Brother has put its latest mono laser print engine into a number of different printers and multifunction machines in several product ranges. The DCP-7030 is at the lower end of its triple-function range, which provides colour scanning and mono copying, as well as mono laser print.
Although the flatbed scanner positioned on top of the print engine is a bit wider than the printer itself, Brother has engineered a gentle expansion in its lines, so the unit has a well-integrated look. It sits quite squat on the desktop, as well, so is unobtrusive in a home office or small business environment. Although there's no automatic document feeder on this model, the flatbed includes a separate glass strip at the end of the flatbed, normally used when feeding paper for scanning. This makes the scanner section wider than it otherwise need be.
Coloured in pale grey and cream, the device looks a bit less severe than some of the black and silver units on offer and its control panel is commendably simple. Although the copy function panel includes enlargement and reduction, contrast adjustment and up to four pages per sheet, the single row of buttons is easy to understand and the large Start and Cancel buttons at the right end of the row are hard to miss.
The 2-line by 16-character LCD display is well used, but is sorely in need of a backlight. Even when standing directly over the machine, reflections can make it very difficult to read and if you have it on the desk beside you, characters can sometimes be impossible to make out.
The whole of the scanner section hinges up to cope with papers jams, though we had no problems during testing. It doesn't need to be lifted to get at the drum and toner cartridges, though, as these slide in from the front, once the front cover has been folded down. The only sockets at the rear of the machine are for mains power and USB 2.
The software bundle installs in one simple operation from a supplied CD and includes Nuance's PaperPort document management and OmniPage optical character recognition applications. There's a quick and simple Control Centre application from Brother itself, as well.
The drum and toner, although in separate cartridges, slide into place as one and you'll be able to replace the toner roughly six times, before needing to swap out the drum cartridge as well.