Brother DCPL2520DW Review

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February 10, 2015
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A person looking for a solid printer can’t disregard Brother. To many, they are the best printer manufacturer in the world, offering excellent quality with affordable pricing. Brother DCPL2520DW is one of their newer products. Priced at a reasonable 200 dollars, it was a great pick for the Tech For Pennies review team. What did we find out, read that below.

Features

Brother DCPL2520DW can do many things. It prints in B/W but there’s also color scan and B/W copy functions available. Fax is however not. Such a multifunction device can be more useful than a mere printer – and considering it’s not much more expensive, also an economic choice in the long run.

Besides with the software on your computer, the Brother can be operated with a LCD display on the unit. It’s nothing fancy, just a 2-line mono screen, but there’s no need for full feature displays on a printer this simple.

250 sheets is the paper input capacity. Output tray handles up to 100 papers. These numbers are quite an average for a printer in this price category. The biggest supported paper size is 8.5″ x 14″ (legal). Automatic printing on both sides of the paper is available. Automatic document feeder (ADF) for is not, so you have to put one paper in at a time if you use the scanner for multiple sheets.

The dimensions are 16.1″ x 15.7″ x 10.5″ (WxDxH), which means this unit leaves quite a small footprint. Supported operating systems are Windows XP – 8.1 and Mac OS X 10.7.x & above. Also source files for Linux can be downloaded from Internet (or your distribution might already have them installed).

Connections include 802.11b/g/n WiFi and USB 2.0 port. There’s no Ethernet RJ-45 port. The wireless can be used directly with desktops and laptops (Chromebooks included), but there’s also support for iPhones, iPads and other mobile devices with AirPrint and Google Cloud Print services.

Performance

The listed printing speed for Brother DCPL2520DW is 27 B/W pages per minute, one at every two seconds. Sometimes these advertised rates don’t happen in real use, but looking at the user reports has led me to believe the 27ppm is very close to reality. First page out is 8.5 seconds or faster.

The memory and monthly duty cycle suggest suitability for small offices. There’s 32MB non-user upgradeable RAM in the printer and maximum duty cycle is 10,000 pages, with recommendations around 1000 sheets in a month. So if you don’t print more than ~30 pages a day, you should be good to go with this Brother.

Costs

Obviously, when you can’t print in color, you’ll also save money in toner costs. Brother DCPL2520DW comes with a starter package that works for 700 pages. After that, you can opt for high-yield TN660 toner. With the current price of official TN660, one page would cost around 2.3 cents. And if you use third party toner the price drops to a fraction of that. Not much at all, in my opinion.

Conclusion

Brother DCPL2520DW is a low priced and working multifunction printer. It was made for homes or small businesses with reasonable printing volume: the Brother works fine for the said ~30 pages a day. It’s lacking some of the features true office workhorses have, such as automatic document feeder and Ethernet connectivity, but such a full-featured printer also costs much more. So if you’re not planning to get a printer for a very busy office, and are happy with its B/W only printing capability, this Brother might be an excellent option for you: it has low printing costs, fast speed and ample support for mobile printing.


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