The Good Low cost to print; two-year warranty.
The Bad Poor output quality; slow print times; awkward build quality; outdated design; lacks wireless networking.
The Bottom Line The Brother MFC-5890CN all-in-one is hands down the worst printer to take up space in our lab. From the irritating initial set up to the horrendous output quality and slow print speed, this device is the easiest way to flush $200 down the drain.
From start to finish, the Brother MFC-5890CN leaves many unanswered questions in its wake: Who designed this eyesore? Why is it so expensive? Did they forget to test out the features before production? Whatever the answer, one thing is certain: we're unapologetically dissatisfied with this all-in-one printer/scanner/fax/copier. Don't be fooled by the excessive 3.3-inch LCD; a pretty screen doesn't mean a thing without a solid machine behind it. We have so many more complaints that it's hard to decide where to start. How about this: we advise all CNET readers and others who don't have $200 to stay far away from this model and check out the Canon Pixma MX330 instead.
We normally don't delve too deep into the packaging, but we have to warn you about the Brother's unabashed stickering of its printers. The MFC-5890CN comes prepackaged with no less than five prominently placed stickers spattered across the scanner lid, auto-document feeder, ink cartridge bay, and side paneling. Other companies do this as well, but the difference is that the stickers on the 5890CN don't peel away easily at all, leaving bits of backing that make it look like your printer was mauled by a fed-up feline.
Sadly, Brother printers are always the furthest behind in terms of design, and the MFC-5890CN is no different. The cheap black plastic and mushy rubber buttons coupled with a strange extraterrestrial shape looks like a throwback to the first supercomputer in a bad '70s science fiction movie. In addition, you'll notice that the printer is especially larger than other multifunction printers are. Sitting at 9.5 inches tall by 19.1 inches wide by 16.1 inches deep and 23.6 pounds, this tank demands a large portion of desk space.