A Laser Multi-Function 

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While multi-function devices tend to be based on an inkjet printer, this is not always the case. For example the Brother DCP 7055 is a multi-function device that provides print, scan and copy features based around a laser technology for providing hard copy.

brother dcp 7055 laser multi function
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Decked out in a fairly standard computer grey, the DCP 7055 expands from a base measurement of 375 x 365mm out to 405 x 398.5mm at the top.  Brother has fitted a paper tray, laser printer and an A4 flatbed scanner into the unit’s height of 268mm.  Although larger, especially with regards to the height aspect, than an inkjet multi-function device, the increase is not too excessive.

Setting up the DCP 7055 is relatively straightforward.  As supplied, the toner unit is already in situ inside the body of the unit.  After removing a few pieces of sticky tape (far less than I have normally come to expect with an inkjet model) and a couple of other protective items, you should remove the toner unit and give it a quick shake just to ensure the toner is evenly distributed.  Both the mains power (lead supplied) and USB port (lead NOT supplied) are located at the rear of the unit where they do add a little to the space required by the product.

Powering up the device for the first time gives you the opportunity to select the language to be used and make any adjustment you may feel is required to the contrast of the unit’s two-inch LCD panel that provides two-line feedback as to status and current mode.  This panel, located in front of the scanner unit, is positioned between controls to select options, adjust the number of copies, scan, stop, start and navigate through the various menu levels.

Before linking this multi-function device to a computer, you need to install the supplied software.  Included in the software package are the drivers for the printer and scanner; the Brother Control Centre and Status Monitor; plus Nuance PaperPort document management application.  There is also documentation in PDF format.  At the appropriate point you will be advised when to connect the USB lead before restarting the computer.

Forming the base of this multi-function device is the unit’s paper tray.  This tray has a capacity of 250 sheets covering a range of sizes up to A4 and legal.  Taking a U-shaped path, the paper is fed through the body of the printer to reappear at an opening just below the control panel.  There is also a second paper input slot for manual use when printing envelopes, special paper and the like.  This is located between the paper tray and the output opening.

While for some tasks you need to be connected to a computer, this does not apply when you just need to run off photocopies by combining the scanner and printer elements.  In such a situation you need to place the original document on the scanner bed and then press the Start button.  Up to 99 copies can be produced at one sitting.  When used in conjunction with a computer the scanner has support for both TWAIN and WIA.  With up to 256 levels of greyscale, the scanner is capable of 600 x 2400dpi optical and 19200dpi interpolated.

When printing documents via the computer, the Brother DCP 7055 offers a number of options with regards to print quality and paper type.  You can select your chosen paper type from a pick list that includes plain, thin, thick, thicker and envelope.  You can also select the source from the two available options.

There are three different print qualities identified by the resolution rather than names such as draft, standard and high.  The choices available are 300, 600 or 1200 dpi.  Running tests with both text and graphics in the three different modes, I was unable to detect any major difference between the print quality delivered by the various modes.  I would be happy to use any of the output from the print modes for both personal and business documents.  There was a slight difference, however, in the speed achieved by the three print options.

Print Speed Print Speeds
540 word Document
300 dpi 600 dpi 1200 dpi
20ppm 18ppm 17ppm

During print runs and scanning operations, the noise level was reasonable and not too distracting.  However it was noticeable that after the first few runs, the DCP 7055 did emit a humming sound for a minute or so.  Fortunately this annoying feature quickly disappeared and has not reappeared.

I was impressed with the performance of this multi-function device.  Print quality was good with reasonable speeds being achieved.  Brother has priced this unit very competitively at £99.  A replacement toner cartridge, rated at 1,500 pages, is priced at £49,79 while a replacement drum, rated at 12,000 pages, will set you back £85.19 (which might encourage you to buy a new printer).

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OverallBrother DCP-7055 rated 92 out of 100
Highly commended product

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