Brother DCP-J132W - Performance and Verdict

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Brother DCP-J132W – Print Speeds

Brother claims top print speeds for the DCP-J132W of 11ppm in mono and 6ppm in colour. Our tests got somewhere near the mono speed, at 9.2ppm on the 20-page test, though it only managed 3.1ppm on our 5-page black text and colour graphics. On the more typical 5-page mono sample, the speed was 7.1ppm.

A single-page copy took 30s, which is very reasonable, but photo print speeds were disappointing. A 15 x 10cm photo on an A4 sheet took 4 minutes 20 seconds, though this was in Best print mode (the way we always test). The same print in the machine’s Photo mode still took 2:01 and a wireless print from a Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphone took 2:55. All told, this isn’t a quick photo printer.

Brother DCP-J132W - Cartridges

Brother DCP-J132W – Print Quality and Costs

Plain paper text print is clean and dense enough to be fine for most personal uses. While it’ll never be mistaken for laser print, it’s sharp and well aligned. Colour graphics are a little less vivid than from a Canon or HP inkjet, but are still more than adequate. Reversed text is clear, though the black background is more dark grey than black.

Photos came through pale, in comparison with the originals and examples from some similarly priced rivals.

The DCP-J132W is also very noisy, particularly when feeding paper, and we measured multiple peaks of 69dBA at 0.5m, and we even saw one of 75dBA. This is very loud for a desktop printer and could be distracting when, for example, answering the phone.

Brother DCP-J132W

Ink cartridges are available in two capacities and using the higher yield versions gives page costs of 3.5p for mono and 9.0p for colour. Neither of these is bad for a machine in this price bracket and some lasers at three times the initial price cost nearly twice as much per colour page.

Should I buy a Brother DCP-J132W?

The budget inkjet all-in-one market is reasonably crowded and machines like the HP Envy 4500 or Epson Expression Home XP-412 are respectable rivals. The Envy 4500 is slower printing both mono and colour and costs more to run, by a full 1p per page in mono. It can print duplex as standard, though, and has a multi-line LCD control screen.

The Expression Home XP-412, while having the best LCD of the three and touch-panel controls, is also the most expensive to print colour with and is no great shakes on speed.

Verdict

The Brother DCP-J132W is excellent value. It prints, scans and copies and works well with a variety of wireless devices, as well as PCs and Macs. Its running costs are no worse than its rivals’ and it prints and copies at comparable speeds, though photo printing is a bit sluggish. It’s noisy, but you can’t have everything in a printer costing under £60.