Has brother made the perfect multi-function printer for a small office? Too large for a desktop at 465x255x460mm, this inkjet printer in Brother’s DCP line-up produces good quality prints across the board with the minimum of fuss – and it’s relatively cheap to both buy and run.
It doesn’t quite have everything an office might desire – though the lack of a fax function on the DCP-J925DW is unlikely to bother many. Of more interest is the DCP-J925DW’s trio of connection options, with WiFi networking sitting above both Ethernet LAN and a basic USB cable in the pecking order.
Getting set up
We connected the DCP-J925DW to a home network without any problems after loading the machine with the four ink cartridges that come in the box (each complete with an alarming amount of packaging). A door on the right-hand side of the front of the printer accepts the separate CMYK inks with a resounding click.
To the left of that door is a multi-format memory card reader, which only stretches to SD, Memory Stick and Memory Stick Duo formats, though there’s a USB slot (PictBridge-compatible) on the opposite side of the DCP-J925DW’s central command screen. That 3.5in LCD touchscreen proves very sensitive and easy to operate, though the images it showed from our USB thumbdrive weren’t all that detailed.
This bulky, though well-built 11.8kg printer’s huge depth is initially rather worrying until it reveals a flatbed scanner-stroke-copier, something that’s essential in an office. As well as a double hinge that has enough give in it to cope with bulky books without busting the lid, it’s able to scan at an optical resolution of 2400 dpi and has a 20-page capacity feeder built into its gloss black lid (which also features an etched pattern that lends a the DCP-J925DW a slightly feminine look).
The main paper tray that feeds the printer, meanwhile, is a bit basic. We’ve no argument about its 100-sheet capacity for A4 paper, but it feels a bit flimsy and is completely manual. The DCP-J925DW can also print onto optical discs using a separate insertable tray.
Speed and quality
In our tests, photocopies from the DCP-J925DW’s flatbed scanner were speedy, bold and accurate, though the DCP-J925DW’s scans are best described as ‘good value’; for almost all office duties it’s absolutely fine, producing detailed and accurate scans. For photos, however, it’s not the best – though it’s clearly not designed for so exacting a task at this price.
Printing colour photos isn’t the DCP-J925DW’s strong point, either. We tried several 6x4in prints (the photo paper having been inserted into the paper cassette’s custom pinchers); the full-colour results took an average of 60 seconds to emerge. Though detailed enough the palette could do with a touch more warmth. We also noticed slight solarisation in large blocks of colour, but expecting a higher performance than this with glossy photos would be asking a bit much at teh Brother’s £130 asking price.
The DCP-J925DW is a workhorse aimed at offices, and with colour printouts of documents does just fine for the money; there’s the same coolness, but charts and coloured text are rendered well. After an eight-second gap between issuing the command and the DCP-J925DW jumping into life, in our tests a four-page colour document took 49 seconds, with a black and white version finishing inside 26 seconds (both in normal, not draft quality).
The DCP-J925DW can also indulge in duplex double-sided printing, which is perhaps the biggest contribution most offices can make to both the environment and stationery bills without making any real sacrifices. The Brother manages a four-page black and white document on two sheets of paper in 62 seconds, with the occasional pause to let ink dry. Although we had no problems with the duplex function whatsoever, the DCP-J925DW did pick-up two sheets of paper from the tray in one go more than once, and even managed to push four pages through on one occasion.
The DCP-J925DW uses Brother ink cartridges, the high capacity versions of which cost around £18 for black and £11.40 for cyan, magenta and yellow. The capacity of a complete set is quoted at 600 pages by Brother, equalling a per-page cost of 8.7p for colour and exactly 3p for black and white pages. That’s about average, and if black and white is relied upon for duplex printing, makes the DCP-J925DW a wise choice for a small office.
Contact: Brother on 08444 999444
- Low cost, duplex printing, double hinge on scanner, build quality, versatility, ease of operation.
- Colour photos lack sparkle.
Quick, simple to use and producing all-round impressive results, we've no hesitation in recommending the DCP-J925DW for a small or home office situation If you can live without a fax function, the DCP-J925DW's scanner, copier, duplex printing option and thoroughly respectable and economical print quality will suffice - though don't expect professional-looking photographs.