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Brother MFC-L8905CDW [MFC-L8895CDW, MFC-L8900CDW] Printer Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Reviewed Apr 04, 2023 at 10:49 am
Brother MFC-L8905CDW [MFC-L8895CDW, MFC-L8900CDW] Picture

The Brother MFC-L8905CDW is an all-in-one color laser printer. It uses Brother's TN431 toner cartridges and is compatible with the TN433 high-yield, TN436 super high-yield, and TN437 ultra high-yield cartridges. Its connectivity options include USB, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet, and it can also print directly off a USB flash drive. It has a 7.1" color display, an 8.5" x 14" flatbed scanner, and an automatic document feeder with automatic single-pass duplex scanning.

This printer has a few variants, including the Brother MFC-L8610CDW, Brother MFC-L8895CDW, and Brother MFC-L8900CDW. They differ slightly in features, like the display size and duplex scanning; you can see more details in the Differences Between Variants section below.

Our Verdict

N/A Family

The Brother MFC-L8905CDW is great for family use if you don't plan on printing photos. Like most laser printers, it produces very sharp documents, but it isn't ideal for photo printing, as printed pictures look flat and lacking in detail. It has many connectivity options, making it easy for every household member to access, and it doesn't require much maintenance. Plus, the toner cartridges last a long time, so it's cheap to maintain over time. The scanner produces very detailed scans, but colored areas look grainy, which might be bothersome when digitizing photos.

Pros
  • Produces very sharp documents.
  • High page yield, low cost per print.
  • Wide connectivity options.
  • Low maintenance.
Cons
  • Narrow color range and poor color accuracy.
  • Can't reproduce fine details in photos.
  • Takes up a lot of space.
N/A Small/Home Office

The Brother MFC-L8905CDW is an outstanding printer for small and home offices. It produces incredibly sharp documents, prints quickly at up to 32 pages per minute, and doesn't require much maintenance. It has many connectivity options, including Ethernet, and its ADF-equipped scanner can quickly process multi-page and double-sided documents. The only downside is that it's bulky, so you'll need a fair amount of space.

Pros
  • Produces very sharp documents.
  • Fast printing speeds.
  • High page yield, low cost per print.
  • Wide connectivity options.
  • ADF with automatic duplex scanning.
  • Low maintenance.
Cons
  • Takes up a lot of space.
N/A Student

The Brother MFC-L8905CDW is excellent for students. It produces amazingly sharp documents, prints very quickly, and is cheap to maintain because the toner cartridges last a long time. You can easily connect to the printer via various devices thanks to its wide connectivity options, and its scanner's lid hinges can extend to accommodate thick items like textbooks. It takes up a lot of space, so it might not be the best for small bedrooms or dorm rooms.

Pros
  • Produces very sharp documents.
  • Fast printing speeds.
  • High page yield, low cost per print.
  • Wide connectivity options.
  • Low maintenance.
Cons
  • Takes up a lot of space.
N/A Black & White

The Brother MFC-L8905CDW is outstanding for printing black-and-white documents. It produces high-quality documents and prints quickly at up to 32 pages per minute. Additionally, its toner cartridges yield last a long time, so it doesn't cost much to maintain. The scanner has an automatic feeder with single-pass duplex scanning, allowing you to quickly process multi-page and double-sided documents.

Pros
  • Produces very sharp documents.
  • Fast printing speeds.
  • High page yield, low cost per print.
  • ADF with automatic duplex scanning.
  • Low maintenance.
Cons
  • Takes up a lot of space.
N/A Photo

The Brother MFC-L8905CDW is bad for photo printing. Printed pictures look awful because it prints at a low resolution and can only produce a narrow range of colors. Also, like most laser printers, the printing pattern is very visible, causing further loss of detail. It doesn't support borderless printing and can't print on glossy paper.

Pros
  • High page yield, low cost per print.
  • Low maintenance.
Cons
  • Narrow color range and poor color accuracy.
  • Can't reproduce fine details in photos.
  • Can't print on glossy paper.
  • Takes up a lot of space.
  • N/A Family
  • N/A Small/Home Office
  • N/A Student
  • N/A Black & White
  • N/A Photo
  1. Updated Apr 04, 2023: Review published.
  2. Updated Mar 29, 2023: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the Brother MFC-L8905CDW printer. There are a few variants with slightly different features; you can see them in the table below.

Model Display Size ADF Capacity Scanner Glass Length Duplex Scanning NFC Notes
Brother MFC-L8610CDW 3.7" 50 11.8" N N -
Brother MFC-L8895CDW 5.0" 70 14" Y Y Same printer as MFC-L8900CDW - Costco/BJs exclusive
Brother MFC-L8900CDW 5.0" 70 14" Y Y -
Brother MFC-L8905CDW 7.0" 70 14" Y Y -

 You can see our units label here.

