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I notice that this printer is still available so it is worthy of a review. I have had mine for over two years now, I can't comment on the original price as it was given as a Christmas present, but I think that the £69 on Amazon at the moment is a bit pricey. If it can be found at around the £30 mark it's a good deal.
What it is
The printer comes with a booklet and the driver software (not a furry steering wheel cover) but does not include the printer cable, these can be bought separately, and mine cost a couple of quid from eBay. Its functions include copy, photo capture, scanning and printing. I will admit now that I have not used the photo capture function but I assume that it is for taking data directly from a digital device, camera, etc. On top of the box are the necessary buttons for each function, start and stop buttons, options for colour and non colour, copy options, enlargement options, ink management, scanner, photo and the on off button. The main menu button leads you into contrast and brightness settings and paper size settings. There is an open lid on top that lets you scan and copy items; this has rulers on it to show you the position of the document on the paper and its size. Below is a front pull out paper draw also with paper size measurements. There is a small one character high screen that shows you what you are accessing in the menus and also warns you of any problems such as no paper and low ink levels (hate that).
How it works
The printer has had a fair bit of usage during my college course and I have managed to use all of its functions without the instructions, however I would not say it has been easy to work my way around the menus. I would like to think I am quite competent with figuring out electrical items but if you are not the instruction booklet will probably be vital. Copy and scanning is pretty simple you just pop the thing you want copying in and press the relevant button. It linked up with my laptop easily and I haven't had any communication problems between the two; there may be a need to resend files after replacing ink or paper if it has run out during a print though.
What it makes things look like
I quite like the printing quality for word processing; it lays the ink on quite thick on the standard settings which gives my work a substantial look to it, the drawback of this is that it uses ink a bit quicker. I think there is an option somewhere on the printer menu to reduce the ink density (I should probably look into that). Colour printing works fine as long as the pictures you are printing have a decent resolution in the first place. The ink has been replaced many times over the year; this is done by a little loading draw at the front which has a very easy operation. The copying function also re-produces things well and there is also the option to add colour or not.
What I think about it all
I wouldn't say that this printer was the best ever, not by a long shot, but at the right price it will do a half decent job of what it's supposed to. Overall I am quite happy with it, even more so when I found some decent ink prices on eBay, around £7 for 12 cartridges. It is still going strong after a year of intense printing and I hope it will do during my three year degree, if not I will update this with a more huffy review.
I bought this printer purely due to its size. When I switched from a laptop to a desktop pc I bought myself a new desk, with a shelf to hold a printer. The shelf was not very wide and therefore I had difficulty finding a printer which would actually fit. I looked through the entire range of printers Argos were stocking at the time and none of them would fit apart from this one.
If by any chance you are looking for a compact printer to fit in a tight gap this printer will cause you a problem, before I made the purchase I worked out it would just about fit, with no room either side. When I got it home I encountered a problem, the power lead (which is a huge kettle lead) is on the left had side of the printer, I had to cut a hole out the side of my desk to get around this problem!
I purchased my brother DCP-135 for about £30 in January 2009. It came with the ink I needed which lasted about 6 months, It lasted quite a long time for the amount of print outs I made.
I had to purchase more ink 2 months ago, it cost me £40 from Staples. If Argos had still been stocking the printer for £30 I would have gone and bought another purely for the ink it came with. It seems stupid that the ink is more expensive than the printer itself. When I need to purchase more ink I am thinking of either refilling the cartridges I have now or buying some cheaper replacements.
Onto the printer itself, for £30 it was a bargain, I've got a scanner, copier and printer all in one, it saves a lot of space, it's easy to use and to me (the untrained eye) the printouts are of a high quality. Bear in mind I have only been printing word documents.
It has a little screen on it to provide you with information, the only trouble with this is, I wish it was backlit, its just a normal screen, kind of like a calculator, and very difficult to see unless you've got it somewhere very light.
When my local supermarket started stocking these printer scanner combos for £40 a year ago I picked one up and almost ran to the check-out with it.
The main purpose of the machine was going to be for printing photos, however I quickly found out that somehow Brother have managed to design the printer so that you can only use their own brand of photo paper with it. Any other photo paper (even expensive Kodak paper) just gets jammed and stains the paper.
As far as day-to-day printing, I didn't have any problems for a long time until it came to changing the ink cartridges when I again discovered that the only thing that works is the "genuine" brother ink rather than the refills that are readily available.
11 months after buying the printer I've now had to contact the manufacturer for a replacement printer as the ink cartidges aren't being recognised by the machine anymore.
On the plus side the scan quality is excellent, the software that it comes with is very user friendly and the Brother support team is marvellous.
For all the problems that I've had with this, I'm not even sure it was worth the £40 that I paid for it and if the machine wasn't still under manufacturer's warranty it would be going straight in the bin.