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Brother MFC-J1205W Printer Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Reviewed Jul 30, 2021 at 11:27 am
Brother MFC-J1205W Picture
Type All in One
Technology Inkjet
SuperTank
No
Color Yes
Wireless Yes

The Brother MFC-J1205W is an all-in-one printer that's best suited for families and students. It uses Brother's proprietary INKvestment Tank ink system, a hybrid between high-yield cartridges and supertank printers, for great page yields at an outstanding cost-per-print. It feels very well-built, with easy access to potential paper jams and ink cartridges, and it has a flatbed scanner with hinges that raise slightly for scanning thicker items. Unfortunately, there's no automatic document feeder, and it prints disappointingly slowly overall. Although it produces decent-looking photos with passably accurate colors, there's a bit of grain and some banding that's more apparent in lighter areas.

Our Verdict

N/A Family

The Brother MFC-J1205W is a good printer for family use. The cost-per-print is superb, it prints decent-looking photos with acceptable color accuracy, and the Brother Mobile Connect app is outstanding. There's only a flatbed scanner, but its good scan resolution and color depth should be good for casual use. Unfortunately, you can't print directly from external storage.

Pros
  • Produces decent-looking photos.
  • Outstandingly low cost-per-print.
Cons
  • Can't print via Bluetooth or directly from external storage.
N/A Small/Home Office

The Brother MFC-J1205W is a disappointing printer for small or home offices. Although its black and color document yields are great, and it warms up decently quickly to print the first page, it doesn't have an automatic document feeder and prints black text documents slowly. There's no Ethernet port, but you can connect to a network via Wi-Fi.

Pros
  • Great page yields.
  • Feels very well-built, with a removable power cord.
Cons
  • Prints disappointingly slowly overall.
  • No automatic document feeder.
  • No display screen.
N/A Student

The Brother MFC-J1205W is excellent for students. The cost-per-print for both black and color documents is outstandingly cheap, and it warms up decently quickly to print the first page. It also has a flatbed scanner so you can digitize notes or textbook pages, and you can print via Wi-Fi Direct or wirelessly through a router. However, it doesn't support printing via Bluetooth nor directly from external storage.

Pros
  • Outstandingly low cost-per-print.
  • Supports printing via Wi-Fi over a router and Wi-Fi Direct.
Cons
  • Can't print via Bluetooth or directly from external storage.
N/A Black & White

The Brother MFC-J1205W is decent for black-and-white printing, with a remarkably low cost-per-print and a very good black page yield. Although it warms up decently quickly to print out the first page, it prints pages very slowly, so you might have to wait a while for long documents. Unfortunately, there's no automatic document feeder, and double-sided printing is a manual operation.

Pros
  • Outstandingly low cost-per-print.
  • Great page yields.
  • Feels very well-built, with a removable power cord.
Cons
  • Prints disappointingly slowly overall.
  • No automatic document feeder.
  • No display screen.
N/A Photo

The Brother MFC-J1205W is satisfactory for casual photo printing. It supports 4" x 6" and 5" x 7" glossy photo paper formats, and the cost-per-print for photos is remarkably low. Produced photos look decent, but there's a bit of grain, and some banding is apparent in lighter areas. Although colors are only passably accurate, this printer should be fine for everyday use.

Pros
  • Produces decent-looking photos.
  • Outstandingly low cost-per-print.
Cons
  • Colors are only passably accurate.
  • Can't print on 2" x 3"โ€“format glossy photo paper.
  • N/A Family
  • N/A Small/Home Office
  • N/A Student
  • N/A Black & White
  • N/A Photo
  1. Updated Sep 08, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  2. Updated Aug 25, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.
  3. Updated Jan 26, 2022: Reshot and updated the 'In Use Picture'.
  4. Updated Jan 05, 2022: Fixed error with Max Paper Weight test result.
  5. Updated Dec 23, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.
  6. Updated Jul 30, 2021: Review published.
  7. Updated Jul 28, 2021: Early access published.

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White MFC-J1205W
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Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the Brother MFC-J1205W, which comes only in white. There's also the Brother MFC-J1215W, which is the Walmart-exclusive version with the same specifications, which we expect to perform identically though we haven't tested it. However, the MFC-J1215W doesn't appear to come with a warranty card in the box. At the time of writing, the Brother MFC-J1205W is only available for purchase in North America. You can see our unit's label here.

