Brother DCP-350C 

Adding to its recently redesigned product line-up of colour inkjet multifunction devices, Brother has released its DCP-350C model.
Brother DCP 350C multi-function printer

This product brings together the capability to print, scan and copy documents from a single item of kit with the aid of a colour LCD feature.  Combining matt silver and creamy white colours with a rectangular box shape, the DCP-350C has an attractive appearance that would not look out of place in a small office or home environment.  As is standard practice, the design of this multifunction device has a flatbed scanner mounted on top of the inkjet printer unit with the whole thing measuring 398 x 360 x 150mm (W x D x H). 

Following Brother's normal policy, the USB connection is located within the body of the device while the four inkjet cartridges (black, yellow, magenta and cyan) slot into a conveniently positioned front-mounted compartment.  Running across the top of the device, alongside the scanner lid, is the unit's control panel and a 2-inch colour LCD which provides status and feedback information.  The LCD screen can be adjusted to various angles for easier readability.  The various buttons making up the control panel allow you to enter settings; select a colour or monochrome option; plus access ink management features.  There is also a button to turn the device on/off - a necessity as Brother has neglected to include a shut-down mode after a period of inactivity or automatic power up following a request from the computer.

Finally there is a button to activate the PhotoCapture Centre whereby you can view and edit content from a memory card.  This feature can also be accessed by inserting one of the support memory card formats which include SD, CD and xD.  The appropriate memory card slots plus a PictBridge feature can be found running across the front of the unit.

Brother DCP350c controls

Paper input and output are both located at the front of the DCP-350C.  The paper input tray can hold up to 100 sheets with support for most common sizes, envelopes and card up to 220g/m².  If a paper jam occurs, and this did happen on occasions during the review period, then the blockage needs to be cleared from the rear of the unit.

Included with this multifunction device is a software CD containing documentation in PDF format, drivers and a number of utilities.  At the heart of the provided software is the MFL-Pro Suite which consists of tools to scan and copy item using a computer.  You can copy items direct from the DCP-350C without the need of a computer.  Also included are OCR and document management PaperPort software.

The DCP-350C is rated at 30ppm monochrome and 25ppm colour.  I was able to achieved similar figures when using the Fast Print mode.  It must be said that the print quality using this mode was only suitable for draft documents.  You would need to switch to Fast/Normal, Normal or Fine modes for documents that were to be used for distribution to others.  Print speeds for these modes are 13/9ppm (Fast/Normal), 8/5ppm (Normal) and 4/3ppm (Fine)  All the various timings were carried out using standard A4 copy paper with 5% coverage.  Print resolutions of up to 6000 x 1200dpi are available.

Copying a full A4 document took 36 seconds in monochrome and 40 seconds in colour using the Normal print mode.  Scanning an image using the Brother software with the settings at 300 x 300dpi and 24-bit colour took 22 seconds for an A4 image.  Options are available to scan content to a file, email or for OCR work with resolution settings of up to 600 x 1200dpi for copying, 600 x 2400dpi optical scan and 19200dpi interpolated scan.

The DCP-350C bears a price tag of £79.99.  Replacement inkjet cartridges will cost £17.61 for black, giving approximately 500 A4 pages, and £9.98 for each of the three colours, giving approximately 400 A4 pages @ 5% coverage.  I am at a loss to explain the differential between the pricing for black and colour cartridges - surely 100 pages should not make that much difference.

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Comment by John Johnson, 18 Aug 2011 18:38

I have never been more frustrated with a printer in my life. It's slow, unreliable and refuses to print even in black and white if one of your colour cartridges are empty. Convenient that Brother also sells the cartridges you have to change constantly? They are also very pricy. NEVER buy this printer.

Comment by Rouffian, 28 Aug 2010 15:38

The problem is not with the cartridges, it is with the crummy ink management.

First, when a cartridge is empty you cannot print; full stop. For example my Cyan cartridge ran out a couple of weeks ago, so I could not print an envelope in pure black. Why not? I wasn't going to use cyan ink.

So, I lived without a printer until I made a trip to the tech shop and bought a cyan cartridge, brought it home and fitted it. It said 'Cleaning, please wait' then came back with 'Cartridge empty - Yellow, Magenta' so had they emptied while I was out shopping, leaving the PC off?

Foolishly, I thought that the colours would be different from the black, after all, black costs more. Nope! I got home, installed the two colour cartridges, got the 'Cleaning, please wait' message and then the 'Black cartridge is empty' so here I sit, shops are closed, I want to print some air rifle targets and I cannot.

I also have a nice Epson, in my apartment. When these cartridges empty again I am going to bin this POS, and revert to the Epson.

Everything else about this multi-purpose printer is great, but this one thing spoils it for me. It's as though Angelina Jolie had AIDS. She wouldn't be so attractive, would she?

Comment by BrotherUK, 7 Feb 2008 11:45

......."I am at a loss to explain the differential between the pricing for black and colour cartridges - surely 100 pages should not make that much difference".......

Brother use pigment ink for Black and Dye ink for colours. Pigment ink is more expensive to manufacture.

Pigment ink tends to sit on the page, producing high quality black text.

Dye ink dries quicker and soaks into the paper more, producing high quality photographs. are selling LC-1000BK (black ink) at £12.95 inc VAT

Dabs are also selling LC1000C,M,Y (colour ink) at £8.48 ink VAT

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