Brother DCP-165C review

Price when reviewed

While perhaps not the most stylish of devices, Brother’s DCP-165C all-in-one at least makes setup simple. The tucked away USB socket and cable clip keep things nice and tidy, and the four separate front-loading ink cartridges come neatly packaged and are a breeze to install.

Brother DCP-165C review

There isn’t a great deal more to the DCP-165C itself, as this is very much a budget model. With just a one-line LCD, the menu system isn’t intuitive. Separate buttons for the most common options – copy quality, quantity, enlargements – make life a little easier, but it’s not a printer we’d recommend if you regularly need more than just the basic copy settings. There’s also no print progress indicator, even in the driver.

Performance-wise, the Brother is pretty mixed. A seemingly impressive 15.4ppm draft print speed should be ignored as the prints are barely legible. At the much more acceptable normal quality that speed drops to a crawling 3.1ppm, while a 6 x 4in photo will have you waiting three minutes.

The quality, however, is better than you might expect at this price, and is almost up there with the budget Canon MP190. The separate inks play a part in this, even if they do make the DCP-165C fairly dear to run at 12p per A4 page.

The scanner isn’t so hot, though, with off-colour images and some notable frayed edges in our text scans. This has a knock-on effect on copies, with pale photos and inaccurate colours combining with fuzzy text. That text also churns out slowly, taking a sluggish 30 seconds in draft mode.

So it manages some things quite well, including nice print text quality and decent photos, but others not so well – scanning and copying, ease of use. And that’s the Brother DCP-165C in a nutshell: it’s a simple, cheap device that’s just not as good as the Canon MP190. And unfortunately, as that Canon is also cheaper both to buy and run, this all-in-one doesn’t get our recommendation.

Basic Specifications

Resolution printer final6000 x 1200dpi
Ink-drop size1.5pl
Integrated TFT screen?no
Rated/quoted print speed30PPM
Maximum paper sizeA4
Duplex functionno

Running costs

Cost per A4 mono page4.0p
Cost per A4 colour page12.0p

Power and noise

Peak noise level50.0dB(A)
Dimensions390 x 365 x 150mm (WDH)
Peak power consumption18W
Idle power consumption4W

Copier Specification

Copier rated mono speed20cpm
Copier rated colour speed18cpm
Fax speedN/A
Fax page memoryN/A

Performance tests

6x4in photo print time2min 54s
A4 photo print time3min 22s
Mono print speed (measured)3ppm
Colour print speed3ppm

Media Handling

Borderless printing?yes
CD/DVD printing?no
Input tray capacity100 sheets


USB connection?yes
Ethernet connection?no
Bluetooth connection?no
WiFi connection?no
PictBridge port?yes
Other connectionsNone

Flash media

SD card readeryes
Compact Flash readerno
Memory Stick readeryes
xD-card readeryes
USB flash drive support?no
Other memory media supportNone

OS Support

Operating system Windows 7 supported?yes
Operating system Windows Vista supported?yes
Operating system Windows XP supported?yes
Operating system Windows 2000 supported?yes
Operating system Windows 98SE supported?no
Other operating system supportN/A
Software suppliedBrother Creative Center

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