Compared To Other Printers

The Brother MFC-J1205W is a budget-priced printer that uses Brother's INKvestment Tank system, a hybrid between expanded-capacity ink cartridges and ink storage tanks. Its page yields are good, and the cost-per-print is fantastic, and it prints decent-looking photos. However, it only has a flatbed scanner, and it prints at a disappointingly slow speed overall.

For more options, check out our recommendations for the best inkjet printers, the best printers for home use, and the best printers under $100.

Brother MFC-J4335DW

The Brother MFC-J4335DW and the Brother MFC-J1205W both use the INKvestment Tank, a hybrid cartridge–tank system, for improved pages compared to printers that use traditional cartridges. The J4335DW is better for small or home offices and black and white printing, but the J1205W might be better suited for students. The J4335DW has much better page yields and a lower black text document cost-per-print. It also has an automatic document feeder, prints much faster, and can duplex print. On the other hand, the J1205W is smaller and produces much better-looking photos.

Brother MFC-J1010DW

The Brother MFC-J1010DW and the Brother MFC-J1205DW are both all-in-one inkjet printers with similar features. If you print a lot, the MFC-J1205DW is a better choice as its ink cartridges yield significantly more prints, which will help you save money in the long run. However, the MFC-J1010DW produces better quality color documents and prints black documents faster.

Brother MFC-J995DW

The Brother MFC-J1205W and the Brother MFC-J995DW both use the proprietary INKvestment Tank, a hybrid cartridge–tank system, for higher page yields and a lower cost-per-print compared to regular cartridge printers. However, the J995DW is a much better printer overall, with significantly better page yields, a much cheaper cost-per-print, faster printing speed, and much better-looking photos with more accurate colors. Also, it has a screen to navigate through functions, an automatic document feeder, built-in fax, automatic duplex printing, and an Ethernet port.

Brother MFC-J4535DW

The Brother MFC-J4535DW is overall better than the Brother MFC-J1205DW. The J4535DW is a better choice for home offices since it scans much faster thanks to its automatic document feeder, and it's also much faster at printing. It can print significantly more pages before its cartridges run out, saving you money on running costs. Also, it has two large input trays, which hold 400 pages in total. That said, the J1205DW is better at printing natural colors accurately.

Epson Expression Home XP-5200

The Brother MFC-J1205W is much better than the Epson Expression Home XP-5200. The Brother has a sturdier build and a design that allows easier access to paper jams. It also yields more prints than the Epson, which leads to a much lower cost per print. However, the Epson prints slightly faster and produces higher-quality scans.

Brother MFC-J895DW

The Brother MFC-J1205W is better for families and students than the Brother MFC-J895DW. The J1205W uses Brother's proprietary INKvestment Tank, a hybrid cartridge–tank system, which gives it far better page yields at a significantly cheaper cost-per-print. However, the J895DW prints better-looking photos with somewhat more accurate colors, and it prints faster. Also, it has a screen to navigate through functions, has built-in fax, an automatic document feeder, an Ethernet port, and automatically prints double-sided.

Brother MFC-J497DW

The Brother MFC-J1205W's proprietary INKvestment Tank, a hybrid cartridge–tank system, gives it far better page yields at a significantly cheaper cost-per-print than the Brother MFC-J497DW. The J1205W also prints documents faster. However, the MFC-J497DW uses a screen to navigate through functions, has built-in fax, an automatic document feeder, automatic duplex printing support, and produces more accurate colors.

Epson WorkForce WF-2850

The Brother MFC-J1205W and the Epson WorkForce WF-2850 are both budget inkjet printers, but they're for different uses. The Brother is better for home use if you print often. While its cartridges are more expensive, the Brother prints significantly more pages, so each page costs less. On the other hand, the Epson has an automatic document feeder and automatic double-sided printing, which might be important for your office tasks.

Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestment Tank

The Brother MFC-J1205W and the Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestment Tank both use the proprietary INKvestment Tank, a hybrid cartridge–tank system, for higher page yields and a lower cost-per-print compared to regular cartridge printers. However, the J805DW is a better printer overall, with significantly better page yields, a much cheaper cost-per-print, and automatic double-sided printing. Also, there's a screen to navigate through functions, built-in fax, and an automatic document feeder. On the other hand, the J1205W prints documents and photos faster, and it produces much more accurate colors.

