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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Brother MFC-J1205W uses Brother's proprietary INKvestment Tank ink system, which uses expanded-capacity ink cartridges together with internal ink storage tanks. 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.
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.
Update 01/05/2022: We initially listed the maximum weight as 80 g/m², 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/m².
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.
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.
The Brother MFC-J1205W produces decent-looking photos with good colors. However, there's a little bit of grain, and there's also vertical banding across the photo that's more apparent in lighter areas.
We base these results on the actual physical photo, not the scanned image provided for reference above, which may not represent the printer's photo print quality.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 prints much faster and can duplex print, it has an automatic document feeder and built-in fax, and an Ethernet port. On the other hand, the J1205W is smaller and produces much better-looking photos.
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.
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.
The Brother HL-L2350DW is a monochrome laser printer-only unit that's better at black-and-white printing, while the Brother MFC-J1205W is a color inkjet printer. The HL-L2350DW has a slightly better black page yield, and prints far faster, but it doesn't have any scanning features. On the other hand, the MFC-J1205W uses Brother's INKvestment Tank, a hybrid cartridge–tank system, for an outstandingly cheap cost-per-print. Also, it has a flatbed scanner, and can print decent-looking photos with moderately accurate colors.
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.
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.
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.