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~*~The Product ~ 'Reading the fine print'!~*~
This inkjet black printer has an impressive memory capacity of 32MB. The machines dimensions of height 150mm x width 390mm x length 368mm (360mm base/450mm with copy ledge protruding) is a large but compact enough size to fit comfortable on my unit. The printer is a hefty enough 6.8 kg in weight but as I do not move the machine from its position, this isn't a problem. The machine isn't noisier than most combination printers, I'd say average. The scanner glass has a convenient maximum width of 215.9mm x maximum length of 297mm, plenty spatial size for my needs.
~*~My Usage Experience~ 'Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't' :~)~*~
The DCP-J315W came securely packaged in a sturdy box. Removing the printer takes some jiggling as it is pretty compact with the entire surrounding safety wrap. But once carefully pulled from the box and wrappings, only the protective tapes and film coverings need to be removed. The machine comes with cartridges, also sealed in a plastic bag. I laid out all the components on a desk to ensure I could easily locate each item needed as I followed through the excellent 'Quick Setup Guide'.
*The User Manuals*
I was very pleased on how uncomplicated and extensive the 'Setup' and 'Basic User' guides are. The 'Basic User Guide' is far more comprehensive with its 72 pages but both are excellent instructional references that deal with so much one would need to know in operating this lovely machine. The 'Basic User Guide' has a very practical page (reverse side of front leaf) whereby I can enter the data needed if I need to call the customer service department. The opposite page details which manual I would need to read specific material. There has been so much effort put into making these reference instructional guides consumer friendly. I cannot fault anything on these guides; I am thrilled with the excellent elementary and effective text formatting.
The Documentation CD-ROM deals with an Advanced, Software and Network User's Guide when I want to learn more detailed information on advanced features, but for now, the paper manuals inform me of everything that is essential for my personal requirements. Brother offer all the online support one could ever need, all of which is documented on page 3 of the 'Basic User Guide'. On pages 37 to 46 is a comprehensive list for troubleshooting. I have read through the section titles of 'Error message', 'Cause' and 'Actions' and feel very reassured that I will be suitably equipped should faults occur, due to the excellent assessment list.
Quality of information and formatting 5/5
*Loading the paper*
Like most printers, the copy paper is not included with the purchase of the machine. I find that the paper tray is most conveniently placed on the lower section of the machine. I had a little trouble getting the tray completely out of its pocket at first but thereafter, the tray just needs a little shuffle from side to side and removes fairly easily. The top lid to the tray simply lifts off and rest at an angle when popping in paper. I can comfortably load around 50 of 80 g/m A4 sheets per time, gently pressing & sliding the paper plastic side & length guides to fit around the A4 paper. This printer has practical varied length and widths to suit requirements. I value the directional markers that make loading the paper so simplistic. After this task is done, I just need to pop out the paper support ledge until it clicks into place. There is a really helpful list on page 17 of the 'Basic User Guide' for choosing the correct print media for each operation. On page 18 the listing continues on for paper weight, thickness and capacity which I find very helpful to return to as a reference guide.
Loading usage 5/5
*Connecting the power cord*
The power cord is child's play! The pin connection is located at the lower corner of the back of the machine and I found it easy to push in securely, and then just plug into a power point.
Ease of connection 5/5
I love the ergonomically designed button features. I really appreciate the easy to see white on black symbols and text. The clear red, white and green oblong buttons that indicate on/off switch, mono/start/colour program is very helpful. In fact, having the control panel placed on the front border is very practical for me to use effectively and quickly. Page 4 and 5 of the 'Basic User Guide' explains how the Control panel works in a manner I found so easy to comprehend. Full marks to the person/s that designed and wrote these guides! The menu key is as brilliant as it helps me comprehend the options that are found in the printer's programs. I am able to check such things as the Ink management, with issues like print quality and ink volume.
With this key I can adjust general set up features like the LCD display contrast and backlight. I really appreciate the way the keys extend just enough to make pressing with ease. The keys are far enough apart to avoid me making mistakes. I don't use the keys to do with selecting number of copies, mono and colour required as I do this from my print settings on my PC software, but I do use it when operating the scanner! The keys are all pretty self-explanatory but certain LCD text indications are practically explained on page 5 of the 'Basic User Guide'. I will say that, as with most electronic devices, the machine tends to attract a fair portion of dust, so to protect the apparatus; I place a cotton serviette over the top to cover the control panel and scanner.
