The Ultimate Home Office Printer

March 20th, 2009

office-space-printer I am pretty serious about my home office. I spend a lot of time in that one room and, as an entrepreneur, my productivity has a direct impact on my cash flow. So I’ve got my three-monitor set-up a la Bill Gates. I’ve got my wall of white boards. And now, I’ve finally had the chance to test out my ultimate home office printer — the Brother MFC-6490CW.

Brother offered me the opportunity to review the MFC-6490CW — which is a combination printer, scanner, fax, and copier — from the perspective of a home office power user. And I was definitely game.

I have a love/hate relationship with my current printer,which takes up a lot of space and has become temperamental in its not-so-advanced age. Plus, my current set-up requires room for a separate printer and scanner and doesn’t offer the ability to make copies or send old-school faxes (for those, I have to go into the office proper or run to the copy place down the block).

The idea of a compact all-in-one sounded too good to be true, but I was very pleasantly surprised with the Brother MFC-6490CW. It’s not much bigger than my current printer and it performs all of its many functions well. For about $300, that’s a pretty good deal for any telecommuter, home office worker, or small business owner.

The Brother all-in-one printer fits easily in the same space that I use for my current printer. After a brief period of getting to know the machine’s quirks, I was up and running and printing, scanning, and copying with ease.  You can print and scan letter, legal, and tabloid-sized documents. You can copy large documents using the 50-page automatic document feeder. This printer also offers an Ethernet connection and Wifi support.

While I don’t often have the need to send or receive old-school faxes (which is why I’ve never purchased a fax machine for my home office), I’ve discovered that it’s nice to have the option as long as I don’t have to clear extra space for another machine.

The scanner also works great for scanning, printing, and emailing your photos directly from your camera’s media card or from USB Flash Memory. This is nice if you want to use your home office computer for non-office tasks like sharing pictures of vacations and family events.

I did find one con among the pros. The Brother MFC-6490CW is not the speediest printer out there. It may not be the best bet if you frequently need to print or copy lots of pages quickly. But for me, printing speed isn’t a major concern in my home office. If I have to print or copy hundreds of pages fast, I usually outsource the job anyway.

From the perspective of most telecommuter and home office workers, the efficiency of the multiple functions and the compact size at a reasonable price will more than make up for any speed complaints. Learn more about the Brother MFC-6490CW.

Buy The Book

You should have tried the Brother MFC-9840CDW Color Laser Multifunction Center with Wireless Interface and Duplex. It’s a sweeter printer and I believe is much more deserving of the title “The Ultimate Printer”.

Pamela Skillings

Thanks for the tip, Grant. When it’s time to trade up, I will definitely check it out.

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