Brother MFC-5890cn All-in-One Printer

A Great Machine In Its Day, But It's Retired Now

Brother MFC-5890 All-in-One
Brother MFC-5890 All-in-One. Photo copyright Brother

The Bottom Line

Peter was right. This was an excellent printer back in its day, but that's going on a decade now, and the MFC-5890cn All-in-One Printer is retired. Since then, Brother has come out with several wide-format all-in-ones, and one of my favorites is the MFC-J4320DW, another multifunction wide-format printer.

This Brother all-in-one printer did a great job printing and scanning everything I threw at it, and even when I did it across a home network, it did it quickly.

The lack of a duplexing feature, however, canceled out the ease of networking; and the LCD screen wasn't my favorite. Still, I can recommend this printer to home users and small businesses without hesitation.

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The Pros

  • Easily networkable (wired networks only)
  • Fast scanning
  • Good photo quality
  • Excellent print quality

The Cons

  • No duplexing feature
  • No cables included
  • Small LCD


  • All-in-one inkjet printer with built-in fax, scanner, and copier
  • Networkable (must be connected via cable to a router); no cables included
  • Can print up to 11x17
  • Scan to file, FTP, e-mail, or OCR software
  • 50-page automatic document feeder
  • Large paper capacity up to 150 sheets
  • Can use high-yield ink cartridges

Guide Review - Brother MFC-5890cn All-in-One Printer

Brother has been putting out some affordable all-in-ones that have met with enthusiastic responses (from me). The MFC-5890cn is another in that line. While it's missing some items that I think are essential to home offices, it still does a remarkable job.

Let's start with the basics. The 5890 boasts of being networkable, and this is a feature that makes or breaks many printers. In this case, it was extremely easy to make the printer work via my home network, and I was able to use all the printer's features using a remote laptop that connects to my network wirelessly (the printer itself doesn't have the wireless capability; it's hardwired to my wireless router).

The first page of a five-page PDF took 28 seconds to print, with the whole job taking an average of 16.6 seconds per page. Brother boasts up to 28 pages per minute (color), but the small print notes this excludes the first page. That's a far cry from actual print times, so keep in mind that for all printers, the manufacturer's estimate of pages per minute depends on a variety of factors.

Three color graphics pages came out in 1:33 (the first page took 36 seconds at normal quality). The colors looked great, though orange seemed to be slightly washed out.

A 4x6 photo took 1:35 seconds to print. The colors were slightly dark but nevertheless true to live (they were slightly less vivid than I've seen with other printers; and that's not necessarily a drawback, as I prefer to manipulate a photo if I need it to be more vivid). The printer can print as large as 11x17, a huge advantage if you print signs or extra-large spreadsheets.

It took 30 seconds to scan a colorful image to a JPG, and using the ControlCenter software, it was easy to change the default to PDF (that scan took only 23 seconds). Both looked excellent. However, larger LCD screen would make onboard photo editing easier.

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