Brother DCP-J1800DW Review: Pros & Cons, Features, Ratings, Pricing and more

The first guillotine printer makes the cut

Brother DCP-J1800DW product image
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

With its inbuilt guillotine, the Brother DCP-J1800DW is a cut above the competition. Yes, cartridge ink is expensive, but if your monthly print cycle is low, this innovative inkjet makes sense in the small office.


  • +

    Print and cut A4 to A5

  • +

    Integrated ADF

  • +

    Compact design

  • +

    Touchscreen interface


  • -

    Slow to duplex print

  • -

    Can’t cut A5 to A6

  • -

    No USB Host port

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    Small ink cartridges

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Here’s a home office printer that can do something its competitors can’t. After printing a sheet of A4 on both sides, it will slice it into two sheets of A5. It’s the first compact inkjet to incorporate a guillotine, but is it a gimmick, or cutting edge innovation? 


Type: 3-in-1 colour A4 inkjet printer

Functions: Print, scan, copy, cut

Connectivity: Ethernet, USB, Wi-Fi

Data storage slots: None 

Print speed: 17ipm (mono)

Paper capacity: 150 sheets

Print quality: 1,200 x 6,000 dpi

Scan quality: 1,200 x 2,400 dpi

Apple AirPrint: yes

Consumables included: 4x standard cartridges (200 mono pages, 200 colour)

Dimensions/Weight: 400 x 341 x 172 mm (WxDxH)/8.3kg

Brother has managed to keep the retail price below £200 for this well-specified three-in-one device, so the extra feature has a surprisingly small effect on the cost.

If you never use it to cut paper, the Brother DCP-J1800DW still has a lot to offer. It may be small, but it includes a cunningly concealed 20-sheet ADF (automatic document feeder) and a multipurpose tray at the rear. There are USB and Ethernet ports hidden inside the unit where the wires won’t be pulled out by accident and inbuilt Wi-Fi with AirPrint compatibility. 

There’s not much room for paper (150 sheets) and there’s no USB Host port, but with a touchscreen interface and a reasonably fast print speed of 17ipm (imprints per minute), it looks like a fair deal. There’s no escaping the fact that this is a cartridge inkjet printer, so the consumables cost will always be considerable, but let’s see if it’s worth the investment. 

Brother DCP-J1800DW ADF

(Image credit: Future)

Brother DCP-J1800DW: Design and build

The Brother DCP-J1800DW is commendably compact for an all-in-one incorporating an automatic document feeder. With the ADF’s flaps closed, the top presents a convenient flat surface on which you can inspect documents. Beneath the ADF, there’s an A4-sized glass scanner bed and a front panel that tilts outward for easier access to the 6.8cm colour touchscreen display.  

There’s room for 150 sheets of paper in the main in-tray and 50 in the out-tray. The multimedia tray at the rear is for single sheets or envelopes. The rear tray support flap is barely substantial enough to support a sheet of A4 paper, but apart from that, this printer feels well made.


Brother DCP-J1800DW calibrating

(Image credit: Future)

The ink compartment is just large enough for four cartridges and sadly, the DCP-J1800DW is not compatible with Brother's super high yield INKvestment cartridges. The biggest you can buy are the LC421XL high yield cartridges which will give you an unimpressive 500 printed pages. 

This does not compare well with laser printers or refillable inkjets, which can print thousands of pages at a time.

Brother DCP-J1800DW cartidge

(Image credit: Future)

Brother DCP-J1800DW: Features and specifications

The Brother DCP-J1800DW has all the features you could ask of a small business printer aimed at the home office. It cannot duplex scan and there’s no USB Host port or NFC, but the guillotine makes up for that. It can auto duplex print in colour, scan via the scanner bed or ADF and make copies while reducing, or enlarging the original by up to 400 percent. The print and copy quality is of suitably high resolution and the memory capacity of 512MB is ample. 

It prints reasonably quickly for an inkjet too. The FPOT (first page out time) is a respectable six seconds for a monochrome page and the rate is 17ppm (pages per minute) for single sided printing. For auto duplexing, however, the speed drops to 5.5ppm. The copy speed is an average 13ppm.

