Brother MFC-J1205W compact home business printer.

Brother MFC-J1205W compact home business printer.

Brother MFC-J1205W INKvestment Tank Printer: Compact Size and Unique Features

Brother MFC-J1205W

Brother’s MFC-J1205W INKvestment Tank printer is not your average all-in-one printer. It stands out from the competition with its compact size and unique inkjet tank technology. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at its cartridge design, size benefits, print performance, and ease of use, and how these factors contribute to its long-term value.

A Design That Blends In Well

One of the first things you’ll notice about the MFC-J1205W is its unobtrusive off-white color, which blends in nicely with home decor. Unlike most all-in-one printers, the MFC-J1205W takes up very little space. It measures just 17.1 inches wide, 14.1 inches deep, and 6.3 inches tall, making it highly suitable for small spaces. Weighing only 12.3 pounds, it’s also lightweight and easy to handle.

But what sets the MFC-J1205W apart is its thoughtful design. Unlike many small printers that require rear access for paper trays and output bins, this printer has them conveniently located on the front. This means you only need space for the printer itself, making it even more space-efficient. The removable paper tray provides easy access to the rear tray for photos, and inserting letter or legal paper is a breeze.

While the lack of a screen may be seen as a drawback by some, for most users, it’s not a problem. The printer features five buttons that allow you to switch paper size, enable Wi-Fi, turn the printer on, and make mono or color copies. This streamlined operation leaves more complicated tasks for the mobile app or a computer.

Impressive Printing Performance

When it comes to printing performance, the MFC-J1205W delivers good results. The printer uses cartridges, unlike some of its competitors with tank technology. Although the printer comes with large cartridges that hold a substantial amount of ink, you’ll still need to order replacements when ink runs low. This makes the MFC-J1205W less economical than printers that use inexpensive ink bottles.

In terms of document printing, the MFC-J1205W produces crisp text and nice color graphics without banding. It impresses with a black-and-white print speed of 16 pages per minute (ppm) and a color throughput of 9 ppm. However, photo prints lack color saturation and contrast, even on the best quality setting. Switching to fine quality doesn’t improve vibrancy or black levels. Nevertheless, when printed on plain paper, the photos look better than expected for a budget inkjet, indicating that Brother has optimized its performance for uncoated paper.

Special Features for Convenience

As an all-in-one printer, the MFC-J1205W also includes scan and copy features. Both functions are quick and work well. Scanning is fast, and the document quality is good. The only drawback is that it requires scanning one page at a time since the printer doesn’t have an automatic document feeder.

For scanning photos, there’s an extra step to adjust the extreme contrast. While this option is available, it can be annoying if you need to scan a stack of photos.

Software and Compatibility

Setting up the MFC-J1205W is straightforward. You’ll need to install ink cartridges and paper before connecting to Wi-Fi using the mobile app. Brother’s printers are compatible with various operating systems, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, ChromeOS, and Linux. Scanning works seamlessly from smartphones, and the Brother mobile app provides additional control options such as cropping, rotating, and resizing. The mobile app also offers a convenient ink level feature that shows the number of pages remaining for each color. It even allows you to switch to usage-based estimates for more accurate cartridge life calculations.

Pricing and Value

Priced at $129, the MFC-J1205W INKvestment Tank printer offers excellent value for a small, fast, and easy-to-use all-in-one printer. However, it’s important to note that the ink costs are not as low as one might expect from a printer labeled as a “tank printer.” The MFC-J1205W uses large cartridges with an estimated yield of 750 pages for both black and color. This puts its cost per page at 3 cents for monochrome documents and 6 cents for color. While still a good value compared to most cartridge-based inkjet printers, it’s more expensive than true tank printers that provide thousands of pages per bottle.


The Brother MFC-J1205W INKvestment Tank printer is an excellent choice for a home office, especially if space is limited. Its compact size and clever design allow you to place it on a shelf or in tight spots without sacrificing accessibility. Ease of use is generally good, and most features work as expected with minimal effort.

While the printer’s printing performance is solid for documents, it falls short when it comes to photo prints. If high-quality photo prints and scans are a priority, you might consider a more versatile and higher-end all-in-one printer dedicated to photo printing.

Overall, the Brother MFC-J1205W finds its place in the middle ground between low-cost inkjet printers and true tank printers. With its affordable price, decent functionality, and moderate running costs, it’s certainly a printer worth considering for those seeking a reliable and budget-friendly all-in-one solution.