Brother DCP-L6600DW review

A great-value printer offering low running costs and the best scan and cloud features around

IT Pro Recommended
Price
£405
  • Full complement of network connections; Low running costs; Strong cloud integrations; Great print speeds;
  • Print quality of photos isn't the best; Using ADF lowers maximum scan resolution;

Brother's DCP-L6600DW is ideal for busy workgroups: it's one of the fastest mono laser MFPs in its class, offering an advertised 46 pages per minute. And where some printers fall short of their speed claims, we found that the DCP-L6600DW delivered on its promises perfectly: our 46-page test Word document was dispatched in 59 seconds at both 600dpi and 1,200dpi driver resolutions. It had no problems with our challenging 24-page DTP document either, which was hustled into the printer's 250-sheet output tray at precisely 46ppm.

The integral duplexer is no slouch. Double-sided printing is never quite as fast as single-sided, but our 46-page test document came out at an average of 24ppm. You won't be waiting around for the printer to warm up: the time to first page for all tests was never more than eight seconds. The scanner's 50-page ADF is pretty nippy too, with a 10-page single-side document copied at 33ppm, while a duplex-to-duplex copy mustered 10ppm. However, note that using the ADF drops the maximum scan resolution from 1,200ppi to 600ppi.

Print quality is great for general office use. Our test page revealed pin-sharp text at even the tiniest font sizes. Graphs and charts looked solid and well defined too but while mono photos showed good levels of detail, their impact was marred by an unsightly banding.

The print drum has a lifespan of 50,000 pages, so it will probably last the life of the printer. That means your only running costs should be toner cartridges: once you've used up the generous 8,000-page starter cartridge, the 12,000-page super-high-yield units work out to a penny per page.

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Setting up the printer is easy, since the DCP-L6600DW offers all the network connections you could possibly want. Alongside a Gigabit Ethernet port, it also supports 802.11n wireless, Wi-Fi Direct and AirPrint, plus NFC for Android devices. Installation on our Windows 10 desktop was nicely automated, with the software discovering the printer on the network and thereafter setting up the drivers for us.

Along with a handy System Tray status monitor and TWAIN driver, each desktop gets Brother's ControlCenter4 utility, preconfigured to use the network scanner. This provides quick access for copying documents and scanning them to email and local files. The included Nuance PaperPort SE 14 software handles OCR functions and offers good document management tools. Plus, print control and security features are excellent: Brother's secure lock allowed us to create local user lists and decide precisely what functions they could access. Jobs can be secured from the printer driver, allowing users to walk up and release them after entering a PIN.

On-printer controls are accessed via a 123mm colour LCD touch panel, providing easy access to all copy and scan features and plenty more besides. A whole host of scan destinations is available: after using Brother's Web Connect portal to enter our account details, we were able to scan directly to OneNote, OneDrive, Box, Google Drive, Dropbox, Facebook and Flickr. The built-in Easy Scan to E-mail app also makes it easy to transmit documents to someone's inbox: simply register an email address, set up a PIN and get scanning; there's no need to mess about with email server settings.

The Scan to Mobile app scans a document to Brother's website, again with automatic PIN protection, and displays a QR code on the LCD panel that can be scanned to access it. We used the Windows Phone 8.1 Vision app to scan the QR code, which downloaded the file directly to our mobile.

Brother's DCP-L6600DW offers busy workgroups a superb range of print, scan and copy features, along with top-notch cloud support. It isn't the best choice for reproducing photographs, but small businesses that work mostly with text and graphs will find its fast print speeds and low running costs extremely tempting.

This review originally appeared in PC Pro issue 265

Verdict

Brother’s DCP-L6600DW offers busy workgroups a superb range of print, scan and copy features, along with top-notch cloud support. Small businesses that work mostly with text and graphs will find its fast print speeds and low running costs extremely tempting

1,200dpi A4 mono laser 1,200dpi duplex colour scanner 800MHz Cortex-A9 CPU 512MB RAM 46ppm 2 x USB 2 Gigabit Ethernet 802.11bgn wireless 12.3cm colour touchscreen 520-sheet input tray 50-sheet ADF Duplex Rec. monthly cycle – 7,500 pages 495 x 427 x 518mm (WDH) 18.5kg Brother ControlCentre4 and Nuance PaperPort SE 14 software 1yr on-site warranty

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