Brother’s MFC-J497DW, a Bottom Basement Entry-Level AIO
Strong output quality overall. 20-sheet ADF. Supports borderless printing. Solid feature set for price.
Cost per page is high. No flash-drive support. Input and output capacities are low.
The Brother MFC-J497DW is an inexpensive home or small-office AIO that prints well in low volumes for those environments. Like some recent siblings, though, its running costs need tweaking.
Let’s give Brother some credit up front: This printer packs a bunch of value and functionality into a small space. The MFC-J497DW ($79.99) is a compact, low-volume inkjet all-in-one printer, along the lines of the 4-star/Excellent-rated HP OfficeJet 3830 All-in-One. Like the HP model, the MFC-J497DW prints well, delivering smart-looking photos on premium-grade glossy or matte photo paper. But, even for an entry-level printer, the MFC-J497DW’s running costs are exceptionally high, especially when compared to the OfficeJet 3830 (and other HP models) paired with that company’s Instant Ink subscription service. The Brother MFC-J497DW does support two-sided printing, faxing, and a few other amenities that the HP OfficeJet 3830 does not, however, making it a good fit for many homes, home offices, and small workgroups with modest print and copy needs.