Compared To Other Printers

The Brother MFC-L8905CDW is among the best small office laser printers on the market. It stands out for its sturdy build and wide range of features, as well as for its outstanding print quality and fast printing speeds.

For more options, check out our recommendations for the best laser printers, the best office printers, and the best all-in-one printers.

Brother MFC-L3770CDW Laser

The Brother MFC-L8905CDW and the Brother MFC-L3770CDW Laser are both color laser printers with near-identical features; the only difference is that the MFC-L8905CDW can print directly off a USB flash drive, a feature that the MFC-L3770CDW lacks. Performance-wise, the MFC-L8905CDW is better. It produces higher-quality color documents and scans, and it prints and scans faster.

HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw

The Brother MFC-L8905CDW is slightly better than the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw for the most part. The Brother prints and scans faster than the HP, offers better scan quality, and has a higher page yield. The only other notable difference is that the HP has the drum built into the cartridge, while the Brother's drum is a separate unit. The HP's built-in drum makes maintenance more convenient but increases maintenance costs. This is because cartridges with a built-in drum are more expensive, and that extra expense adds up over time, resulting in higher maintenance costs than a printer with a separate drum.

Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw

The Brother MFC-L8905CDW and the Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw are very similar overall. The Brother prints and scans faster than the Canon, but the Canon yields more prints. The only other notable difference is that the Canon has the drum built into the cartridge, while the Brother's drum is a separate unit. The Canon's built-in drum makes maintenance more convenient but increases your maintenance cost. This is because the cartridges are more expensive, and that can add up over time, resulting in higher maintenance costs than a printer with a separate drum.

Xerox VersaLink C500/DN

The Brother MFC-L8905CDW and the Xerox VersaLink C500/DN are both color laser printers. The Brother is better feature-wise because it has a scanner and more connectivity options. However, the Xerox model prints much faster and yields significantly more prints.

Test Results

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

The build quality is outstanding. The construction is a mix of plastic and metal and feels very sturdy, including the input tray and all the moving parts. The power cable is removable, so it's easy to replace if damaged. You can quickly access the toner cartridges from the front. For paper jams, you can get to the sheet rollers from a panel on the back or by removing the toner cartridges. Two minor complaints about the design: it's hard to move because it's bulky and heavy, and the display can't tilt or swivel for better visibility.

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)

The Brother MFC-L8610CDW variant is smaller. Here are the measurements (as indicated in Brother's specifications):

  • Height: 21.2" (53.9 cm)
  • Width: 17.1" (43.5 cm)
  • Depth: 20.7" (52.6 cm)

N/A
Design
Expected Maintenance
Ink Related Maintenance
Locked
Drum Unit
Locked

The printer doesn't need much maintenance. Unlike inkjet printers, there's no risk of clogging if you don't use the printer for a long time. Additionally, the toner cartridges last a long time, so you won't need to replace them often. If you experience print quality issues, there are a few built-in functions to help resolve them, like Toner Calibration and Toner Registration (which helps remove fringes around colored areas).

You can access the toner cartridges by opening the front cover and pulling out the tray. Paper jams are accessible through a large panel on the back of the printer. You can also access paper jams through the front; you just need to remove the toner cartridges, the waste toner box, and the belt first. Brother specifies that the waste toner box (WT-320CL) and belt (BU330-CL) are good for 50,000 prints, while the drum (DR431-CL) is good for 30,000 prints. The input trays (main tray + multi-purpose tray) hold 300 sheets of paper, which is a fair amount, so you likely won't need to refill it often unless you print a lot.

You can download the user manuals here.

N/A
Design
Display Screen
Display Screen Locked
Display Screen Size
Lock" (Lock cm)
Touchscreen Locked

The display is excellent. It's a large color screen with a user-friendly interface. You can quickly access important settings, like cartridge and network settings, from the top of the display and rearrange the icons to your preference. However, visibility is limited when viewing the screen at an angle, and there's no tilt or swivel adjustment.

The other variants have a different size display. The Brother MFC-L8900CDW and Brother MFC-L8895CDW have a 5-inch (12.59 cm) display, while the Brother MFC-L8610CDW has a 3.7-inch (9.34 cm) display.

