Product Review: Brother 790 CW Printer

I was recently given the opportunity to test and review a printer from Brother. It is the Brother 790cw model and is a



copier and

fax machine

all in one machine. The printer was shipped to me and the first thing I noticed was that it was a lot heavier than I expected. I guess it has to be heavy since it has all of those components all rolled into one machine.

What I Liked:

Copier works without software installation.

Ink was easy to install.

What I Did Not Like:

Came without printer cable.

Cover part is not easy to close but construction feels flimsy.

Photograph paper difficult to use.

General impressions

The machine came in a basically ready to use state. The only parts that needed assembling were the phone line which consisted of plugging in the handset provided. I was not able to use the fax option since I do not have a home telephone line.

brotherprinterThe machine can scan and copy without the software being installed so this was a real blessing for me. I was able to copy a document in color and all of the colors (except one neon green) came out looking like the original.

I ran into problems trying to use the glossy photograph paper to copy a photograph. The directions for using photograph paper are not very clear in the user guide and I spent about five minutes trying to pull a part towards me when the directions really meant for you to push it away from you.

You need to feed the photograph paper into a tray that you pull out above the regular paper tray and for some reason the machine was not able to grab the paper correctly. It either decided to print a tiny strip of the image on the glossy paper and the rest of the image on regular paper or it would simply ignore the glossy paper.

The machine comes with a touch screen that is very intuitive and I was able to play with the settings and adjust them to what I wanted very easily.

I regret that I was not able to set up the printer options because that required being connected to the network and I do not have a telephone line. The printer can also use a USB cable to connect but I did not have a USB cable with a connection that fit the size required and the machine did not come with that cable. I was reluctant to go out to purchase a cable just for that purpose so I did not install the printer options.

I think the machine is a good one for someone who needs all of the various features of printer/scanner/fax and I was pleased with the options I was able to access, except the ‘print a photograph’ option.

Author: Lulu

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  1. I like the idea of it working without having to go through installation of softwares. I have been looking for a machine with all three feature. Do you know how much it is going for?

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    • I have seen prices ranging from about $180 and up for the machine at various online stores.

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  2. I have a Brother Multi-function printer/scanner/copier/fax (it’s an older model, the MFC-665CW). I definitely has pros and cons. The paper tray is very hard to remove and I’m pretty sure that I’ll break it one of these days. I agree about the picture paper – it has taken me over a year to figure that one out!

    The scanner and copier are quick and easy to operate. The controls for the software are pretty intuitive. I don’t like that it has on-printer controls yet still pops up a control panel on the computer when you’re using it, but it is only on the scanner and the inconvenience is minor.

    One thing that drives me nuts is that it is forever saying it is out of ink. I’ve looked up several ways to get around it but so far I haven’t found a trick for the cartridges this model uses (the 51s.) I’m sure there is still ink left in the cartridges I’m recycling.

    I think I paid about $140 for it.

    Kate’s last blog post..Logistics of being a working military wife with children….who knew?

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    • Thanks for sharing your experience Kate. I guess Brother needs to take note of this photo paper thing since I have seen other reviews since I wrote mine and they ALL complain about the photo paper.

      Other than that I loved the machine and I wish I could have kept it (for FREE). 🙂

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  3. Oh snap, Lulu turning into a tech product reviewer? heh

    I might even have to recruit you to work for my site 😉

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    • Oh yeah that’s me, tech support should be my middle name…reviewing products, organizing usb cables, fixing my feed…..whatever will I do next? Hee hee.

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  4. I’ve used Brother for 4 years without any problem. And the ink is much cheaper than HP, Epson, who I used before. Great unit, small, quiet, prints, scans, faxes… works well for my home business. It’s also great to read Kate’s comments and surprised with the ink warnings you get in yours.

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  5. Meeting rooms was right. I too, used brother fax machine and it turned out well to me. I think it the problem with arise depending on how you use the fax. Every fax produced by brother has its specific purpose and functionality. Mine is intended for office use. So it is working properly to me. I dont know if it works for you, but this is what my opinion is. Thanks.

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  6. I have never used Brother’s printer,,going to buy one ,,so just flipping around internet and found your blog .What is it’s printing speed .

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