Brother DCP-J1800DW pages

(Image credit: Future)

Like most inkjets, the Brother DCP-J1800DW can handle a variety of media including heavy 300g/m2 paper stock, coated photo paper and envelopes of all sizes. This printer can also watermark your pages, add date and time stamps, or print numbered two-sided pages for A5 booklets. 

The print and cut function is new and could prove invaluable if you tend to print lots of handouts. When you choose this feature from the print setting on your computer, any document that would have taken up one or two sides of an A4 sheet will automatically be scaled down and emerge as two double-sided sheets of A5. The cutting is quick and clean and the blade is deep inside the machine so there’s no chance of injury.

Brother DCP-J1800DW ports

(Image credit: Future)

Brother DCP-J1800DW: Setup and operation

To get started, you simply switch on and follow the prompts on the touchscreen display. This involves loading your paper and installing the four supplied standard ink cartridges. You can then print the two test pages to ensure your nozzles are all aligned and firing. 

The touchscreen also makes this an easy printer to operate. On the home screen you will notice the new icon labelled Cut Copy. This is what you press when you want two sheets of A5 instead of the usual A4 copy. 

There’s also a companion app, called Brother Mobile Connect, available for iOS and Android which makes scanning to your smartphone or printing from the cloud especially easy.

Brother DCP-J1800DW rear MP tray

(Image credit: Future)

Brother DCP-J1800DW: Performance

The Brother DCP-J1800DW passed all of our quality tests without any paper jams or misprints and the cutting tool performed as expected. It’s not the fastest printer on the inkjet circuit, but it’s fast enough, meeting the quoted print times in our timed tests. 

Pages of plain text look sharp and quite light on ink so there was no running together of ink when printing very small point sizes. It’s not the boldest black ink we’ve come across, but it is very consistent. Adding colour to mixed documents proved that Brother’s CMY Innobella inks are not especially bright either, but they do hold fast on plain paper. 

As a photo printer, the Brother DCP-J1800DW fares quite well with the ink looking a little brighter on glossy photo paper. For some reason, you can only achieve the enhanced print resolution of 1,200x6,000dpi when printing from a Windows device. But we can confirm that photos also look fine from a Mac.

Brother DCP-J1800DW setup

(Image credit: Future)

The print and cut facility proved useful with both photos and document printing. The blade must be wickedly sharp because thin paper and heavy coated photo paper slice with the same swift precision. I found the print and cut feature particularly useful for reeling off the fliers for a street party which had been designed as an A4 document. By simply selecting A5 from the printer menu, I ended up with two separate fliers for each sheet of paper, thus halving my my consumables cost while doubling my print rate. 

The copy and cut feature is also potentially useful because you can scan and copy both sides of a sheet of A4 to produce two A5 duplicates for the price of one. It’s only a pity the guillotine is not more flexible. Why not have it cut A5 down to A6, for example?

Brother DCP-J1800DW unboxed

(Image credit: Future)

Brother DCP-J1800DW: Final verdict

The Brother DCP-J1800DW is a compact all-in-one printer with a trick up its sleeve. The integrated guillotine is somewhat limited in that it can only cut A4 down to A5, but this feature could halve your paper and ink cost if used regularly to reduce your documents. Even without the internal blade, this is a well-specified three-in-one printer with all the functionality you need in a home office. 

As a cartridge-based inkjet, the ink is always going to be prohibitively expensive, even with the so-called high-yield cartridges, which still only manage 500 printed pages. If you print a lot, you should be looking at a refillable ink tank inkjet, or a laser printer. If your print output is modest, we would recommend this printer on the strength of its reliable all round performance. It’s a neat and innovative inkjet that would work well in a small or home office.

We've rated the best Brother printers.

Jim Hill

Jim is a seasoned expert when it comes to testing tech. From playing a prototype PlayStation One to meeting a man called Steve about a new kind of phone in 2007, he’s always hunting the next big thing at the bleeding edge of the electronics industry. After editing the tech section of Wired UK magazine, he is currently specialising in IT and voyaging in his VW camper van.