Brother DCP-150C review
Cheaper than all but the Epson DX7400 this month, Brother’s DCP-150C manages to offer just a little more in the way of features for your money than its budget rival.
The major addition is a one-line LCD screen, which makes a difference to the usability over the single digit of the Epson – after just a few tests we felt more comfortable with the Brother than we ever did with the DX7400’s fiddly interface.
But it’s still a relatively barren device. Interfaces are limited to USB only, which hooks inside the main compartment so it can’t be ripped out if someone trips over it. There’s nothing so advanced as wireless printing or a duplex unit; you don’t even get a print progress indicator on screen during jobs.
You do get individual ink tanks, which go straight into a compartment on the front of the device, but the black cartridge in particular isn’t cheap for its capacity: running costs are around 7.8p per A4 page, although in our rundown test it produced a very impressive 218 colour 6 x 4in photos before the first individual tank ran dry.
In use it proved disappointing. Only the HP and the budget Epson proved slower overall, with the Brother propping up the table with 3.1ppm in mono, and 2.8ppm in colour. A 6 x 4in photo at best quality took a yawn-inducing three and a half minutes, and the paper output tray is so far inside the device that it’s awkward to see how the print is doing.
Then there’s the scanner, which is a little annoying in that it requires you to line up 6 x 4in photos in the middle of an edge rather than the corner like most platens. We couldn’t get the Brother to produce borderless photocopies, and copies in general were slow. By contrast, the scanner was quicker than most – it took just 27 seconds to capture a 6 x 4in photo at 600ppi and was similarly quick at higher resolutions.
Quality, though, remains average at best. Photos came out lifeless and dark, and the scanners of both Brothers were clearly the poorest of the group, totally misjudging the overall colour tone of our images. Such a poor scanner renders an all-in-one pretty useless, so we’d recommend spending a little more to ensure you get satisfactory results in all three areas of use, not just one.
|Resolution printer final||1200 x 6000dpi|
|Integrated TFT screen?||no|
|Rated/quoted print speed||27PPM|
|Maximum paper size||A4|
|Cost per A4 colour page||7.8p|
Power and noise
|Dimensions||398 x 360 x 150mm (WDH)|
|Copier rated mono speed||20cpm|
|Copier rated colour speed||18cpm|
|Fax page memory||N/A|
|6x4in photo print time||3min 37s|
|Mono print speed (measured)||3ppm|
|Colour print speed||3ppm|
|Input tray capacity||100 sheets|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Compact Flash reader||yes|
|Memory Stick reader||yes|
|Other memory media support||MMC|
|Operating system Windows 7 supported?||no|
|Operating system Windows Vista supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows XP supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows 2000 supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows 98SE supported?||no|
|Software supplied||ScanSoft PaperPort 11|