Brother rates the DCP-7070DW at 26ppm, which is quick for a SOHO device such as this. It completed our five-page, black text test in 20s, giving it a real-world speed of 15.0ppm and in draft mode, which is actually toner-save here, it didn't do quite as well, producing a speed of 13.6ppm.
On the longer, 20-page document, however, it managed 21.8ppm, not too far off the stated speed and throughout the tests it was subjectively pretty snappy, as there was little in the way of processing time before it started to print. The machine has duplex as standard, so we printed our 20-page document double-sided and saw a speed of 10.3ppm, close to half the single-sided speed.
The five-page text and graphics test showed 14.3ppm and a single 15 x 10 cm photo on an A4 sheet took 23s. A single page copy came through in an impressive 10s.
Noise levels from the machine were in the mid-50s decibel range most of the time, though peaking at 63dBA on paper feeds, so it's quite a comfortable printer to live with in a small office.
Print quality from Brother laser machines is generally pretty good and the DCP-7070DW follows this trend. Black text is smooth and sharp, with the crispness of small characters belying the printer’s standard resolution of 600dpi.
Greyscale graphics have enough variation to represent a good range of colours in an original and although there's some slight mottling in areas of grey fill, it's generally pretty good. This is true of photo prints, too, which look quite respectable for a mono laser. It's not so good photocopying greyscales, as the blotchiness increases dramatically and looks quite shabby.
Brother provides a two-piece drum and toner cartridge, where the drum lasts for 12,000 pages and the toner is available in 1,200 and 2,600 page yields. Using the higher-yield consumables gives a cost per page of 3.3p. This puts it very much in line with rival machines such as the HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf.
Brother’s DCP-7070DW is an impressive little mono multifunction machine. It's quick, produces good quality prints and copies and does it without costing the Earth in consumables. Duplex print and wireless connection are both worthwhile extras, but you can get fax and an ADF built-in for the same money from its competitors.