The Brother MFC-9330CDW, a color laser-class multifunction printer (MFP), is basically the same as the comparably priced Brother MFC-9340CDW, except that the latter has a duplexing automatic document feeder (ADF) for scanning, copying, and faxing two-sided documents, while the MFC-9330CDW’s ADF supports only simplex (one-sided) scanning, copying, and faxing. Though both have the same rated printing speed, in our tests the MFC-9330CDW showed itself to be somewhat faster.
The MFC-9330CDW can print, copy, scan, and fax. It lets you fax either from your computer (PC Fax), or as a standalone device without needing a computer, in which case you enter the numbers on the MFP’s touch-sensitive keypad. Its ADF can hold up to 35 sheets. A front-facing port lets you print JPEG and PDF files from (and scan files to) a USB thumb drive.
As an LED printer, the MFC-9330CDW uses LEDs in place of lasers as a light source; LED printers are still considered laser class. It measures a reasonably compact 16.1 by 16.1 by 19.1 inches (HWD) and weighs 51.1 pounds. The front panel houses a 3.7-inch color touch screen. To its right is the backlit keypad, which only appears when you press Fax or other functions that require that you enter numbers. The only physical button on the panel is the start/stop button.
Paper capacity is 250 sheets, plus a one-page manual feed slot; no additional paper handling is available. The automatic duplexer permits printing on both sides of a sheet of paper.
The MFC-9330CDW can connect to a PC via a USB cable, or to a network via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. It can connect to a compatible device via WiFi Direct, without the need to go through a Wi-Fi network. For mobile printing, it supports Apple AirPrint, Brother iPrint&Scan, Google Cloud Print, and Cortado WorkPlace. I tested it over an Ethernet connection, with the drivers installed on a computer running Windows Vista.
The MFC-9330CDW printed out our business applications suite (as timed with QualityLogic’s hardware and software) at 6.8 effective pages per minute (ppm), a reasonable speed considering its 23 page per minute rated speed for both color and monochrome printing, which should be about its print speed when printing text only. (Our test suite includes text pages, graphics pages, and pages combining text and graphics.) Its tested speed was a page per minute faster than the Brother MFC-9340CDW (5.8 ppm) despite their identical rated speed of 23 pages per minute, and a touch faster than the Brother MFC-9130CW (6.5 ppm), rated at 19 ppm.
The Editors’ Choice Dell 2155cn, rated at 24 ppm for both color and black output, tested at 5.9 ppm, while the Canon Color imageClass MF8580Cdw, rated at 21ppm in its default duplex mode and 10 ppm in simplex, tested at 4.9 ppm in duplex and 6 ppm in ad-hoc simplex testing.
Overall output quality was slightly below par due to slightly sub-par graphics and photos. The MFC-9330CDW’s text quality was on par for a laser-class printer, which is to say very good. It’s fine for any business use short of ones that require very small fonts, such as demanding desktop publishing applications.
Graphics quality was a touch sub-par for a color laser-class printer. Most graphics had mild banding, a regular pattern of faint striations. Some dark backgrounds had a faded or blotchy look. The printer had trouble differentiating between darker and lighter tones in a gradient, with little tonal difference between them. The output was fine for in-house use short of formal reports; I’d be hesitant to hand the output to clients I was seeking to impress.
Photo quality was slightly sub-par. Colors were generally on the dull side. A couple of prints showed some banding. Other issues were dithering, and mild tinting in a couple of prints. The photo quality is adequate for printing out recognizable images from files or Web sites, but that’s about it.
The MFC-9330CDW was faster in our testing than the Brother MFC-9340CDW, despite their identical rated speeds. The Brother MFC-9340CDW does have the advantage of the duplexing ADF: the ability to scan, copy, or fax two-sided documents at a single pass, a feature shared by the Canon Color imageClass MF8580Cdw. The Canon has better output than the MFC-9330CDW or the other Brother MFPs mentioned here, though it’s somewhat pricier. The Editors’ Choice Dell 2155cn has the best output of them all, though it lacks features like an auto-duplexer, a duplexing ADF, and Wi-Fi connectivity.
The Brother MFC-9330CDW is a capable small-office color laser-class MFP with decent speed, though it’s outclassed by the Brother MFC-9340CDW, which has the same estimated street price but adds the duplexing ADF. It is best for a small office that does mostly text printing and needs occasional color, yet doesn’t require the graphics and photo quality needed for, say, taking the printing of marketing materials in house.
|Standalone Copier and Fax||Copier, Fax|
|Direct Printing from Cameras||No|
|Rated Speed at Default Settings (Mono)||23 ppm|
|Rated Speed at Default Settings (Color)||23 ppm|
|Color or Monochrome||1-pass color|
|Maximum Standard Paper Size||Legal|
|Technology (for laser category only)||LED|
|Connection Type||USB, Ethernet, Wireless|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc