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Brother DCP-J152W review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £70
inc VAT

This MFP has a good range of features, reasonable print costs and decent document printing speeds, but you can get better quality elsewhere

Brother makes all-in-one printers primarily aimed at the small-to-medium enterprise users, but lower-cost models such as the DCP-J152W are also well equipped to serve as a home inkjet MFP. The DCP-J152W is a rather snazzy piece of kit. It’s got a colour screen, as well as both Wi-Fi and USB. Using a wireless network connection allows you to unlock all of the MFP’s cloud printing capabilities, as well as support for printing from popular mobile devices.

Brother DCP-J152W

The DCP-J152W’s printing and scanning hardware is shared with that of some other budget Brother MFPs, and you’ll find its performance to be very much in line with them. You can expect slow photo printing speeds from this MFP and its relatives, but we were pleased with its print speeds for our mono text document: 10.7ppm. Draft text is even faster, at 13.9ppm; it’s paler, but just as clear to read as standard quality mono text, and it uses less ink. Lettering at 12pt has wavering edges upon a close look, but the overall quality is good.

Brother DCP-J152W

Brother DCP-J152W Print Quality

Colour print quality is, similarly, not the best you’ll ever see from an inkjet. Its problems are more pronounced than those of plain mono text, with slightly uneven edges on letters and a bit of a grainy quality to photos and illustrations. The end result is certainly usable and comfortably readable, but emerged at a mediocre 2.8ppm and don’t compare particularly well to the sharper quality of devices from rivals such as Canon.

Photo prints are similarly a best-effort affair, rather than the best you’ll find from a home inkjet, or even from one at this price. Contrast is good, particularly on dark images, and there’s a pleasingly glossy finish to the photos. Blacks could be a bit deeper, while yellows tended to be more intense than we’d expect. Areas of delicate shading are poorly reproduced, with lots of graininess and abrupt shifts from one colour to another. If you want to print photos at maximum quality, you’ll have to be prepared to wait a while: six 6x4in photos took us a ridiculous hour and 20 minutes, while a couple of 10x8in pictures took 23 minutes. Using Best rather than Photo quality significantly improves this speed.

Brother DCP-J152W Scanner

Scan quality is better suited to document scanning than accurate reproduction or archiving of photographs. The CIS scanner has a resolution of 1,200×2,400, so you get plenty of pixels, but colour differentiation is poor. Dark colours tend to merge into each other, particularly greys and blues, while text detail at resolutions below 300dpi is poor. Scan speeds were pretty good, with a 300dpi A4 document scanning in 11 seconds and 1,200dpi photo taking under a minute.

Although it’s very basic, we like Brother’s scanner interface. You can fiddle with the brightness and contrast, and choose from a few pre-set resolutions and document sizes, but that’s about it. It’s gratifyingly fast and simple to use. Similarly, the properties for the printer driver are all refreshingly self-evident.

Copy quality is also dependent upon the scanner, but we were pleased to find that both colour and mono copies were clearly legible. The default colour density settings produced a reasonably good mono copy of an illustration, although it’s always worth checking before making multiple copies to make sure that yours isn’t colour out too dark.

A colour copy took 30 seconds, while a mono copy of the same document clocked in a 19 seconds. Having a built-in screen makes it easier to interact with the scanner directly, as well as features such as printing from and scanning to an associated Google Drive.

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Basic Specifications

Maximum native print resolution6,000×1,200dpi
Max optical resolution1,200×2,400dpi
Output bit depth24-bit

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A411ppm
Quoted speed, colour A46ppm

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.023m 28s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.01h 20m 56s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfacesUSB, 802.11n wireless
Optional printer interfacesnone
Noise (in normal use)50dB(A)

Paper Handling

Maximum paper sizeup to A4
Maximum paper weight260gsm
Standard paper inputs1
Standard paper input capacity150
Maximum paper inputs1
Maximum paper input capacity150
Duplex (code, cost if option)No


Printer technologypiezo inkjet
Supported operating systemsWindows XP/Vista/7/8, Mac OS X 10.6.8/10.7.x1/0.8.x
Other inkjet features1.8in colour screen, cloud printing
Other inkjet optionsnone

Buying Information

Consumable parts and prices£12 each
Price per colour A4 page6.0p
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge300 (ISO/IEC 24711)
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s)300 (ISO/IEC 24711)
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s)N/A
Warrantyone year RTB

Print Quality

Number of ink colours4
Number of ink cartridges4
Maximum number of ink colours4
Maximum number of cartridges4
Quoted photo durability100 years
Quoted photo durability sourceBrother

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview11s
A4 document at 150dpi11s
A4 document at 300dpi12s
6x4in photo at 600dpi19s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi54s

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.019s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.030s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.0N/A

Photo Features

PictBridge supportNo
Borderless printingup to A4
Direct (PC-less) printingYes
Supported memory cardsnone
CD printingNo

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies99
Max mono copy resolution1,200×1,200dpi
Max colour copy resolution1,200×1,200dpi

Fax Features

Max mono fax resolutionN/A
Fax memory (maximum mono pages)N/A