If you want a multi-function printer, but don't need built-in fax capability, Brother's DCP-7070DW might be a good option. It's a monochrome laser printer that can also be used for scanning and photocopying. It includes a few extras too, such as support for two-sided printing and an Ethernet port. It's available to buy online for around £210.
The DCP-7070DW is very similar in appearance to the entry-level DCP-7055 that we reviewed recently. Its footprint is small at the bottom, but it flares outwards at the top to accommodate the flatbed scanner. This printer is finished in black, with some glossy highlights on the scanner lid. As a result, it looks slightly more upmarket and consumer-centric than its boring stablemate.
On a sloping surface near the top of the printer, you'll find the control panel, which includes a two-line LCD display, along with up and down arrow buttons for moving around the straightforward menus. There are also dedicated buttons for the scanning and copying features, as well as another button to turn on and off duplex printing. It all helps to make the printer pretty easy to operate.
The bottom of the printer is home to a 250-sheet paper tray and, above this, there's a single-sheet feeder for use with envelopes and other odd paper sizes. Once printing is completed, the results are fed into a paper tray that's housed in a cut-out in the belly of the machine.
Setting this model up doesn't take long. It comes with its toner and drum cartridge pre-installed, but you have to remove them before use to take off some protective tapes, and then shake the cartridge around to make sure the toner is evenly distributed. Once you've installed it again, it's simply a matter of loading the drivers onto your computer and choosing how you want the printer to connect to your PC.
There are three options on this front. You can either hook it up directly via a USB lead, link it to your network using an Ethernet cable, or connect via Wi-Fi. Wireless set-up is very easy.
The lid of this model's flatbed scanner is double-hinged, which makes it easy to scan books and magazines. The scanner has an optical resolution of 19,200dpi and produces very good results. Colours are impressively accurate and plenty of detail is retained.
Its copying feature is very fast too, as it took a mere 10 seconds to produce a black and white copy of our test document. The results are rather underwhelming, though. Images and grey shading look rather blocky and noisy. Text, however, is copied well, retaining its sharpness.
The DCP-7070DW is reasonably speedy when it comes to printing, especially as it doesn't spend long pre-processing pages before printing starts. It managed to pump out our ten-page black and white test document in just 33 seconds. It also completed our ten-page business presentation in 33 seconds, and our ten-page graphics test in 36 seconds.
One of this printer's key features is its duplex printing support, whereby it can print on both sides of a page automatically. Duplex printing is always slower than single-sided printing, but it isn't too bad on this model. It took 1 minute and 3 seconds to produce five double-sided pages of our text document.
The DCP-7070DW makes an excellent fist of printed text. Characters are tightly defined and look very black on the page, so legibility is good. Its graphics performance isn't in the same league, though. Grey fills aren't as smooth as those of some of the better laser models we've seen, and detail in photos can look rather blotchy.
This printer uses a two-part system with a separate toner cartridge and drum. A high-capacity toner cartridge will produce 2,600 sheets, while the drum is good for 12,000 pages. Running costs aren't bad. At current prices, you'll pay about 3.6p per page, including 0.7p for paper costs.
The Brother DCP-7070DW is a decent option if you're seeking a multi-function monochrome printer. It produces good text results, it's reasonably cheap to run and it offers the bonus of duplex printing. Still, its graphics output is slightly below-par and you can pick up multi-function models with fax features for a similar price from rival manufacturers.
Edited by Charles Kloet