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

Colour? yes
Resolution printer final 6000 x 1200dpi
Ink-drop size 1.5pl
Integrated TFT screen? no
Rated/quoted print speed 30PPM
Maximum paper size A4
Duplex function no

Running costs

Cost per A4 mono page 4.0p
Cost per A4 colour page 12.0p

Power and noise

Peak noise level 50.0dB(A)
Dimensions 390 x 365 x 150mm (WDH)
Peak power consumption 18W
Idle power consumption 4W

Copier Specification

Copier rated mono speed 20cpm
Copier rated colour speed 18cpm
Fax? no
Fax speed N/A
Fax page memory N/A

Performance tests

6x4in photo print time 2min 54s
A4 photo print time 3min 22s
Mono print speed (measured) 3ppm
Colour print speed 3ppm

Media Handling

Borderless printing? yes
CD/DVD printing? no
Input tray capacity 100 sheets


USB connection? yes
Ethernet connection? no
Bluetooth connection? no
WiFi connection? no
PictBridge port? yes
Other connections None

Flash media

SD card reader yes
Compact Flash reader no
Memory Stick reader yes
xD-card reader yes
USB flash drive support? no
Other memory media support None

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 support N/A
Software supplied Brother Creative Center

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