Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestment Tank Printer Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8.1
Reviewed Jun 01, 2020 at 08:35 am
Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestment Tank Picture
7.9
Family
7.1
Small/Home Office
8.8
Student
7.7
Black & White
7.3
Casual Photo
Type All in One
Technology Inkjet
Wireless Yes
Color Yes
SuperTank
No

The Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestment Tank is a decent printer for home office use. It uses a cartridge system called the INKvestment Tank Ink System, which produces high black and color page yields while also maintaining an outstandingly low cost-per-print ratio. Although it has a somewhat large and bulky design, its build quality is great, and thanks to its flatbed and sheetfed scanner, you can easily transition from saving old film photos to processing work reports. However, it isn't the fastest printer for any kind of document and its color accuracy is disappointing.

Our Verdict

7.9 Family

The Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestment Tank is good as a family printer. It has a decent photo printing quality and its flatbed scanner can help save more delicate items like film photos. It's also cost-efficient to print off both black and color documents as they have high page yields and their cost-to-print is outstandingly low.

Pros
  • Extremely low cost-per-print ratio.
  • Extremely high page yield for black and color documents.
  • Scan flatbed can raise to support more bulky items like books.
Cons
  • Mediocre print time for black and color documents as well as photos.
  • Disappointing color accuracy.
7.1 Small/Home Office

The Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestment Tank is decent for home office use. This printer can yield a lot of black-text documents before it needs to be replaced and its cost-per-print ratio is exceptionally low. However, it can be slow to print off black-text documents and while its color cartridges allow you to add a nice splash of color to reports, it's also slow to print using the colored cartridges too. Still, there's an automatic document feeder and an integrated fax feature that can help streamline your work process.

Pros
  • Extremely low cost-per-print ratio.
  • Extremely high page yield for black and color documents.
  • Scan flatbed can raise to support more bulky items like books.
Cons
  • Mediocre print time for black and color documents as well as photos.
  • Disappointing color accuracy.
8.8 Student

The Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestment Tank is superb for student use. It has an outstandingly low cost-per-page ratio for black ink and it yields a lot of pages before you need to replace the cartridge. You can also hook it to your Wi-Fi via your router and its flatbed scanner makes it easy to save pages from your textbooks. On the downside, it's not the fastest at printing off black or colored documents.

Pros
  • Extremely low cost-per-print ratio.
  • Extremely high page yield for black and color documents.
  • Scan flatbed can raise to support more bulky items like books.
Cons
  • Mediocre print time for black and color documents as well as photos.
  • Disappointing color accuracy.
7.7 Black & White

The Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestment Tank is good for black and white printing. Its black cartridge has an outstandingly low cost-per-print ratio as well as a high page yield, so even if you're constantly printing off black-text documents, you won't run out of ink too quickly. You can even extend the page yield by using Brother's additional XXL ULTRA cartridges. On the downside, while printing the first page of a black-text document is quick, this printer takes its time printing off subsequent pages.

Pros
  • Extremely low cost-per-print ratio.
  • Extremely high page yield for black and color documents.
  • Scan flatbed can raise to support more bulky items like books.
Cons
  • Mediocre print time for black and color documents as well as photos.
  • Disappointing color accuracy.
7.3 Casual Photo

The Brother MFC-J805DW is a decent printer for printing photos. Printed photos look decent overall, but there's some graininess and banding throughout the picture. It supports most photo paper sizes and can print on glossy photo paper. Unfortunately, its color accuracy is disappointing.

Pros
  • Extremely low cost-per-print ratio.
  • Extremely high page yield for black and color documents.
  • Scan flatbed can raise to support more bulky items like books.
Cons
  • Mediocre print time for black and color documents as well as photos.
  • Disappointing color accuracy.
  • 7.9 Family
  • 7.1 Small/Home Office
  • 8.8 Student
  • 7.7 Black & White
  • 7.3 Casual Photo
  1. Update 7/7/2020: We previously reported the wrong display screen size. It has been fixed.
  2. Update 6/8/2020: Converted to Test Bench 0.8.1.

Check Price

White MFC-J805DW INKvestment Tank
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
8.0
Design
Build & Design Quality

The Brother MFC-J805DW has a great design. The body of the printer feels good and sturdy and there's easy access to the ink cartridges through the front left compartment. The scanner lid can also raise for bulkier items like books or magazines, and the full numerical keypad on the display panel is a nice touch. On the downside, you can't unplug the power cord from the printer, so if it gets damaged, you may have to replace the entire printer. If you want to connect your printer to your computer using a USB connection, the input is underneath the scanbed, and routing it shortens the cable by about a foot.

Design
Dimensions
Height 7.6" (19.4 cm)
Width 17.0" (43.3 cm)
Depth 13.4" (34.0 cm)
Weight
18.1 lbs (8.2 kg)

This printer is tall and wide. Opening the scanner lid requires space so putting this printer underneath a short shelving unit probably isn't a good idea.

7.0
Design
Display Screen
Display Screen Yes
Display Screen Size
1.8" (4.5 cm)
Touchscreen No

Update 07/07/2020:We previously reported the size of the display screen as 5.1cm, which is wrong. It has been fixed and the score has been updated accordingly.

The Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestment Tank has a good display screen. It's a small screen that lacks a touch interface, but it has physical buttons to its right so that you can punch in commands. They give off audible feedback when pushed, but if you don't like the sound, you can turn them off. You can also vertically tilt the display panel for better visibility as it ensures good viewing angles whether you're sitting or standing. While there's no horizontal tilt, you can still see the screen okay if you're viewing it from the side.

Design
In The Box

  • Fax/phone cable
  • 1x LC3033BK Black
  • 1x LC3033C Cyan
  • 1x LC3033M Magenta
  • 1x LC3033Y Yellow
  • User guide
  • Installation CD

9.9
Design
Cartridge
Photo Cartridge
No
Number Of Color Cartridges
3
Black Cartridge Model
LC3033BK
Tested Black Page Yield
187.00 prints
Estimated Black Page Yield
3553 prints
Color Cartridge Model
LC30333PKS
Tested Color Page Yield
75.00 prints
Estimated Color Page Yield
1681 prints
Third Party Cartridge
Yes
High Yield Cartridge
XXL and XXL ULTRA
Drum Unit
No Drum Unit

The Brother MFC-J805DW has an exceptional cartridge system thanks to its INKvestment Tank Ink System, which can hold more ink per cartridge. It can yield a lot of black or colored ink pages before it needs to be replaced and Brother also carries even higher yield cartridges if you're constantly printing off things.

This printer will accept third-party cartridges, but this could void its warranty, and special attention must be paid as this printer uses a combination of dye and pigment-based inks.

8.1
Design
Scanner
Scanner
Yes
Scan Flatbed
Yes
Scan Sheetfed
Yes
Automatic Document Feeder
Yes
Duplex Scanning
No
Scan Resolution
1200 DPI
Scan Color Depth
24 bit
Flatbed Scan Size
8.5" x 11"
Fax
Yes
Copy
Yes

The Brother MFC-J805DW has great scanner features. The flatbed scanner is great for more delicate items like film photos or bulky items such as books. There's also a sheetfed scanner for processing more pages as it has an automatic document feeder, which can help streamline your workflow. On the downside, it doesn't have duplex scanning so if you have double-sided documents, you'll have to scan each side manually.

Printing
9.9
Printing
Cost Per Print
Black Cartridge Price
32.99 US$
Color Cartridge Price
64.49 US$
Black Only Printing
0.009 US$/print
Color Printing
0.038 US$/print
Photo Printing
0.102 US$/print
Ink Subscription
No

The Brother MFC-J805DW's cost-per-print ratio is outstanding and is an economical choice for those who print a lot of things. Whether you're printing off black or colored documents, the cost remains very low. Printing photos is also very affordable too, but if you're looking for a printer with an even lower cost-per-print, check out the Epson EcoTank ET-2720.

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

6.2
Printing
Printing Speed
Black Only Text Document
6 PPM
Color Document
4 PPM
Photo Printing Time
84.0 sec
First Page Out Time (Black Only)
9.0 sec
Duplex Printing
Automatic
Input Tray Capacity
150 pages

The Brother MFC-J805DW has a mediocre printing speed. While the first page of a black-text document is fairly quick to print, subsequent pages are much slower. Color documents and 4" x 6" photos are even slower to print.

5.8
Printing
Color Accuracy
Average Color dE
10.98

The Brother MFC-J805DW has disappointing color accuracy. While it may not be a dealbreaker for those who like to add a small splash of color to their reports, it's not recommended for tasks that demand more precise color accuracy.

7.3
Printing
Photo Printing Quality
Borderless Printing
Yes

The photo printing quality of the Brother MFC-J805DW is decent. Colors appear vibrant but yellow is a little washed out. The photo looks quite grainy and there's a lot of banding throughout the photo. Even though this printer has borderless printing, there's still a thin border around the photos.

Printing
Printing Size
Letter (8.5" x 11") Yes
Legal (8.5" x 14") Yes
Tabloid (11" x 17") No
A6 (105mm x 148mm) Yes
A5 (148mm x 210mm) Yes
A4 (210mm x 297mm) Yes
Photo (2" x 3") No
Photo (4" x 6") Yes
Photo (5" x 7") Yes

The Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestment Tank has a front input cassette that has sliders for length and width. There's also a rear manual feeder with a width slider. Each tray supports most popular paper formats and types.

Mobile App and Connectivity
7.0
Mobile App and Connectivity
Connectivity
Ethernet
No
USB Input To Computer
Yes
Bluetooth
No
Wi-Fi via Router
Yes
Wi-Fi Direct
Yes
External Storage Support
No
Apple AirPrint
Yes
Mopria Print Service
Yes

This printer has decent connectivity options. You can hook it up to your Wi-Fi via your router or by Wi-Fi Direct. If you're on a mobile device, you can also use Apple AirPrint or Mopria Print Service. However, this printer lacks Bluetooth connectivity and you won't also be able to print off photos directly from external storage like a USB key or an SD card. Still, if you're using this printer in your home office, it has a phone line for faxing, which is nice.

10
Mobile App and Connectivity
Mobile App Print
Mobile App Yes
App Name Brother iPrint&Scan
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Photo (JPEG, PNG)
Yes
PDF
Yes
Microsoft Office Files
Yes
Text Files (TXT)
Yes
Webpages (HTML)
Yes

The Brother MFC-J805DW is compatible with the Brother iPrint&Scan app, which allows you to print, scan, and copy directly from the app. You can check ink levels as well as order ink, and if you scan a document using this printer, you can see it directly on your mobile device.

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