs, you will need to replace the paper in the drawer. The maximum monthly duty cycle recommended by Brother is 2,500 pages. If you don’t want to reload the tray more than once per week on average, 1,000 pages per month is a more reasonable maximum.
For scanning, the MFC-J5340DW features a 50-page ADF that can accommodate up to legal-size paper, in addition to an 8.75-by-11.7-inch flatbed, which means tabloid-size originals cannot be scanned or copied. The ADF is likewise limited to single-sided scanning, and there is no ability to manually flip the stack of originals and have the odd and even pages automatically reordered. To scan in duplex, each sheet must be placed on the flatbed and scanned individually.
I connected the MFC-J5340DW and our testbed PC to the same Ethernet network for our performance evaluations. In our 12-page Word text file, excluding the first page, the printer achieved its rated 28ppm speed, with a speed of 28.7ppm (23 seconds). This is slightly slower than the MFC-31.4ppm J5855DW’s (21 seconds), but slightly faster than the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-7840 and Epson WorkForce Pro WF-7820, which both measured approximately 27ppm (24 seconds).
Both Brother printers have a shorter first page out (FPO) time of 6 to 7 seconds compared to 12 seconds for both Epson printers when printing short documents. Adding the first page in the findings for the Word document places the MFC-J5855DW in first position with 26.7ppm (27 seconds), the MFC-J5340DW in second place with 24ppm (30 seconds), and the two Epson printers statistically tied for third place with around 19.8ppm (36 seconds).
Both Brother models also outperformed the Epson printers in our business applications suite, which includes multiple files with four or fewer pages, as well as color and graphic output. Again, the MFC-J5855DW was the fastest, at 1 minute 34 seconds (16 pages per minute), followed by the MFC-J5340DW at 1 minute 36 seconds (15.6 pages per minute) and both Epson machines at approximately 2 minutes 05 seconds (12.1ppm). The MFC-J5340DW averaged 53 seconds each 4-by-6-inch photograph.
In my evaluation of the MFC-J5855DW, I mentioned that Brother suggested modifying the settings to prevent an issue I encountered when printing full-page graphics on 20-pound paper. In some instances, the excessive ink saturation led the paper to curl and prevent subsequent pages from escaping from the output tray. Choosing a mode with a greater quality provided the ink more time to dry, allowing the paper to remain flat. When I tested the MFC-J5340DW, I did not observe the same issue, most likely owing to a combination of testing it on a less humid day and the printer’s slower speed, which gives the ink more time to dry.
In our tests, the output quality of text, graphics, and photographs was adequate for most business applications, but not boardroom-grade. For instance, each font in our text suite that you would typically use in a business document was easily readable at 6 points, and the most were easily visible at 5 points, but the edges were not as crisp as with laser output. Individual characters viewed with a loupe exhibited jagged edges at both sizes. Similarly, two extremely styled fonts in our suite with thick strokes were both readable at 10 points, but both filled in loops at that scale, and one filled in the space between certain characters even at 12 points.
Each of the aforementioned Epson alternatives and the MFC-J5855DW is a viable option, and each has distinct advantages over the others and the MFC-J5340DW. The WF-7840 has the largest paper capacity of the four, a duplexing ADF that can scan tabloid-sized paper, and the ability to print on supertabloid-sized (13-by-19-inch) paper. If you don’t require its huge capacity but still want the other capabilities, the cheaper WF-7820 is virtually identical, but for the fact that it has two trays instead of three.
The MFC-J5855DW has the same scanning constraints as the MFC-J5340DW, therefore it cannot scan in duplex or at tabloid size, although it is noticeably faster than the Epson machines. Moreover, it has basically the same paper capacity for printing as the WF-7820, allowing you can load two different types of paper simultaneously, and it has the lowest operating cost of the four.
That leaves the MFC-advantages: J5340DW’s its tiny size for a tabloid-capable device, its inexpensive price, and its near second-place finish in both speed and cost per page. Its combination of pricing and operating expense ensures that its total cost of ownership will be less than that of both Epson models. It may or may not be less than the total cost of the MFC-J5885DW, depending on how much you print. If you seldom need to print on supertabloid-size paper or scan at tabloid size, and if you rarely need to switch between tabloid, legal, and letter-size paper, the MFC-J5340DW could be a good fit.