Brother DCP-9015CDW review

An affordable multifunction printer with excellent cloud support – but colour print speeds are slow

Price
£172
  • Good cloud support; Excellent value;
  • Slow colour print speeds; Slightly disappointing for mono and colour photos;

At less than 200, Brother's first wireless-only network all-in-one laser has plenty to offer the SMB looking for a colour multifunction printer (MFP).

Setup is a breeze, courtesy of a wizard and the 93mm colour touchscreen: we had it up and running on our lab's test network in less than a minute. It supports the AirStation One-Touch Secure System (AOSS) and WPS with PIN, while mobile devices can connect using AirPrint and Wi-Fi Direct.

The printer provides standard print, copy and scan functions (but not fax), with built-in duplexing. There's no automatic document feeder on the flatbed scanner, so you can only scan and copy single pages, and, although there's a USB port for connecting directly to your computer, it can't be used for scanning to or printing from memory sticks.

It ships with 1,000-page starter cartridges, but combining the costs of Brother's high-yield toner cartridges with the drum, transfer belt and waste bottle gives you a mono page price of 2.2p and colour for just under 10p, which are in line with other lasers in the sub-200 price bracket.

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Brother's Easy Scan to Email is self-explanatory: after registering and PIN-protecting our email addresses at the touchscreen, we were scanning to email within a couple of minutes. We had the choice of dispatching JPEGs or PDFs, and Brother supports searchable PDFs and Office formats.

We could also scan directly to an FTP server and network folder. Cloud support is great, covering OneNote, OneDrive, Box, Google Drive, Dropbox, Facebook, Picasa and Flickr.

Registering with our cloud accounts through Brother's Web Connect portal was easy. Selecting the Web option on the touchscreen gave us direct PIN-protected access to our cloud services, where we could upload scans, browse remote folders, choose a file and print it out. We also used Brother's iPrint&Scan iOS app on an iPad to connect to our cloud services, print files and access the scanner to pull in documents.

Print management and security are both top notch. Controlled using the printer's web admin console, they extend as far as setting page count limits for each user and specifying whether they could print using colour or just mono.

The printer driver can be used to secure print jobs by assigning them a PIN. This puts the job in the queue until authorised on the device itself. Our users could then walk up to the printer, select their name on the screen and enter their PIN to release the job, which is a simple means of ensuring nobody reads sensitive content if they happen to be standing at the printer or get there before you.

Brother's ControlCenter4 utility is loaded during the driver installation -- along with a system tray status monitor and TWAIN driver -- and is preconfigured to use the network scanner. It provides quick access for copying documents and scanning them to OCR, email and local files, while Nuance PaperPort handlesOCR functions and offers handy document-management tools.

We only achieved the quoted print speed when printing in mono, with an 18-page Word document delivered in 60 seconds. Note that there was a delay of between 12 to 18 seconds before the first page appeared. Colour was more challenging: the frequent pauses while printing our 24-page DTP document reduced the average speed to only 7ppm.

Brother scored well in our office printing tests, with pin-sharp text and vibrant colour graphs and charts. Complex colour fades also transitioned smoothly through their various tones. It's not so clever when printing mono and colour photos, though, as the characteristic cross- hatching produced by the LED printing technology is obvious.

The Brother is a good choice for small offices in need of centralised scan and print services. It's affordable and scores highly for security and cloud support.

Verdict

The Brother is a good choice for small offices in need of centralised scan and print services. It's affordable and scores highly for security and cloud support.

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600dpi A4 colour LED, 2,400 x 1,200dpi colour scanner

333MHz CPU

192MB RAM

18ppm colour/mono

USB 2

802.11n Wi-Fi

250-sheet input tray

Single-sheet manual feed

Duplex

Recommended maximum monthly cycle, 1,500 pages

410 x 483 x 367mm (WDH)

ControlCenter4

Nuance PaperPort 12 SE software

1yr on-site warranty

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