Though it appears similar to other multifunction printers, the Brother MFC-J5330DW is far from ordinary. The machine is also capable of printing on A3. This compact, fast duplex (two-sided) printer, with its deep 250-page paper tray, rapid print speeds, fax capability, and 50-page ADF (automatic document feeder), shows that it is targeted at smaller and medium business users.

This is not a consumer-oriented printer, so it does not have features like NFC or SD card slots, but it does offer Ethernet and WiFi connectivity along with the standard USB port. Inkjet printer J5330DW works well on photo paper and has a printing resolution of 4,800 x 1,200 dpi as well as a scanning resolution of 2,400 x 1,200 dpi.

The capability to load one sheet of A3 paper at a time makes it possible to print full-color A4 booklets and posters in A3 size.

Design and build

The MFC-J5330DW would take up a little more desk space if it were only an A4 multifunction printer, such as the Canon Maxify MB2750. Nevertheless, it is very different from other FTP clients due to its ability to accept A3.

As a result, the tray can be loaded in a portrait orientation, so the drawer is not obtrusive, as with most A4 printers. It is also possible to extend the tray and fill it with 250 A3 sheets. There is, however, a limit to the size of the scanner bed.

For viewing the printer heads and plugging in the Ethernet and USB cables, the top half of the printer opens up. It is likely that Brother has placed these ports on the inside of the device, with the wires coming out through the back, to prevent accidental unplugging.

On top of the machine is a 50-page ADF for scanning or copying jobs, and a single document feed tray at the rear for envelopes and headed paper.

Despite its small size, the color touchscreen control panel is very user-friendly. The numerical keypad has hard buttons, and it can be swiveled upwards for easy access.

SPEC SHEET

The following are the full specifications for the Brother MFC-J5330DW:

Type: Multifunction color inkjet printer

Functions: Print, copy, scan, fax

Ink: 4 cartridges

Connectivity: Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, USB

Data storage slot: USB port

Print speed: 22 ppm (mono), 20 ppm (color)

Main paper tray capacity: 250 sheets

Print quality: 4,800 x 1,200 dpi

Scan quality: 2,400 x 1,200 dpi

Apple AirPrint: Yes

Google Cloud Print: Yes

App support: Yes (iOS/Android)

Consumables included: 4 ink cartridges

Size/Weight: 304 x 530 x 398mm (H x W x D); 16.9kg

Features

It not only prints, scans, copies, and faxes, but it can also scan and copy, too. Like the vast majority of business models intended for small and medium businesses, it includes both Ethernet and WiFi connectivity, including Wi-Fi Direct for wireless connections without a router.

Mobile devices can also be used to wirelessly print and scan with the excellent companion app. It is available for iOS and Android devices for free download.

This MFP claims to print in mono or color at speeds of up to 22 ppm (pages per minute), but we found that it was much slower. In addition to printing both sides of the page, you can also print booklets, something that is only available on A3 printers.

As an inkjet printer, you will be obligated to purchase expensive cartridge refills for the remainder of its life, but the price isn’t too much more than a printer from a rival brand. Inks dispense separately, which means you don’t have to replace them all at once. With the XL cartridges, you can print up to 1,500 pages for just $23.30 (around $26, AU$36) each.

Setup and operation

Brother MFC-J5330DW’s touchscreen interface guides you step-by-step through setting up the printer for the first time, including entering the date, time, and Wi-Fi information. After we installed the four ink cartridges, the setup wizard asked us to remove and replace them. The first time, we probably got it wrong.

As part of the setup, a colorful test page is printed out to verify that the print heads are properly aligned – and indeed they are. Changing from a wireless connection to a wired connection required reinitializing the printer.

Due to its logical touchscreen display, the MFC-J5330DW was easy to operate. With its 2.7-inch screen, we found it easy to type in WiFi passwords without mashing the tiny Qwerty keyboard.

It was only during firmware updates that the companion app wouldn’t work over Wi-Fi. Downloading and installing it required an Ethernet cable and the touchscreen interface on the printer. And switching from Wi-Fi to a wired connection involved reinitializing the printer.

Performance

The monoprint quality is excellent, and the color print quality was better than the similarly-styled Canon Maxify MB2750. The plain text appears in black that is bold and pigmented, without any smudging or smearing. In contrast to a laser printer, the ink appears heavier, but it’s consistent.

Printed documents with colorful charts and pictures are full of life with bold inks that won’t smudge or block nasty things. Printing photos onto photo paper is also a breeze. It is common for office-oriented inkjets to struggle with delicate shading, but these results look remarkably vibrant and natural.

Despite this, we weren’t able to reach the manufacturer’s stated print speeds. This printer took about a minute to print an A4 photo for us, and the ‘first page out time’ (FPOT) was slightly longer. We got very close to the recommended 22 ppm for plain text pages, and that’s probably where speed matters the most.

Pros Cons
Neat internal cable management Some photos take ages to print
A4-sized MFP is capable of printing A3 Couldn’t update firmware via Wi-Fi
Reliable and sharp black pigment printing A3 capability adds bulk and cost
The companion app tells you how much ink is left Longwinded setup procedure

Conclusion

This Brother MFC-J5330DW multifunction printer performs well across the board. While it isn’t as fast as some rivals, it is well-specified, lacking only NFC and SD card slots. Additionally, its internal cable management and ability to handle A3 paper, despite the fact that its footprint is smaller than most typical A4 MFPs, make it quite well-designed.

Additionally, this device is quite competitively priced, but the real advantage for most buyers maybe its A3 capacity, which allows for the production of good-quality color posters and booklets.