Brother DS-700D review

Simon Handby
24 Jun 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

An inexpensive portable scanner, but the competition is worth the extra cash


Despite fitting MFPs with scanners for years, Brother has only recently launched its first stand-alone devices. The range of three business-orientated models includes an A3 document scanner and two USB-powered portable document scanners, of which the DS-700D is the more highly specified model. This is a tricky market to enter, already featuring quality devices from competitors such as HP, Fujitsu and Canon, so we were interested to see how the DS-700D would compete.

First impressions are good. The DS-700D is keenly priced, undercutting the excellent Canon ImageFormula P-215 by about £35, and unlike most of the competition it comes with a case. Although this is a simple, cheap-looking bag, it's enough to protect the scanner from dust and scratches. The scanner itself is made from strong-feeling plastic and feels impervious to bending or twisting, apart from a flexible area just above the paper output slot.

Brother DS-700D

Unfortunately, things start to go downhill from there. This is a simple device with just a single function button and a status light. There's no input tray, so sheets must be fed individually by hand, and there isn't even a sliding width guide to help keep paper straight. Its specification is underwhelming. There's nothing wrong with a 600dpi optical resolution in this class, but the quoted 10 images per minute (ipm) maximum speed is unimpressive, particularly as it only applies to mono scans.

In our tests the DS-700D proved even slower than we expected, taking almost six minutes to capture both sides of 10 sheets of A4 paper at 150 dots per inch (dpi). For comparison, the Canon P-215 completed the same test in 91 seconds with optical character recognition (OCR) enabled. The DS-700D took 18 seconds to scan a single side at 150dpi, and 32 seconds to scan it at 300dpi. While the image quality of the results was certainly acceptable for office work, a couple of fine vertical lines spoiled our 600dpi photo test somewhat.

Read more