That’s not to say that there isn’t merit to its appearance, but the very solid-looking, if rather bulbous, casing lacks the looks of some rival products. The slightly old-fashioned appearance also peeks through in the Brother DCP-J715W's rather peculiar 3.2in TFT screen. Although quite expansive, little thought appears to have gone into which buttons go where, and the sometimes clashing miscellany of colours on the buttons lack cohesion. Touch-sensitivity wouldn’t have gone amiss, either. That’s a shame, as in some respects the TFT works quite well, and is easy to navigate.
The Brother DCP-J715W looks substantial, although it’s not quite as robust in use. The 100-sheet paper tray isn’t vast. Neither was it the steadiest of the trays we tested. You can also load in up to 20 photos. Again, this arrangement was slightly flimsy. You do get a 15-sheet Automatic Document Feeder built into the top of the Brother, and this was a nice addition. Connectivity is good with the Brother. Besides the obligatory USB connection, you can also hook it up to both wireless (802.11b/g) and wired networks.
The choice of networks is a good feature that makes this model a little more business friendly than many we’ve seen. Both the LAN and USB ports are hidden away in the inner depths of the printer. While this makes them slightly more of a nuisance to get to initially, once plugged in the Brother DCP-J715W looks cleaner, with fewer cables stuck directly into the rear of the printer.
The Brother DCP-J715W has a scanning component, but this isn’t particularly well implemented. The hinged lid feels insubstantial, although you can get decent height from the hinges should you wish to put chunkier media into the scanner. But while the Brother is a fast multifunctional printer, the colour reproduction is disappointing. Too many of the shades, particularly at the lighter end of the spectrum, are imprecise, with poor distinction between colours.
Brother has long pioneered added convenience when it comes to replacing consumables, and the four ink cartridges in the Brother can be accessed via the front-mounted compartment. This makes the Brother DCP-J715W much the best model here when it comes to ease of replacing cartridges. Running costs are a little high, though, and around 6.5p is needed for a page of colour, while even text is a painful 3.6p per page.
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