Brother DCP-135C review

Scanner, printer and copier all in one box for under £50? What's the catch?

Brother’s MFD is cheap to run, so could prove ideal for a small-scale home office.

TechRadar Verdict

A cheap printer to buy and run, but some of the key qualities are missing


  • +

    Low running costs

  • +

    Low purchase price

  • +

    Good text printing

  • +

    Very simple to work with


  • -

    Below-par scanning ability

  • -

    Poor photo printing ability

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The DCP-135C is one of several multifunction devices recently unveiled by Brother. This bargain combo comes in at a just over £45 and comprises a scanner, A4 printer, copier and photo printer. It connects to a Mac via a discreet USB lead that tucks away neatly, and has another USB port for PictBridge printing straight from cameras. There are no memory card slots or Ethernet ports.

Brother has done a good job of keeping the button controls simple. Our first sheets of test text came out at a rate of 2.85 sheets a minute, which is competitive. Type quality is acceptable; text is crisp at common font sizes and only starts to fuzz out at around the four-point size. No duplex option is provided.

Slowly but surely...

Photos printed on Brother’s own Premium Glossy Paper (10x5cm, £3.78 for a 20-sheet pack) printed out in a little over two minutes per piece, which is edging towards slow. The colours are slightly muddy with low levels of resolution. Also, it’s a little inconvenient to have to reach into the paper tray opening to pull out the finished piece.

The DCP-135C takes four ink cartridges, which cost £19 for a double set of eight carts to replace – very reasonable considering how much inks cost for the big three brands. The low running costs of this Brother printer are probably its strongest selling point.

Scanning quality is patchy. Scanning to email showed up a pronounced moiré (or striping) effect. Scanning to file (JPEG) was much better, but the striping is still there if you squint or zoom in.

Copying documents was fast and produced decent results at this price point. One A4 copy took 39 seconds to appear (and 28 seconds in monochrome).

This is an easy-to-use and cheap-to-run MFD. A home office that mostly prints text and has only low-level scanning needs would get the most value from it.

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