Epson EcoTank ET-2850

The Brother MFC-J1205W is a good budget inkjet printer, but it doesn't yield as many pages as the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 does. The Epson prints thousands more pages than the Brother does, giving it a much lower cost-per-print. The ink bottle costs are also a bit cheaper than the Brother's cartridges, which also helps keep those running costs lower. Also, the Epson can print double-sided automatically, so you don't need to flip over the sheets manually. On the other hand, the Brother prints nicer-looking photos with much more accurate colors.

Canon PIXMA TR4520

The Brother MFC-J1205W and the Canon PIXMA TR4520 are both all-in-one inkjet printers, but the Brother works better for printing black-only text documents while the Canon performs well for photo printing. The Brother has a great page yield for both black and color documents and an exceptional cost-per-print. Alternatively, the Canon produces much higher quality photos with more accurate-looking colors.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
N/A
Design
Build Quality
Type All in One

The Brother MFC-J1205W feels very well-built. There's easy access to potential paper jams via a door on the rear and to the ink cartridges in the front. You also don't need to turn the printer on to access or replace the cartridges. You can push the output tray all the way in to make the printer more compact, and the front cassette is removable, with sliders that adjust to different paper formats. The power cord can be detached, which makes it easy to replace if it gets damaged. Unfortunately, the USB port is located on the printer's left side, under the scan lid cover, and is very recessed, as seen here. This will shorten the usable cable length by about six inches if you plan to plug it in directly to your computer.

Design
Dimensions
Height Lock" (Lock cm)
Width Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth Lock" (Lock cm)
Height When In Use
Lock" (Lock cm)
Width When In Use
Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth When In Use
Lock" (Lock cm)
Weight
Lock lbs (Lock kg)

Update 01/26/2022: We reshot our 'In Use Picture' since the initial one didn't have the input tray fully extended.

N/A
Design
Expected Maintenance
Ink Related Maintenance
Locked
Drum Unit
Locked
N/A
Design
Display Screen
Display Screen Locked
Display Screen Size
N/A
Touchscreen Locked

The Brother MFC-J1205W doesn't have a display screen, but there are five buttons with a set of LED lights that indicate the current settings or when the corresponding function is in operation. The paper button sets the paper size and paper tray settings, and the Wi-Fi button adjusts the Wi-Fi connectivity. You can press the 'Mono' and 'Color' Copy buttons at the same time to start scanning in either black and white or color, depending on the currently set scan setting.

N/A
Design
Cartridge
Technology Inkjet
SuperTank
No
Photo Cartridge
Locked
Color Yes
Number Of Color Cartridges
Lock
Black Cartridge Model
Locked
Tested Black Page Yield
Lock prints
Estimated Black Page Yield
Lock prints
Color Cartridge Model
Locked
Tested Color Page Yield
Lock prints
Estimated Color Page Yield
Lock prints
Third Party Cartridge
Locked
Ink Type
Locked
High Yield Cartridge
Locked

The Brother MFC-J1205W uses Brother's proprietary INKvestment Tank ink system, which uses expanded-capacity ink cartridges together with internal ink storage tanks. It prints significantly more pages than a printer with traditional cartridges, like the Epson WorkForce WF-2850. You can easily access the ink cartridges on the front right side, and the printer doesn't need to be on to replace the cartridges.

N/A
Design
Scanner Features
Scanner
Locked
ADF Capacity
N/A
Scan Speed
Lock PPM
Duplex Scanning
Locked
Max Flatbed Scan Size
Locked
Max ADF Scan Size
Locked
Flatbed Hinge Adjustability
Lock" (Lock mm)
Fax
Locked
Copy
Locked
OCR Included
Locked

The Brother MFC-J1205W has passable scanning features. There's only a flatbed scanner, but the scan resolution and color depth should capture fine details when digitizing photos. The scan lid's hinges also raise slightly for scanning thicker items like magazines. There's also an interpolated scan resolution feature that goes up to 19,200 DPI, which should result in an extremely high-detailed, crisp image. Unfortunately, since there's no automatic document feeder, it'll take a long time to scan multi-page documents.

If you're looking for an INKvestment Tank printer with better scanning features, consider the Brother MFC-J4335DW.

