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The Brother DPC 130c was our first real all in one printer for the home. That means, it prints, it copies and scans. It can do proper high quality glossy photos. It doesn't even have to be connected to a PC to do much of this.
Brother is probably a printer marque that you've not heard of. My local cartridge place swears by them, pointing out that a company once famous for the quality of their sewing machines would find making a durable, good quality printer something of a doddle. And they have.
Construction and usability
Considering the low cost, it is a decent unit. A solid grey body with a flat top that looks far more expensive than it is. It even has an honest to goodness paper tray that slides in and out with little effort. There is a squinty little LED screen that's a bit of a pain to navigate.
Printing is fast, at an average 20 pages a minute. The feed through is generally trouble free, but any paper jams are resolved with a minimum of swearing and muttering. When using photo paper, you do need to remember which side gets printed on (it's the bottom) to avoid wasting a single page.
Scanning is a doddle. Surprisingly good, too. Supporting resolutions up 19,200 x 19,200 dpi. Scanning can be done to a file, image or a PDF. The PC software is straightforward to use, but hardly pretty. Brother needs to make a small investment here.
Ink is one area where brother really shines. They are not as mean with their units as other manufacturers. You have four cartridges that each carry more ink in them, making them more cost effective over any term. Brother also recognises that black will be most used and has made that cartridge bigger than the others.
You don't have to perform advanced yoga moves like the dying weasel in order to get the damn things in, they are front loaded and easy to install. Furthermore, because they are well made you can get them refilled rather than buy compatible cartridges.
Reliability has been great. If there is any major annoyance, it has been with the auto-clean which is noisy and can kick in at strange intervals, causing the cat to cling to the ceiling. Right next to me.
The current model appears to be the Brother DCP 375CW. Having had a positive experience with this unit, I will go back to Brother when its time for a new one.
Bought one of these as a "manager's special" at PC World at least 5 years ago for £30 when my scanner broke. They didn't have any stand-alone scanners on that day for under £50. Was ex-demo with no ink cartridges - the Brother cartridges normally cost me between £35 and £50 on the high street.
Brother ink isn't extortionate compared to other manufacturer inks, but online ink for this model is really cheap. Last delivery I got was 2 of each colour, and 3 black cartridges for £10, and they seem to last fairly well too.
I don't print a lot, using less than a ream of paper in a year. The flat paper tray is therefore far better for me than a feed into the back of the printer. I've also never had to remove ink cartridges that have dried out (unlike HP printers I've had in the past).
I have it installed on a shelf in a cupboard, and don't even know how to get into the back of the printer to unblock a paper jam as I've never had the need. I use the cheapest paper and have never been anything other than satisfied with the results.
Have occasionally tried glossy paper and been happy enough, but without having something else to compare them to I couldn't say they're brilliant.
TWAIN Scanner gets a fair amount of use (normally use Picasa for scanning), and if Brother stop updating Windows drivers for it, it has linux drivers available, so can always be put to use.
Am chuffed it has lasted so long, and costs next to nothing to run. Didn't expect it to last more than a year at the price I paid.
We've had this printer for quite a while now and unfortunately it's looking quite outdated when compared to today's technology. It's been adequate for basic purposes, though I wouldn't highly recommend it if you want a top quality all-in-one printer that won't give you much hassle.
Brother produce a range of printing solutions and they're well renowned in this area, being one of the biggest printer manufacturers. They're a popular choice and I'd say I trust them to bring out effective products, with a wide choice of models to choose from to suit your needs. When we bought this, we wanted a home office printer for a reasonable amount of printing, very rare copying, and some scanning. When I bought this though, there wasn't the same sort of technology that's widely available now, such as wifi printers, so this was in line with the kind of thing available at the time.
The DCP-130C was a fairly popular brand and the ink cartridges are easy to get hold of (at least the cheaper versions are, which makes me happy!). It's a bulky printer, weighing in at 7Kg, measuring 15.7 x 14.2 x 5.9"; don't expect a sleek, light weight machine from this by any means! The paper tray takes a fair bit of room at the bottom of the printer but holds a reasonable 100 sheets, with the ability hold 50 printed pages in the output tray. The size of the printer does expand when you pull out the paper tray, so you need a decent amount of space to put this and have the wires connected to the PC. The 'lid' on the top opens to reveal the scanner/copier, which nicely fits A4 paper. The back opens up in order to be able to unjam any paper clogging that may occur, which has happened on several annoying occasions unfortunately.
