"Best printer & deal I could find for under $100."5.0 starson by BM_0914
Pros: 1) Price (refurbished w/ $25 coupon) was under $85 shipped with tax.
2) Very easy to setup- under 15 minutes.
3) Works better than my old Brother MFC-5440 that it replaced.
4) 11x17 printing is a plus for when I may need it.
5) Low cost ink.
Cons: 1) Takes up a little more desk space than my old MFC.
Summary: ***This review is for a refurbished machine***
My Brother MFC-5440CN died after many years and pages recently and I searched for a replacement. I had used mainly HP Deskjets & Officejets before that one. It seemed like every machine I looked at from HP, Epson, Lexmark, Brother, etc. had mixed reviews (much like the one here at CNET for the 5890- editors hated it, users loved it). My install and use will of course be somewhat skewed since this machine sets up and operates much the same as my old one.
The HP reviews seemed better than average, but their consumables cost was a good bit higher than the Brother. Lexmark had a big ad campaign for a printer that used $5 ink, but I couldn't find the $5 ink anywhere, plus the printer was nearly twice the cost of this one. Since I had a good experience with my old machine, I leaned towards this brand.
I need mostly a printer, but on occasion will need to scan or send/receive a fax. The PC-fax capability of the Brother line is handy. I did not want a wireless capable printer, since I was set up for a hard wired installation. While I picked the 5890 mainly due to the price and deal, the features it has such as 11x17 printing are icing on the cake. The color LCD display is a nice upgrade from the basic panel on my old printer. I was used to the network cable jack being inside the machine on my old machine, and this one had connectors in all the same places.
On Windows XP, the setup went perfectly, and the machine was detected via my third-party firewall. The main differences I've noted on this one vs. the 5440 so far are as follows:
1) Larger (for 11x17 paper)- only like 2" deeper though
2) Color LCD display panel
3) Paper tray with lid and guides for several sizes of paper/printing stock
4) Uses LC61 (std capacity) and LC65 (high capacity) ink cartridges
5) Ink loads w/o opening the top part of the machine
6) Media card ports
7) Scan to FTP capability
I was up & running inside of 15 minutes, to include setting the date/time/preferences. I printed some test pages, and scanned an image via a photo editing software. No bugs or problems at all. It seemed noisier than the old machine when I put the ink in and it went through a start-up cycle, but if it was, it was not by much and certainly not intolerable. The machine has several advanced settings such as the above scan to FTP. Since this is not anything I do, it's nice that you don't have to fool with it if you don't use it.
After a lot of research and shopping, I found this one refurbished at Staples for $99 with free shipping. I had a $25 off coupon, so the total cost with tax was right around $80. This machine was just what I needed and I'm hopeful it will last as long as my last one.