Brother MFC-J5340DW review: A versatile color multifunction to add A3 printing to your office repertoire

The MFC-J5340DW is a fairly average office inkjet MFP, lifted by fast speeds, very reasonable running costs, and its ability to print on paper up to A3

The Brother MFC-J5340DW on the ITPro background
(Image: © Future)

IT Pro Verdict


  • +

    Cheap to buy and run

  • +

    Quick results


  • -

    Lacklustre quality

A3 paper is twice the size of A4, and A3-capable printers are often similarly bigger than their A4 competition. Fully A3-capable multifunctions are huge, which is a strong reason to consider Brother's MFC-J5340DW. An office-focused inkjet multifunction peripheral (MFP), it's essentially a compact A3 printer, topped off with a regular A4 scanner.

This bottom-heavy combination has allowed Brother to shrink this multifunction's overall size considerably– it's much easier to live with than most fully A3-capable MFPs. Of course, the downside is that it can't scan, fax, or copy an A3 original, although you can enlarge an A4 document onto A3 paper.

The MFC-J5340DW's other highlights include a host USB port and color touchscreen, along with support for both wired and wireless networking. Its 50-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF) can handle A4, Legal, and Letter sizes, although unfortunately, it doesn't support duplex (double-sided) scanning, copying, or faxing. And while the printer can duplex, it's not available for A3 paper, which could prove a limitation in a small number of applications. We should also point out that this printer can't handle larger A3+ paper.

For the price, this MFP's single paper input cassette is acceptable, but it does mean you'll need to unload your existing stack of paper when you want to switch from A4 to A3, or vice versa. Unusually, you load A4 paper with a landscape orientation and A3 in portrait, but switching to the latter means extending the input and output trays to their full extent, which adds a little complexity. If you just need to dash off one sheet on a different paper format, you can use the rear bypass. This also accepts up to A3 paper, but it's a shame it isn't a full multipurpose tray.

Brother ships the MFC-J5340DW with a full set of standard capacity cartridges, rated for 550 pages each. You'll lose some of this to the one-time ink priming process, but that's still fairly generous for a device in this class. The XL cartridges are much more useful, lasting for 3,000 black or 1,500 color pages each. Stick to these and running costs work out at an impressive 4.9p (ex VAT) for a full-color page, or just 0.9p in black only.

Brother MFC-J5340DW review: Setting up

Brother's inkjets are usually simple to set up, and the MFC-J5340DW is especially so when compared to other A3-capable devices. At 17kg it's much lighter than you'd expect and fairly easy for an able person to lift into place. Unlike laser MFPs, it doesn't require room for ventilation on either side, which makes it easier to accommodate on a worktop. While this definitely isn't a small device, it's only about 30% wider and 16% deeper than a typical A4 Brother inkjet MFP, giving it a footprint only 1.5 times as large. It's only about five centimeters taller, too.

The Brother MFC-J5340DW on a desk

(Image credit: Future)

There's not too much tape or other packaging to remove from this MFP before it's ready to go. You do need to install the supplied ink cartridges, and wait while the ink system is primed. In the meantime, you can set the date and time, but unfortunately not join the MFC-J5340DW to a wireless network – you need to wait for priming to finish first. If you're connecting via USB or Ethernet, you'll find the ports secreted away under the scanner bed, a longstanding Brother inkjet quirk that in this case swallows up the first 50cm or so of a connected cable.

After priming, this MFP prints a nozzle check page and prompts you to align its print heads – achieved by printing and scanning a single sheet. Join it to the network and it will check for firmware updates, after which you're ready to start installing user software. This comes in two principle flavors: for PCs, you can download a full install pack containing print and TWAIN scan drivers, along with Brother iPrint&Scan. This handy workflow manager helps streamline various frequently used tasks, such as scanning to SharePoint or a cloud service.

Confusingly, Brother seems to have abandoned the iPrint&Scan mobile app, with new devices instead requiring Brother Mobile Connect. This handles the usual printing and scanning functions and adds copying control, but this is a little limited – you can't change much other than the document size.

Brother MFC-J5340DW review: Printing, scanning, and copying

Brother says the MFC-J5340DW can print at up to 28 pages per minute (ppm), a claim we'd usually take with a pinch of salt for an inkjet. However, it got extremely close to this in our tests, managing a best of 26.8ppm when producing 25 copies of a single text page in Economy mode. Given we include the time taken to spool the print job, it's extremely unusual for a printer to get this close to its stated speed.

The print page for the Brother MFC_J5340DW

(Image credit: Future)

The MFC-J5340DW was fast in Normal print quality, too, delivering a first page of black text in just 11 seconds, and going on to hit 24.2ppm over 25 pages. Curiously, it wasn't as quick when printing a single copy of our 50-page document. Momentary pauses between each page slowed the print rate down to a more pedestrian 13.1ppm.