N/A
Design
Cartridge
Technology Laser
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

This printer yields a large number of prints, meaning you won't need to replace the cartridges often unless you print a lot. There are many high-yield cartridges available that'll further increase the page yield. Here are their advertised yields:

  • TN433 High-yield (CMY) - 4000 pages
  • TN433BK High-yield (Black) - 4500 pages
  • TN436 Super High-yield (CMYK) - 6500 pages
  • TN437 Ultra High Yield (CMY) - 8000 pages
  • TN437BK Ultra High Yield (Black) - 9000 pages

The printer warns you when the toner level is low. It can't detect the amount of toner left in the cartridge; it only uses an internal page counter. It's worth noting that once you remove a cartridge, the printer will consider it empty, even when there's toner left. This makes it hard to reuse a toner cartridge, as the printer continually prompts you to change it. The only way to resolve this issue is to access a hidden service menu and manually reset the toner level. This process isn't particularly user-friendly. It involves pressing multiple buttons in a specific sequence, which doesn't always work and isn't documented in the manual. Also, performing this reset repeatedly can damage the cartridge and the printer.

N/A
Design
Scanner Features
Scanner
Locked
ADF Capacity
Lock pages
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

This printer has outstanding scanner features. It can quickly process multi-page and double-sided documents through its automatic feeder, saving precious time. The lid's hinges can extend so that it's easier to close the lid over thicker items like textbooks and magazines. Its OCR (optical character recognition) feature lets you scan and save documents as searchable files. You can use OCR with just the printer or through software. A few applications are available: iPrint&Scan or Kofax PaperPort SE for Windows devices and Brother ControlCenter2 for Macs.

The Brother MFC-L8610CDW variant has a smaller flatbed with a max scan size of 8.5" x 11". It also has a smaller 50-sheet ADF capacity and doesn't support automatic duplex scanning.

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

The scan quality is outstanding. Text looks sharp, and all of the finer elements are present. The only complaint is that the colored areas look a tad grainy.

Design
In The Box

  • Documentation
  • Power cord
  • Phone cable
  • Software and driver CD-ROM
  • Set of TN431 starter toner cartridges:
    • 1x Black
    • 1x Cyan
    • 1x Yellow
    • 1x Magenta
  • Not shown:
    • DR431-CL drum unit (comes pre-installed)

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

The print quality for black-and-white documents is outstanding. Text looks sharp, and all of the fine elements are present. There's some vertical banding, but they're only visible in colored areas and aren't overly distracting.

N/A
Document
Color Documents

The print quality for color documents is outstanding. Everything looks sharp and clean, and the colors look vibrant but not oversaturated.

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 cost per print is excellent. The toner cartridges are expensive, but since they last a long time, you won't have to replace them often. You have to replace the drum separately, which isn't factored into the cost; however, the drum doesn't need regular replacement. Brother specifies that the drum is good for 30,000 prints.

N/A
Document
Printing Speed
- SAMPLE -
Get Insider Access for videos & test results
Brother MFC-L8905CDW [MFC-L8895CDW, MFC-L8900CDW] 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

This printer is very fast. It doesn't take too long to warm up compared to most laser printers, and it prints documents very quickly, almost matching the advertised 33 pages per minute. It can automatically print double-sided sheets at up to 16 pages per minute (eight double-sided sheets). The posted input tray capacity includes the main and multi-purpose trays. The main tray holds 250 sheets, while the multi-purpose tray holds 50. The output tray holds 150 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/m²
Photo
N/A
Photo
Color Gamut

This printer has a poor color gamut. It can't produce bright, saturated colors, and it struggles with darker shades of green and yellow. Its narrow color range makes photos look flat and lacking in detail. There's banding in the lighter shades, and color transitions look grainy due to the printing pattern.

N/A
Photo
Color Accuracy
Average Color dE
Lock

Color accuracy is sub-par. Most colors, especially blues, greens, and browns, look different from the original image. It isn't an issue if you just want to add some colors to a document, but it isn't ideal for photo printing.

N/A
Photo
Small Details
Max Print Resolution (DPI)
Locked

This printer is bad at reproducing small details. It prints at a low resolution, and like most laser printers, the printing pattern is very noticeable and causes the loss of fine details.

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

The Brother MFC-L8905CDW, as well as all of its variants, can print directly off a USB flash drive. The USB port is on the front left side of the printer. Except for the Brother MFC-L8600CDW, all variants support NFC, which allows you to connect to the printer by tapping your NFC-enabled device against the printer.

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

Brother's iPrint&Scan mobile app is superb. You can print, scan, copy, check the toner levels, and order supplies. The app also lets you access and print photos and documents stored on cloud services like iCloud, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, and OneDrive. On the iOS version of the app, you can only print documents shared through 'iTunes file sharing' and from the print history of other supported apps. Neither version (Android or iOS) can print HTML files directly; you need to go to the website and print from there.

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

You don't need to install any drivers to print or scan on Chrome OS and macOS devices, but you do on Windows devices. You can find the drivers here. Although it isn't necessary, you can use the same iPrint&Scan mobile app from the Google Play Store on Chrome OS devices.