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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Brother DCP-J315W: Home & Small Business Helper

Review by By Marine Goy 
Translated by: Sam McGeever


Product Detail:

The Brother DCP-315W is a multifunction inkjet printer designed for use at home for printing documents and photos.  It includes built-in WiFi and its 32 MB of memory mean you can use it even in a busy family home with ten or more users.


The DCP-315W starts off well with network support, WiFi and drivers for Windows, Mac and Linux.  The compact form factor-39 x 36.8 x 15 cm and 6.8 kg on the scales-means you should easily find somewhere to put it.  You can use a card reader to view photos on the screen and decide which ones to print.  The paper drawer can hold up to a hundred sheets.  The display isn't touchscreen, so any interaction relies on the buttons to the right of the screen.  We much prefer touchscreen interfaces, but the system offered here is perfectly intuitive.  While we're on the subject of things that are missing, there's no double-sided printing, and a fax machine isn't included, although anybody who needs one can choose a model from the MFC family.

The control panel: a 1.9'' screen and lots of buttons
Inside, there are four different cartridges, which is handy as you only need to replace the one that's actually out of ink, but the ones that are supplied are 'standard' capacity-or in other words, not very full and so they won't last very long.  At least they benefit from Brother's very sensible front-loading system.

It's easy to reach the four cartridges

Space to store the USB cable


The DCP-315W is hardly lightning-fast, but that's not necessarily what home users are looking for.  Five pages per minute in black and white and colour is just a little slower than the Canon Pixma MG5150, which reaches six ppm in black and white and nine ppm in colour.

You'll need to be patient if you're printing photos: a 4 x 6'' print takes around three minutes while an A4 photo can take up to eight minutes, which is very slow indeed!

Photo printing: 8 minutes for A4, almost 3 minutes for 4 x 6''


As is so often the case with inkjet printers, text documents look great, but despite its tiny 1.5 picolitre ink droplets, complex graphics and detailed work are beyond this printer.  On our test document, solid blocks of colour were marred by flecks across the whole page, especially around the edge of text.  The fact that the colours don't have much oomph doesn't help things much either.

Compare the Brother DCP-J315W to other printers in our Product Face-Off

Photo prints suffer from the same problems: colours that aren't reproduced accurately, with a red tinge in colour shots and a green tint to monochrome prints.  There's a small problem with sharpness, especially with faces.  The overall results are satisfactory and perfectly acceptable as long as you're not planning on hanging them in a professional gallery.

Scanner and copier

At 12 seconds to scan a 300 dpi document, the DCP-315W is a little slower than average, but the results are acceptable.  Some detail is lost, but the lines of the face are still clear in this scan, and the resolution is a little better than on most competing models.

Copies are slow: from the moment you press the button to the arrival of your copy, you have to wait 35 seconds in black and white and a whole 41 seconds in colour.  To compare the DCP-315W to the Canon Pixma MG5150 once again, it can do the same tasks in 10 seconds and 17 seconds respectively, making the DCP-315W twice as slow.  Our test graphics were only just about useable with a lot more noise than in the original.  We recommend you stick to text documents in this mode.

Energy consumption and noise levels

This is one area where the DCP-315W really excels.   To start with, we were impressed that we could programme the standby mode ourselves to start after anywhere between a minute or an hour of inactivity.  When the printer is on standby, the consumption is a mere 1 W, something we'd like to see every product manage, and it only rises to 12 W when printing, well below the average of 19 W.  To top it all off, printing is a very quiet 46 dB(A) experience.

Cost per page: 15.9 p!

And this is Brother's big problem: all of its rivals are working to bring down costs, especially by offering XL cartridges, the Japanese firm consistently offers more expensive consumbles.  As a result, its running costs are higher, even in black and white where a single page costs 3.4 9.

ISO Lifespan

CartridgePriceISO LifepanCost per page
LC985BK (black)£19.193003.4 p
LC985C (cyan)£10.792604.15 p
LC985M (magenta)£10.792604.15 p
LC985Y (yellow)£10.792604.15 p

2/5Brother DCP-J315WDigitalVersus2011-10-06 00:00:00


  • WiFi
  • Easy to use
  • Low energy consumption
  • Quiet
  • Separate ink cartridges


  • High running costs
  • Just one cartridge size
  • Weak with office documents
  • Slow print speeds
  • No double-sided printing


The Brother DCP-J315W is a small, easy-to-use printer. It's just a shame that it's not faster, more accurate or cheaper to run!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

GIGABYTE BRIX: Ultra Compact PC Kit

Uncompromising Performance with the Smallest of Footprints
Taipei, Taiwan, May 24, 2013- GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, is proud to present today the GIGABYTE BRIX, an ultra compact PC, combining an incredibly small and sleek form factor chassis design with a choice of high-performance Intel® Core™ processors, fast SSD storage, integrated Wi-Fi, USB 3.0 plus dual digital display outputs.

“The BRIX lays down a new standard in terms of compact form factor, connectivity and performance, making it suitable for a broad range of applications in the home, office and commercial spaces,” commented Henry Kao, Vice President of GIGABYTE Motherboard Business Unit. “The BRIX demonstrates how we can leverage our exceptional R&D and manufacturing prowess to create new and exciting PC products that defy convention.”

GIGABYTE BRIX: Ultra Compact Computing 2.0
The BRIX from GIGABYTE is an ultra compact (29.9 x 107.9 x 114.6 mm) and versatile DIY PC kit available with a broad choice of processors covering a range of performance and price points. Redefining the desktop PC in terms of miniaturization with a form factor that sits in the palm of your hand, the BRIX doesn’t hold back in terms display and peripheral connectivity, or raw performance, and is ideal for compact HTPC builds, as a standard desktop in the home or office, or in commercial applications such as digital signage.

GIGABYTE designed the BRIX to be smaller and lighter than currently available products, with a stylish glass surface mounted on an anthracite aluminum frame. The BRIX comes complete with a GIGABYTE compact form factor motherboard, Wi-Fi module, VESA mounting bracket and power adapter, requiring only an mSATA SSDSO-DIMMmemory and OS.

Comprehensive Processor Options
The BRIX is available with a choice of four power-efficient, 3rd Generation Intel processors. From a simple internet access point, to a high-end multimedia station, the GIGABYTE BRIX offers great flexibility for a wide range of different usage applications.
BRIX ModelGB-XM1-3537GB-XM11-3337GB-XM12-3227GB-XM14-1037
Intel ProcessorIntel® Core™ i7-3537UIntel® Core™  i5-3337UIntel® Core™ i3-3227UIntel® Celeron™ 1037U
Clock Frequency2 GHz – 3.1GHz1.8 GHz – 2.7GHz1.9 GHz1.8 GHz
Smart Cache4MB3MB3MB2MB

Dual Digital Displays
With support for HDMI and DisplayPort, the BRIX can power two displays simultaneously, making it a perfect choice as a high-productivity PC in professional and home environments, or in any number of industrial and commercial multi-display applications.

A Flexible, Compact DIY PC Kit 
The BRIX is sold as a DIY PC kit, shipping with a Wi-Fi Mini PCIe module pre-installed, plus a power adapter and cable conforming to local standards. Requiring only SO-DIMM system memory and mSATA SSD, the BRIX gives users the flexibility to independently choose integrated storage and system memory sizes, without the trouble of sourcing components that are not widely available on the retail market.

VESA Support 
Bundled with a VESA bracket, the BRIX can easily be mounted behind a monitor or HDTV making it discreetly hidden from view. This offers a simple and elegant way to turn any VESA-compliantdisplay or TV into a full-featured PC or digital signage unit.


More detail about the product: