Brother – DCP-130C review

budget multi-function device for the home
Photo of Brother – DCP-130C

Brother’s DCP-130C is a compact multi-function device, featuring a four-colour inkjet printer, copier and scanner, and is so compact you begin to wonder how they managed to fit it all in. Also compact is the price tag, making it ideal for home or home office use where you need to do a little bit of everything.

Measuring just 38.8 x 36 x 15cm, the DCP-130C looks quite stylish, finished in light and dark grey. The printer only has a USB 2.0 interface and trying to find the port in the printer takes a few minutes of investigation: it actually sits under the scanner cover.

Brother has designed the printer so that most everyday actions take place via the front of the unit. This even applies to the ink cartridge installation, which is a simple matter of opening a flap in the front panel and pushing the cartridges into place. The combined in-and-out paper feed tray slides into the bottom of the panel and can hold up to 100 sheets of 80gsm paper.

Even at this price Brother has included a flash card reader (Memory Stick, CompactFlash, SD Memory Card, MultiMediaCard, xD-Picture Card, Memory Stick PRO) and a PictBridge port so that you can print directly from a card or from your camera, and these ports too are built into the front panel above the paper feed tray.

The top of the printer is dominated by the control panel which features a very small LCD panel and 14 control buttons. Four sit under the LCD and control the copier functions (Options, Enlarge/Reduce, Quality and Number), while to the right of these are three menu buttons and a Stop button. At the right-hand edge sit the two Start buttons, Mono and Colour, while above these are Photo Capture, Scan, Ink Management and On/Off buttons.

Brother quotes a print speed of 25ppm (pages per minute) for mono and 20ppm for colour for the DCP-130C. As is so often the case with inkjet printers, this is a little wide of the mark when it comes to actual use: in our tests, pages of A4 text emerge at 3ppm on the Normal setting.

The speed does go up to 5ppm when you use Fast Normal, but the flipside is a reduction in print quality. At the Normal setting an A4 photo takes about 93 seconds, or nearly four times that if you opt for the Photo setting. Still, at the Normal setting the colours are good and sharp and pretty accurate.

The 600 x 2,400dpi scanner works well, scanning an A4 magazine cover in 30 seconds at the default setting of 300dpi. It can scan to e-mail, OCR, image or flash card with a wide range of resolution options.

As a copier the DCP-130C has a quoted copying speed of 18ppm for mono and 16ppm for colour (again, a tad optimistic) and maximum copy resolutions of 1,200 x 1,200dpi for mono copies and 600 x 1,200dpi for colour ones. Under test conditions it produced a copy of a magazine cover in 110 seconds at the 300dpi default.

It may not be the fastest MFD around or produce the best quality prints, but it is a very well priced all-rounder.

Company: Brother

Contact: 0845 606 0626

The compact size and low price of the DCP-130C make it an ideal MFD where home or office space is at premium and you don't need the higher duty cycles of a larger unit.