Things were much less impressive when it came to printing color graphics, however. This MFP reached 5.0ppm on our complex test, which includes a mix of presentation slides, web and magazine pages. While that's not awful for an inkjet, it's much slower than a basic color laser printer. Conversely, the MFC-J5340DW duplex printed at 5.0ipm, which isn't too bad by affordable inkjet standards.

We tested A3 printing with a scaled-up version of our A4 text document and a single graphics-heavy color page. This MFC delivered the first text page in 16 seconds and needed only 44 seconds to print five copies. It took 36 seconds to complete the first page of graphics, with all five emerging after 77 seconds.


Whitepaper cover with title and logo over image of barista in a coffee shop serving

(Image credit: Schneider Electric)

Discover how wide-bandgap technology works

This MFP's scanner may be limited to A4, but there's nothing wrong with its speeds. It completed a preview in six seconds and could capture an A4 document at 150 dots per inch (dpi) at the same rate. It needed only nine seconds to scan A4 at 300dpi. We use a single, 6x4" (15x10cm) photo to test higher-resolution scanning. The MFC-J5340DW captured it in 11 seconds at 600dpi, and 29 seconds at the maximum 1,200dpi – both very competitive times.

With a fast printer and scanner, it's no surprise this MFP was a quick copier, too. It needed 10 seconds to copy a single black page, and only 11 seconds to repeat the job in color. A 10-page black copy completed in 34 seconds, while in color this job took 52 seconds – both very strong results for an inkjet. ADF copying accounted for the peak power use we measured, which was only 37 watts. This MFP used 5W when in standby, and when sleeping its power use fell below our meter's 1W minimum.

This MFP's print quality is its biggest weakness. It produced acceptable text, but character outlines were a little jagged even to the naked eye, meaning you might not want to use it on formal letters or other materials where a good first impression counts. Color graphics were generally a little poor, without the firm blacks and vivid colors you get from the best office inkjets – let alone a laser. Sharp-eyed viewers might be likely to spot subtle graining in regions of solid color, while we also noted some banding in large color fills.

The Brother MFC_J5340DW paper tray

(Image credit: Future)

Typically for most inkjets – which must strike a balance between ink density and drying time to avoid smearing – duplexed prints were noticeably more faint than single-sided ones. This left color graphics looking even less authoritative on the page.

However, while this isn't a photo printer, it did a decent job when printing at Best quality on coated inkjet paper. Color photos looked more nuanced than you'd get from a laser, while our black and white test print showed a good amount of contrast except in its very darkest areas. We could make out a significant amount of grain in all our prints, though, particularly in lighter regions.

Unfortunately, photocopies were very disappointing. Though legible, fine black text looked patchy and distorted in both mono and color copies. This multifunction reproduced color particularly poorly, with the browns of our test page inheriting a strange purplish bruise – we had to double-check none of the ink cartridges had run out mid-job.

This MFP's printer isn't solely to blame for its disappointing copies – our scan test results weren't brilliant, either. While photos were captured quite faithfully, we noticed that details were lost from dark areas of images and graphics. Office documents were generally good enough for archiving, but colors were too drab for more artistic uses. Our Q-60 color target revealed a scanner with a limited dynamic range: it couldn't distinguish the six darkest grey shades, and the darkest greens in particular congealed into a murky sludge.

Brother MFC-J5340DW review: Verdict

Our disappointing results were especially so because this MFP is otherwise very strong. It's affordable, compact, and quite well-specified, and its A3 print capability could be a great feature for small offices who need it, but who don't have the space for a dedicated printer. It's impressively fast on everything except color prints, too.

We also can't complain about the MFC-J5340DW's value. It's quite keenly priced, and offers very reasonable print costs provided you stick to the larger supplies. That's particularly true in black, with its penny-a-page cost keeping it suitable even for medium-volume applications.

Unfortunately, it's all undone by prints, scans, and copies that were all below the standards we'd expect from a good office inkjet. If you're looking for good speeds and features, and can accept sub-par results, the MFC-J5340DW is still worth a look, but if you can live without A3 printing, consider something else from our best all-in-one printers guide.

Brother MFC-J5340DW specifications 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
TechnologyColor inkjet MFP
Maximum print resolution1,200x4,800dpi
Dimensions (HWD)530x398x305mm
Maximum paper sizeA3 (print only)
WarrantyOne year RTB
Simon Handby

After a brief career in corporate IT, Simon Handby combined his love of technology and writing when he made the move to Computer Shopper magazine. As a technology reviewer he's since tested everything from routers and switches, to smart air fryers and doorbells, and covered technology such as EVs, TVs, solar power and the singularity.

During more than 15 years as Shopper's long-time printer reviewer, Simon tried, tested and wrote up literally hundreds of home, small office and workgroup printers. He continues reviewing smart products and printers for a variety of publications, and has been an IT Pro contributor since 2010. Simon is almost never happier than when surrounded by printers and paper, applying his stopwatch and a seasoned eye to find the best performing, best value products for business users.