The Brother DCP-L3551CDW had the largest footprint of the three SOHO printers tested and was also the heaviest. This certainly has the look of an office laser printer with the body coming in at 410 mm x 475 mm x 414 mm and weighing a sturdy 23.5 kg.
Its 250-sheet paper tray was very handy. Coupled with a 50-sheet ADF made this a SOHO workhorse. we really liked the dual auto document feeder and multipurpose paper tray. However, for all its large size, it had a small LCD that was fixed in position.
While it has a stated print speed of 18 ppm for both black and colour documents, we found that it took less time to buffer after the print button was pressed and thus, was actually the fastest SOHO printer we tested. The printer offers up to 2,400 dpi print quality and also has optional high-yield toner cartridges.
It has connectivity options that are stated as 802.11b/g/n and WiFi Direct, and from mobile devices using AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, and Brother iPrint&Scan. But we found it could only detect our 2.4GHz network and not our 5GHz one.
Our main complaint was with the small LCD. The small size meant that there was space for only two lines of text that made it difficult to type out passwords and navigate through menu options. fortunately, unlike the Canon G7070, the buttons on the control panel all had descriptions explaining what each did.
Also, since it isn’t an inkjet, toner replacements can be pricier than inkjet replacements although its overall print load is higher. Text printing was sharp and clear like the rest, with text and serifs sharp and clear. However, there was more colour spotting around the text than the other two printers tested.
Overall while able to provide print results close to a laser-based device, its size and weight played against the DCP-L3551CDW in this case. And while the text in the print results came out fine, the image quality was what let it down, with noticeable halo around images and oversaturated blues.
AT A GLANCE
PRINT RESOLUTION 600 x 2400 dpi
DIMENSIONS 410 x 475 x 414 mm
WEIGHT 23.5 kg
CANON’S PIXMA INK EFFICIENT G7070
AT A GLANCE
PRINT RESOLUTION 4,800 x 1,200 dpi
DIMENSIONS 403 x 369 x 234 mm
WEIGHT 9.6 kg
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