Here we go on the print speed roundabout again, with the quoted figures bearing little relation to what you’ll see in everyday use. Brother quotes 33ppm for black print and 27ppm for colour, presumably both in draft mode, as normal print returns much slower speeds.
Our straight, five-page text document took 1:46 to complete, giving a black print speed of 2.83ppm, but even when we increased the print run to 20 pages, which took 6:41, the speed was still only 2.99ppm. This is over 11 times slower than Brother’s spec. Colour print is no better, with a five-page text and graphics document completing in 2:04, or 2.42ppm.
You are going to be waiting around for quite a while if you use the DCP-585CW on anything like a regular basis, though when printing photos, which you’ll see in around 1:40, it’s quicker than many of its rivals. A single-page photocopy, all you can do with no ADF on the machine, took 42 seconds, which again is a reasonable speed.
Printed black text out of the printer is light and under a loupe you can see the paper fibres aren’t completely coated. Even so, there’s some fuzziness around character edges, caused by ink feathering into the paper fibres.
Colours are much too light, too and, although in this case coverage is quite good, they don’t look nearly as bright as their on-screen counterparts. Colour copies look even more faded and washed out.
Photo prints, on the other hand, are generally good, though from our print samples, there is some reason to select Highest quality print rather than Photo mode, as there’s more visible detail in dark areas of the image. Highest mode takes a long time to print, though, with our test photo taking 3:39.
If you read our recent review of the Brother MFC-6490CW, which uses the same cartridges as this machine, you may wonder why the page costs have come out lower here. This is simply because we found a different source for the high-yield cartridges, offering them for considerably less than Brother. The MFC’s running costs are the same as for this machine, of course, if you buy cartridges from the same source.
The four high-yield cartridges are rated at 750 pages for colour and 900 pages for black and we calculate the page costs at 2.64p for black and 6.10p for colour. Both these figures are very reasonable for an all-in-one at this price and with the comparatively high ink capacity, maintenance costs stay low.
This is another curate’s egg printer, which is only good in parts. A bit like Lexmark, Brother seems to have focused on the usability of its machines, with features like a good LCD display and wireless connection, while the features that really need improving are the fundamentals: print quality on plain paper and print speed. Most customers will consider these two the more important.