By pressing the up/down arrows I am able to choose the correct language setting and complete the process by pressing the 'OK' central button. A really great feature to this printer is that by setting the correct date and time, it 'allows the machine to clean the print head regularly and maintain optimum print quality. It also allows the machine to name files created when using the scan to media feature', a characteristic my daughter, as a teacher, has found very practical! All I needed to do to set this data was move the arrow buttons accordingly and pressing 'OK' when I wanted to set the chosen numerals.
Key consumer-friendly usage 5/5
At first, I was concerned at seeing the LCD screen as I thought it would complicate my usage experience, but, in fact, I am very pleased to admit, it does the opposite. The LCD helps me by displaying appropriate messages and uses the machine more efficiently. The LCD screen can be used as a preview for printing photos too. The LCD Display is legible and clear. I find the 48.98mm display size plenty large enough to see the lighted text on. The text is formatted to afford easy to understand directions. I didn't need to adjust the contrast at all; although there are directions on how to do this on page 5 of the manual should one need to do this.
Overall Quality 5/5
The machine uses black (LC985BK), Cyan (LC985C), and Magenta (LC985M) and yellow (LC985Y). Installing the ink cartridges turned out to be much simpler than I had initially imagined it would be. Once I had turned on the power to the apparatus, the LCD display shows 'no ink cartridge'. Thankfully, the machine comes with the cartridges. The cartridge cover to the machine is a neat square cover with a protruding plastic lip to the side that flips off easily when pulled. I had to remove the green protective segment which is placed there to protect this component when transporting the machine. I now keep it in the box that held the printer in case I need to move the machine in the future.
Fitting the cartridges is so simple. I needn't have worried because on the internal flip cover to the ink divisions are an ingrained 'BK/Y/C/M' to indicate where each coordinating cartridge needs to go. All I needed to do was gently unpack each cartridge from its packaging, match each up to their colour on the lever and install in the direction of the arrows on the labels. I had to make sure that I heard a click to indicate that each cartridge had been installed correctly though. It took around four minutes for the printer to prepare the ink tube system ready for printing. But I didn't find this a problem, as it is only when initially fitting new ink cartridges.
Checking the ink quality I found to be very straightforward too. The LCD display shows 'set paper and press start' which when I pressed 'colour start' began to print up two sheets of four colored block diagrams. Once I seen the black, yellow, cyan and magenta were clear and fully visible I pressed the + symbol to denote yes to complete the quality check. I am thrilled that this printer uses very reasonably priced ink cartridges. On my previous basic cheap Canon printer, it used cartridges that were more expensive than the machine! I am also delighted that if an ink cartridge runs out, I can still print until I've replaced the empty. I will add though that I have found the running cost to be a little higher!
Running cost 3/5
This is one of the main reasons I chose this model, I wanted a wireless connection. I have found that, in previous models, the cable connections have become weakened and eventually too loose to hold the cable that attaches from printer to PC. I will not go through the configuration process as the manual deals with these comprehensively on pages 14 to 27 of the 'Setup Guide'. It did take me a little while, shorter for those more technically minded, but all the instructions are so simplistically written with appropriate diagrams that I found it pretty effortless. Once this initially configuration is done, there is no need to go through the process again!
Initial setting up time 3/5
I did find some negative discrepancies with print quality and speed of printing certain documents but not enough to warrant a particularly low star rating! Overall, I found printing multiple documents from the PC to printer very clear, consistent and fairly quick. Unfortunately, I am pretty disappointed on the quality of printing material from such media as web sites that contain amalgamating photos, diagrams etc. with text comes out very dark! The speed of copying drags too, approximately 6 pages per two minutes!
Overall printing quality 3/5 and speed even lower at 2/5
Text with images dreadful quality so 1/5 but speed to produce 3/5
Picture & graphics quality 5/5 but speed 4/5
Overall Copying including speed, usage and quality 4/5
When I scan lovely animal pictures from favourite magazines such as National geographic to hang on my wall, they come out very distinct and fairly good in colour, if a little on the lighter side. It takes around 25 seconds to scan an A4 sheet from such resources, so I am very happy with such a quick result. But general text in black/white takes a fraction longer, and colour taking double the time! I love that I can scan my favourite recipes from a book to pass onto my daughters or scan singular documents. And document supported sizes range up to length 297mm, width 215.9 and weight up to 2kg, which means I have a great variety of material to choose from. I found using the scanner as easy as using the printer. I just lift up the lid at the top of the machine, place the document I want replicated face down in the upper left corner, making sure I follow the guidelines on the left and top and close the lid.
