Given the strong graphics printing and speedy scans of the Brother DCP-150C, its big Brother, the Brother DCP-350C, had a lot to live up to. However, the Brother DCP-350C took noticeably longer than other units we tested this month to start up and ready itself. The Brother DCP-350C's initial set up process was at least straightforward.

With a top resolution of 6,000x,2,400dpi, we weren’t surprised the Brother DCP-350C took nearly four minutes to show us its best effort at A4 photo printing – and the results certainly impressed. But our graphics test revealed the Brother DCP-350C's weakness for streaking at faster settings.

The same applies to text: documents were crisp at the highest-quality settings, but the Brother DCP-350C's draft mode was neither fast nor impressive.

Scanning was a zippy affair, and the Brother DCP-350C offered plenty of impact with bright, crisp scans. Colour copies, however, were dull, washed out and somewhat grey. Mono copies were simply too dark.

Both Brother models enjoy excellent space-saving design qualities: each has its power plug on one side, allowing them to be backed up against the wall. Individual ink wells help to get the most out of your consumables, and the cartridges are conveniently replaced via a door at the front. We also liked the Brother DCP-350C's silvery looks and durable build, although the paper tray feels fragile. A seven-in-one card reader and PictBridge port are included, along with a 2in flip-up colour LCD. Separate buttons for routine maintenance, direct photo printing, copying and scanning are clearly labelled. The scanner lid is sturdy and won’t slam. However, the Brother DCP-350C routinely failed to recognise paper edges – a fault we thought we’d left in the last century.

Verdict

The Brother DCP-350C gives slow but top-quality photo prints. Graphics are less impressive, but the Brother DCP-350C is a great scanner and provides so-so copying.


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