A simple mono laser printer will set you back around £80 and for less than 50 per cent more you can have one with a scanner, making a multifunction printer that can stand in for a photocopier. Brother has a range of them, but the DCP-7055 is at the entry end of the range, so you shouldn't expect much in the way of bells and whistles.
The printer doesn't shout, as it's all clothed in the same light grey plastic, with none of the complications of an Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) to break up its lines. The scanner lid is hinged on lifting pillars, so you can accommodate thick books, as well as single sheets.
The control panel is very simple, with just 11 buttons to control everything. Because there are no fax or memory card functions, print, copy and scan jobs are easy enough to start and stop and the 2-line by 16-character LCD display is enough to show status information and a simple menu system.
Immediately below the scanner section is the top of the laser printer engine, where papers feed out after printing or copying. Although the top section hinges up, this is only really of use for clearing paper jams. There's a strange little flip-up support towards the back of the output tray, though the main paper stop sticks out from the front.
As well as a 250-sheet paper tray, generous on a machine obviously aimed at the SOHO market, there's a single-sheet feed for envelopes and other media. At the back, the only socket apart from the mains connector is for a single USB cable; there's no wireless link on the DCP-7055.
There's no duplex facility, either, but there is a good software bundle, including Brother's own MFL-Pro Suite and ControlCenter 4. There's also a copy of Nuance PaperPort SE, which includes OCR software.