Pages 19 to 22 in the 'Basic User Guide' show how to scan but it is so straightforward. I just press the + or - symbols on the control panel to select how many copies I wish to be printed, press either the mono or colour; I like mono for documents and colour for such things as recipes with pictures. The LCD keeps me updated throughout on the process. It is so simple for me to change the settings for this feature too. I love that I can operate this machine in simple steps, as I hate convoluted gadgetry that confuses! I have yet to use the component where I can print photos from a memory card as I am waiting to purchase a new camera! But the succinct direction on pages 23 to 29 of the 'Basic User Guide' looks very simple to follow.
Overall quality, usage and speed 4/5
All the information I need to know concerning the cleaning and checking of the machine is clearly written on pages 33 to 36 of the 'Basic User Guide'. I haven't needed to dust or wipe clean the outer casing as much because I use a thick linen serviette to cover the machine. The buttons don't tend to get very grimy as I am the only one that uses the printer. The manufacturer advice the use of a soft lint-free cloth moistened with non-flammable glass cleaner to clean the scanner glass. The manufacture also advises that isopropyl alcohol to be used to clean the paper pick up rollers, I use a cheap cotton medical swab to hold the fluid to clean. I am very happy that the machine has a practical feature of self-cleaning the printer head, a delicate component I do not feel capable of handling well!
Ease of maintaining 4/5
Memory card slots for SD cards and Memory stick. Wi-Fi. Compatible with many versions such as Vista, Windows including XP, Windows 7 and Mac. Input tray can hold 100 A4 sheets. Free 12-month warranty and lifetime technical support. Borderless printing facility. Very energy efficient.
Negative print quality on certain documents, not enough to warrant a low star rating though! Slow speed of printing. No PictBridge to print from camera. No auto duplexing feature. No OCR software included but available free to download online! No Bluetooth/Ethernet/integrated fax/automatic document feeder in-built feature. No double sided copy or scan facility. Ink usage is quite high, around 40p per ten mono text sheets and 70p for a single 10x8"colour photo!
~*~Would I Recommend ~ 'Blue print'!~*~
Yes, as a more basic model. For an all-in-one wireless printer, this is a very reasonably priced machine. This is a modest combination printer that really isn't appropriate for office use, though it suits me perfectly well for home usage. The printer has some flaws but overall provides me with pretty good results. I find operating the machine very straightforward. It does take longer to print/copy and so forth than some other brands but is sufficient for my needs. The features to the printer provide me with a fair variety of uses.
The Brother DCP-J315W Wireless Colour Inkjet Multifunction Printer with Media Card Centre is currently available on Amazon for £70.31 and Delivered FREE in the UK with their Super Saver Delivery. You can even purchase their 'superior quality x 10 (2 full sets + 2 extra black) "brand new sealed" brother compatible ink cartridges' for only £9.99.
Thank you for taking the time to read my review :~)
For many years now I have been a loyal HP customer when it comes to printers. I have bought HP printers and genuine print cartridges, spending what can only be described as a small fortune on HP branded items over the years.
Sadly my love affair with HP came to an abrupt end this year when in the space of 2 months I experienced printer failure in three different HP machines. I had also purchased a desk which had limited space for a printer so I decided to buy a new machine which would fit the space on my desk and purchase a brand which wasn't so resistant to refilled ink cartridges.
I ended up choosing the Brother DCP-J315W as it ticked all the boxes I required really. It had the ability to be used wirelessly, it was a 3 in 1 printer which meant I could scan and photocopy as well as print, it had an SD card reader built in as well as fitting in the space in my desk and having cartridges which didn't have the potential to break the bank upon refill time.
This is an all-in-one printer which scans, photocopies and prints. The printer itself is rather compact with dimensions of 39 cm wide x 36.8 cm deep x 15 cm in height. The only thing worth mentioning regarding the fairly narrow width of the printer is that this is spoiled slightly by the fact the power cable sits on the left hand side, adding unnecessary width to the printer. Put that power cable to the back of the printer and it would probably be perfect.
The printer is fairly lightweight, coming in at just over 6 kilos. It is made from black plastic and I must say compared to previous HP All in One Printers it does look significantly cheaper and flimsier. The scan/copy bed is A4 sized.
