The speeds Brother quotes for the DCP-J315W are further adrift from those we measured than usual. The company believes this printer can produce ‘up to 35ppm in mono and up to 28ppm in colour’.
Our 5-page text print took 1:42, giving a speed of 2.9ppm, less than a tenth of the speed quoted. In fast (draft) mode, the same file took 36s, or 8.3ppm, still less than a quarter of the posted figure. Just for fun, we ran the draft test again and timed from the start of the print head moving to the last page arriving on the output tray, so excluding any preparation time. This took 22s, a speed of 13.6ppm.
The only way we could reach the quoted speed was to print five pages, each containing just one line of text, in draft mode and not including preparation in our timings. Hardly a reasonable way of testing.
Our 20-page document gave 3.0ppm and the 5-page text and colour graphics test gave 2.4ppm. These times are slow in comparison with other machines in the same price range. Brother claims a best time of 49s for a 15 x 10cm photo, but in normal mode, we couldn’t better 2:22, from a Samsung Galaxy Mini smartphone, Using Brother’s Android print App.
Text print quality is pretty good, without much sign of ink spread, though it looks a little spindly in places. Emboldened sub-heads are clean and black is dense. Colours in business graphics are solid, but a little pale in comparison with originals. This is more true in colour copies, with the scanner losing some colour fidelity. Photo prints are sharp and fairly natural, but quite a bit of detail is lost in darker, shadowed areas.
The Brother DCP-J315W is very quiet when printing and we measured a peak noise level of just 58dBA. This isn’t a distracting machine to have on your desk.
The printer uses four separate cartridges, which normally prove more economic than black and tri-colour ones. Using the best price we could find gives a cost of 5.9p per ISO black page and 12.4p per ISO colour page, including 0.7p for paper. These costs, particularly the black one, are high, compared with printers like the Kodak ESP 3.2, which returned 2.0p and 5.3p for black and colour, less than half the price in each case.
The Brother DCP-J315W is a straightforward home all-in-one, but without the low purchase price of something like the HP Deskjet 3050A or the low running costs of the Kodak ESP 3.2. Its speed specs are hopelessly optimistic and printouts are fair, but nothing out of the ordinary. In the end, that’s the verdict on the printer, too.