Print speeds, as usual, bear little relation to what you’ll see in the real world and are for draft mode print. Brother quotes 30ppm for black and 25ppm for colour, but the best we could manage was 1 minute 46 seconds for a five-page text print, which is equivalent to 2.8ppm, and 2 minutes 8 seconds for a five-page colour text and graphics page, a mere 2.3ppm. Both these figures are around a tenth of the quoted speeds, so not impressive.
Printed output from the machine is a bit rough. There’s quite a bit of feathering of black ink into plain paper, which gives a ragged appearance, particularly to bold characters. Colours are smoothly reproduced with no noticeable dither patterns, but black text printed over colour runs badly, to give a very spiky result. A colour photocopy, while doing quite well to maintain the original colours, produced very blotchy text over colour.
Photo prints are the highlight of this machine’s output, with natural colours and a good level of detail. The auto-correction facility for photos within the DCP-770CW is effective, producing a noticeable improvement in a couple of our test prints. There are other corrections, such as red-eye removal, which don’t require a PC, either.
Brother uses micro-piezo inkjet technology, like Epson, so needs to charge its ink system before the first time you print. This means you won’t get quite as much out of your first set of cartridges as with subsequent ones. When any ink cartridge runs out, the DCP-770CW refuses to print anything, so deplete any colour and you won’t be able to print black pages, either.
Brother doesn’t quote ISO page yield figures for its cartridges, but claims 500 pages at 5 per cent cover for black and 400 at 5 per cent for each colour. This gives print costs of 2.91p for a black page and 7.41p for colour. These costs are in the middle of the field for this type of machine.
The provision of a Wi-Fi wireless connection and the widescreen LCD display add value to this neatly-designed all-in-one. However, the print quality doesn’t match up to the feature set. Printing black text over colour on plain paper, not an unreasonable demand, shows there is still work to be done on the formulation of Brother’s inks.