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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!

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