N/A
Design
Scan Quality
Max Scan Resolution
Lock DPI
Max Scan Color Depth
LockBit
Design
In The Box

  • Quick Setup Guide
  • Product Safety Guide
  • Power cord
  • Starter ink cartridges:
    • 1x LC404 BK
    • 1x LC404 C
    • 1x LC404 M
    • 1x LC404 Y

Design
Battery
Advertised Battery Life
N/A
Tested Charging Time
N/A
Document
N/A
Document
Black & White Documents
Color Ink Needed For Black & White
Locked
N/A
Document
Color Documents
N/A
Document
Cost-Per-Print
Black Cartridge Price
Lock US$
Color Cartridge Price
Lock US$
Black-Only Printing Cost
Lock US$/print
Color Printing Cost
Lock US$/print
Photo Printing Cost
Lock US$/print
Ink Subscription
Locked

The Brother MFC-J1205W's cost-per-print is fantastic. The INKvestment Tank system, which uses expanded-capacity ink cartridges together with internal ink tanks, yields a great number of pages before the cartridges need replacing. Even then, the ink isn't very expensive. You can buy the color cartridges individually or together in a bundle if you want to save some money.

Keep in mind that even if you print only in black, most inkjet printers continue using the color cartridge for servicing tasks, so you may still need to replace it eventually.

N/A
Document
Printing Speed
- SAMPLE -
Get Insider Access for videos & test results
Brother MFC-J1205W Printing Speed Video Sample
Black Only Text Document
Lock PPM
Color Document
Lock PPM
Photo Printing Time
Lock s
Single Page Out Time (Black Only)
Lock s
Duplex Printing
Locked
Input Tray Capacity
Lock pages

The Brother MFC-J1205W's printing speed for black and color documents is poor. However, it warms up decently quickly to print out the first page, so you shouldn't have to wait around for short print jobs to finish. If you're printing a double-sided document, the printer will prompt you on your PC after printing one side to flip the printed pages so that it can finish printing the other side. Brother specifies that the output tray can hold up to 50 sheets.

Document
Document Printing Sizes
Letter (8.5" x 11") Locked
Legal (8.5" x 14") Locked
Tabloid (11" x 17") Locked
A6 (105mm x 148mm) Locked
A5 (148mm x 210mm) Locked
A4 (210mm x 297mm) Locked
Max Paper Weight
Lock g/mยฒ

Update 01/05/2022: We initially listed the maximum weight as 80 g/mยฒ, but this is incorrect. While it's the maximum for plain copy paper, the user manual advertises the heaviest weight for other types of paper as 300 g/mยฒ.

Photo
N/A
Photo
Color Gamut
N/A
Photo
Color Accuracy
Average Color dE
Lock

The Brother MFC-J1205W's color accuracy is acceptable. It should still be fine for casual photo prints or for adding colors to reports and graphs, but it isn't suitable for tasks that require professional-grade color reproduction.

N/A
Photo
Small Details
Max Print Resolution (DPI)
Locked
N/A
Photo
Photo Printing Sizes
Glossy Paper (4" x 6") Locked
Glossy Paper (5" x 7") Locked
Glossy Paper (8" x 10") Locked
Glossy Paper (8.5" x 11") Locked
Glossy Paper (13" x 19") Locked
Borderless Printing
Locked
Mobile App And Connectivity
N/A
Mobile App And Connectivity
Connectivity
Ethernet
Locked
USB Input To Computer
Locked
Bluetooth
Locked
Wireless Yes
Wi-Fi via Router
Locked
Wi-Fi Direct
Locked
External Storage Support
Locked
Apple AirPrint
Locked
Mopria Print Service
Locked

During testing, we found that although we installed the full printer software package available directly from Brother, the printer driver would not install, even after multiple attempts. As a result, we couldn't print over our network via Wi-Fi and made our measurements by printing over Wi-Fi Direct instead. This could be due to a faulty driver download that may have since been resolved. If you're having the same issue, or if you managed to install the printer driver without any issues, let us know in the discussions.

N/A
Mobile App And Connectivity
Mobile App
Mobile App Locked
App Name Locked
iOS Locked
Android Locked
Photo (JPEG, PNG)
Locked
PDF
Locked
Microsoft Office Files
Locked
Text Files (TXT)
Locked
Webpages (HTML)
Locked

The Brother MFC-J1201W is compatible with the Brother Mobile Connect app, which has a refreshed interface and is compatible with newer Brother printers. You can print, scan, and copy directly from the app, check ink levels and order supplies, and perform maintenance tasks like checking the print quality and cleaning the inkjet heads. The maximum scan resolution on the app is only 300 DPI, which is much lower than the 1,200 DPI you can get on a PC, but it should still be okay for essays and reports. Unlike the older Brother iPrint&Scan app, it doesn't support printing web pages.

Mobile App And Connectivity
OS Compatibility
Windows Locked
macOS Locked
Chrome OS Locked

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