This is an inject printer and prints up to 25 pages per minute black and white / 20 pages in colour. I find that it can seem fairly slow when you want a lot printed or you're in a hurry, so it's not the fastest printer out there. It can take a while to 'warm up', and sometimes it'll choose to clean itself unexpectedly. Printed pages do turn out with reasonable quality if you want the basics. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this for photos on normal paper as the lines and colour richness isn't really up to it. It's adequate enough for small amounts of colour printing and regular black/white pages, but if, for instance, you want a whole page in colour because you're printing out a poster, the page can get quite heavy with ink without it looking particularly vivid or sharp. I've used this a lot for text printing from MS office documents and it's been adequate for this purpose, so I can't complain to that extent. Perhaps using glossy paper may help if you want to print something a little more detailed and colourful.
The printer connects to your PC/laptop via USB (2.0) and runs smoothly without having to fiddle around too much getting it set up. It's nice and straight forward in that respect. There is a small black digital screen on the top of the printer itself and some push buttons to select items from the menu, such as to flick between the menu and choose to scan something. However, I find that the menu can often be a bit hit and miss, not always actually doing what I've asked it to do. At times like this when I want to do something other than print, I'll use the software CD included to use the scanner/copier functions. The software is straightforward and quite quick to use, even though I'd prefer a simple click and play functionality of the scanner just through the use of the onboard menu.
This is suitable for Windows® 98(SE)/ Me / 2000 / XP / XP Pro x64 Edition, and also the Mac OS. I've used the printer with Windows 98, Windows 7 and vista, and have found them all to work without a problem.
The problems I've found have been more with the usability of the printer. Aside from the lower quality print output, this often seems to encounter some issues with paper jams even when the paper is unobstructed and sometimes I've noticed ink smudging but without any obvious reason for it. The printer can clean itself, but this is a very lengthy process and doesn't always seem to help. Paper jams can be rectified by opening the printer up at the back, but it can be quite fiddly to do and I think that with a less bulky, more ergonomically designed machine, this could have been made easier.
The machine does give you good warning for when something's wrong or missing, such as there being a lack of paper or ink running out. What does irritate me is that it often seems I get a no-ink warning when there's definitely still ink in the cartridge; the old trick of taking it and out trying to fool the printer doesn't seem to work. Luckily, and probably the only true bonus to the DCP-130C, is that the ink cartridges are quite easy to come by online. I've found them on Amazon and Ebay being sold in multipacks for around £10, and this includes colour cartridges and black inks, usually 2 of each colour as well which is a bargain. They aren't the manufacturer brand inks, but they're just as good but at a fraction of the price. To me this is a huge benefit to several newer models and makes of printers that only seem to have extortionately priced ink cartridges available!
Overall, this wasn't bad for general home use at the time of purchase but it's not one I'd recommend today when considering the newer alternatives (hence the rating). It's got its benefits that suited the purpose and price at the time, but it's also got several drawbacks when comparing it to the better quality output and technological advances that can be bought today for a reasonable price.
[Also reviewed by me, gothic_moon, on Ciao)
My dad bought this as the family printer, no doubt with saving money in mind.
It took a while to set up because it doesn't come with a usb cable that is essential for it's use. but other then that it is pretty straight forward, you just plug it in and install the software.
this is an okay printer not very special at all, the print quality is okay for just plain text documents. But the moment you start Printing things with colour you'll notice how dull it all comes out. photo printing however (on photo inkjet paper) is surprisingly not bad.
Scanning anything with this printer is absolutely abysmal, everything just comes out blurry even simple black and white documents are unreadable.
Photo copying is not much better, on smooth paper it seams to find many creases which come up as black/ grey marks all over the copy. and same problem as printing, the colours come out dull.
Another Feature I dislike is the fact that it uses 4 different ink cartridges(Black, Yellow, Magenta & Cyan) instead of 2 (Black & colours) like most printers.
If you are looking for a multifunction printer, I would suggest you get an HP printer as these are a lot better at everything and just a little more expensive. But on the other hand if you want a simple printer and quality doesn't matter, this is the printer for you!