I paid £79.99 for mine in Maplin and it's still available there at that price. Amazon also sells the printer with a price at time of writing of £89.65.
Setting up the printer was fairly straightforward. You can set it up to run wirelessly or wired. I did try to run this wirelessly but the connecting failed on such a regular basis that I swiftly gave in and wired it up. This wasn't a problem for me as my printer sits almost right beside my computer but its worth bearing in mind if you wish to locate your printer elsewhere or link it to other computers in the house. A USB cord wasn't supplied so this is worth considering if you don't wish to set this up wirelessly.
A software disc is included and once the software is installed it's a fairly intuitive process to set the printer up.
The printer takes 4 cartridges in black, cyan, magenta and yellow and these are fairly easy to insert into the printer. The cartridge type used is LC985 and compatible cartridges are available.
Paper sits in a tray which is fully removable and as such it's easy to refill but you can't see when you are running out of paper. There is a small plastic groove tray at the bottom of the paper tray which catches pages as they come out of the printer. This can be folded back for more space when the printer is not in use. The paper tray can hold up to 50 sheets of paper.
Controls on the printer front are very straightforward to use. The printer has a small screen to enable you to view documents and photographs held on memory cards and the screen also can be used to choose between various options when printing, copying and scanning by using the familiar up and down arrow keys and an OK button for "enter". There is an on/off button, menu access button, clear button and start buttons for copying in both monochrome and colour.
The Brother machine is designed to print 27 colour pages per minute and 35 monochrome pictures per minute. I would have to question this as it doesn't seem quite as fast to me but print quality is good in general with sharp results and no smudging.
I haven't used the printer to print photographs however purely because I haven't had the inclination and generally I find it cheaper to get them printed commercially. Photographs have been fairly sharp on regular paper but I have to say I don't think the quality is quite as good as that on my old HP photo printers.
I have owned this for almost three months now and have used the printer on a fairly regular basis to print general documents. You can check your ink level by opening up the printer's Control Centre and I was amazed to see that I have only used 20% of the ink in the cartridges. What is even more refreshing is the black ink hasn't drained quicker than the coloured ones as tended to happen with my HP printers.
Because the printer has a card reader slot for SD and Memory Stick cards it is easy to print documents prepared on other computers without linking them up wirelessly to the printer. The card reader enables you to completely bypass adding documents to your computer by printing direct from the card. You can easily view documents held on the card on the printer's screen.
Scanning a document is very straightforward and can be done by placing the document on the glass bed and then simply pressing the "Scan" button at the top of the printer. The screen will then prompt you to select where you want to scan the document to - your PC or to a memory card. You are then prompted to press the "start" button and the process starts.
Scans are sent to a "Control Centre 3" folder within "My Pictures" on your computer and are saved in the JPEG format.
I have been impressed with the scan quality - the scanner scans at a resolution of 1200 x 2400 dpi and this is more than adequate to scan documents and photographs. A document is typically scanned in less than a minute which is comparable to the length of time it took on my previous HP All in One printers.
Copying is even easier than scanning - simply place the document on the glass bed and hit the start button - being careful to choose between the monochrome and colour buttons depending on what sort of copy you require.
The copy will then be printed off although I do think it can be a little on the slow side to do this. It's also worth bearing in mind that folds in documents - typically found in letters - have a tendency to show up on the copy as a faint black line.
I have been very impressed with my Brother DCP-J315W. For the price it has easily out performed my HP machines at every level with the possible exception of photo printing. The print quality is sharp and scans are of an impressive quality too. Copies made on this printer have been very good too.
Where it really excels is in ink longevity and ease of use although I do concede I have struggled to use this in wireless mode. Using the printer wired up to my PC has been a doddle and even though Brother do provide you with an extensive user manual using the printer is simplicity itself and uses intuitive prompts to guide you through some of the functions.
When I consider I purchased this for cheaper ink and because it was compact enough to fit on my desk I have been delighted by the fact it works so well - especially when one considers the very reasonable purchase price for such a functional machine.
The only real downsides to this printer is the fact it does look a bit cheap - certainly the plastic doesn't look anything like as good as that on HP machines - and the fact it doesn't have a USB slot for a flash memory drive. In light of the SD card reader that's a minor quibble however.
If you too are getting tired of HP machines and the very high prices they charge for ink cartridges I would suggest you check out the Brother DCP-J315W as it's a cost efficient and very effective All in One Printer which won't break the bank.