Brother has updated its entire range of inkjet printers in recent months, and the latest addition to the range is the new DCP-J572DW. Aimed at home users and small businesses that only have modest printing requirements, it certainly isn’t the fastest printer around, but it does provide very good quality for text, graphics and photos.
Bought directly from Brother, the DCP-J572DW is priced at £103.20, but it’s widely available online for around £90 or less, making it a competitively priced multi-function printer that provides high-quality and versatile printing capabilities.
You can buy it from Amazon, Ebuyer, Very and AO.
Features & Design
The black-box design of the DCP-J572DW isn’t terribly exciting to look at, but the printer is admirably compact, standing just 141mm high, 395mm wide and 320mm deep (slightly smaller than the dimensions quoted on Brother’s web site).
If you want to use a USB connection then it will fit comfortably beside your PC even on a small desk at home, or you can opt for Wi-Fi and just place it on a convenient shelf. The DCP-J572DW also supports Apple’s AirPrint for printing from iOS devices, as well as Mopria and Google Cloud Print for Android. Brother even provides apps for Windows Phone and Windows RT as well.
There’s also an ‘N-Up’ printing feature, that allows you to shrink multiple pages down onto a single A4 page, along with a poster option that works the other way around – expanding an A4 image so that you can print it across multiple sheets of A4 paper (although that latter option is only available for Windows PCs).
The printer itself provides 1200x600dpi printing, along with a 1200x2400dpi scanner and copier, and includes both a 100-sheet tray for plain paper, and a separate 20-sheet tray for photo paper.
It also supports duplex (two-sided) printing, so the DCP-J572DW will be able to handle a wide range of tasks, whether used at home or in a small office. It does have a few rough edges, though. The control screen is rather small, and isn’t touch-sensitive, so there’s quite a bit of button-pressing involved if you need to adjust settings or perform a bit of maintenance.
The printer is also constructed out of fairly lightweight plastic, which tends to rattle a bit while it’s printing. However, that shouldn’t be too annoying if you’re just using it every now and then as Brother suggests.
And, if you need a fax machine for your office, then there’s a second model – the MFC-J491DW – that includes both a fax and a larger, touch-sensitive control screen for around £110.
The speed of the DCP-J572DW confirms the fact that the DCP-J572DW is very much designed for occasional use, with Brother quoting speeds of 12ppm for simple black text documents, and 6ppm for colour.
In fact, our tests came closer to 10ppm for text documents, and a rather modest 4.5ppm for colour, although those speeds should still be adequate if you’re just using it for a few letters or reports every now and then.
Print quality is very good though, with smooth, finely detailed text and graphics that will be suitable for high-quality business documents.
It does a good job with photos printed on glossy paper as well, with bold colours and smoothly graduated tones, even though the printer just uses the four standard CMYK inks (cyan, magenta, yellow and black), rather than the five or six inks used by more specialized photo printers.
Admittedly, its rather leisurely print time of 80 seconds for a single 4x6in postcard print suggests that you won’t be using that option very often, but at least it’s there if you do want to print the occasional selfie, or high-quality marketing materials.
Brother’s web site claims that the DCP-J572DW provides ‘low running costs’ – but doesn’t go into any real detail, and a little bit of number crunching suggests that Brother’s replacement ink cartridges are something of a mixed bag.
The standard size ink cartridges sold with the printer only last for around 200 pages each, with the black cartridge costing £13.19 when bought directly from Brother, while the three cyan, magenta and yellow cartridges cost £8.39 each (or £25.17 for all three). That works out at 6.6p per page for mono printing and 12.5p for colour – which are both well above average.
Even the high-yield ‘XL’ cartridge is relatively expensive, costing £16.79 and lasting for 400 pages – or 4p per page. However, the XL colour cartridges are more competitive with a price of £11.99 per cartridge (£35.97 for all three) and a similar 400-page yield. That comes to around 9p per page, which is about average for colour inkjet printing.
Brother does sell value packs containing all four inks in both standard and XL sizes, but these don’t provide particularly large savings when compared to the cost of the individual cartridges. We have, however, seen Brother’s cartridges sold at lower prices from a number of online retailers, so it’s definitely worth shopping around for the best deal.
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