Brother DCP-330C Review
When someone mentions “all-in-one printer”, the first thing that comes to mind is a big unwieldy thing that’s as tall as it is wide. The Brother DCP-330C is a low-profile USB multi-function 4-color inkjet that make color prints, copies, and scans at speeds up to 25 ppm. It can even take Flash media cards and make prints without the need for a computer. Redesigned from the DCP-165C, the 330C has an improved control panel and a color LCD tilt display that also allows previewing photos before printing.
The look of the Brother DCP-330C stands out in its simple, clean design. With a 15.7” x 13.8” footprint (add another 3½ inches with the paper tray out) and only 5.9 inches high, the 16-pound DCP-330C looks like it would be more at home in a home entertainment rack than on top of a computer desk. You don’t need to turn on the computer every time you want to make a copy or a scan. The DCP-330C has a full control panel with a 2” LCD tilt display for setup and operation without the need for software.
A slide-in paper tray holds up to 100 Legal-size sheets. The paper tray also doubles for handling multi-purpose media. Plastic guides adjust to handle post cards and envelopes. A photo paper tray can hold 20 sheets of 4” x 6” photo paper for printing snapshots.
As a printer, the multi-function connects directly to your Mac or PC through a USB 2.0 interface. Having a maximum resolution of 1200 x 6000 dpi color resolution produces photo-quality images at speeds of 20 color ppm and 25 B&W ppm. The DCP-330C can produce borderless prints right up to 8½” x 11”.
It’s always nice to be able to have a printer that can accept Flash media direct without having to fire up a computer. The DCP-330C has a multiple slots that support SD (SecureDigital), CF (CompactFlash), MMC (MultiMediaCard), Sony Memory Sticks, and Olympus’ xD card formats. Digital cameras with PictBridge will also be able to directly can also connect directly through the USB slot. Scanned documents can be saved directly to memory cards in the same manner.
The color LCD display allows you to not only preview, but to make photo editing changes without using a computer. Photos can be cropped, color corrected, and resized—all from the printer.
Instead of an Automatic Document Feeder, the DCP-330C has 8.5” x 11.7” flatbed platen to scan A4 or Letter-size originals. Originals can be scanned in 256 grayscale or in 36-bit color, at speeds of to 3.82 and 6.02 seconds per page respectively. The maximum optical resolution is 1200 x 2400 dpi, and the included software can enhance it to 19,200 x 19,200 dpi. The scanning feature has software support for TWAIN and Microsoft’s WIA protocols. Files are saved in the popular formats: JPEG, TIFF, and Adobe PDF.
The multi-function can make up to 99 copies at the rate of 18 monochrome pages per minute, 16 color ppm. Copy magnification ranges from 25% to 400%. Copy exposures can be set either manually, automatic adjustment of contrast, text or photo modes. Maximum copy resolutions are an impressive 1200 x 1200 dpi for B&W, 600 x 1200 dpi for color copies. Just remember the scan platen isn’t big enough to scan a legal-size document.
Brother equipped the multifunction with a nice 32MB of memory--sufficient for any single print job. There is no expansion for additional memory, but you won’t really need it unless you intend to share the printer over a computer network.
While other printer manufacturers focus on software for Windows computers, Brother realizes that Macs are computers too and deserve the same programs as PCs. So the OCR (Optical Character Recognition), Document Viewer, and scanner software features are available for Macs as well as Windows.
The glass platen is only large enough to copy or scan Letter or A4 sizes up to 8½” x 17.7”. The DCP330C is not suitable for Legal-size originals. To add to the confusion, the multi-function can print on 11” x 14” paper.
Brother does not offer PCL or PostScript print emulation with this model. Instead, the DCP-330C relies on emulation from the host computer itself. For most printing, users won’t notice any difference in performance and considering the low resolutions of this all-in-one it’s unlikely any high-end Adobe graphics will be sent to this multi-function anyway.
Traditionally, inkjet printers tend to be quieter than laser printers. But the DCP-330C can get as noisy as a laser, with noise levels reaching 50dB, the sound level of low conversations.
Finally, while Brother did market the DCP-330C for the small business or home office, the capacity of the paper tray needs to be increased to at least 250 sheets instead of the current 100. Most people buy paper by the 500-sheet ream, and paper waste is increased when a printer can hold only a fraction of the package.
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