Brother has just released a trio of low volume mono laser printers at highly affordable prices so we decided to take a look at the middle unit to gauge how much this range merited its 'great value for money' tag.
The DCP-1510 is certainly space-saving as it only occupies a compact area of 385 x 340 x 255 mm. In addition, it weighs a mere 7 kg so it can also be quickly repositioned within the office without causing any back strain.
The focus here is on simplicity and speed. There's no ADF on the top of the machine nor an extra feeder tray in the middle - just a standard 150 sheet paper tray in the base. In the same way, the only connection available is via USB 2.0 to a single PC, so if Wi-Fi or Ethernet is vital for your home or small business, this is not the printer for you.
While the main body of the DCP-1510 feels sturdy enough, the scanner cover is somewhat flimsy. There's also a design error where the access door has to be raised before you can unfurl or retract the output tray extender with its paper stop.
Brother DCP-1510: control panel
The control panel is reduced to a narrow strip in front of the cover where you can oversee operations via the 2 line, 16 character LCD using arrow keys to scroll through the menus. Peculiarly there is a dedicated button for 2-in-1 ID copying - not the most obvious first choice but maybe this a deliberate ploy to appeal to the student market.
So far, so ordinary. However, once you start printing you realise that with print and copy speeds approaching 20ppm (we averaged 18ppm), the DCP-1510 might well have a future in your study or business. Document print quality is good without being exceptional, while graphics and images reveal broad contrast tones.
Scanned colour photos and designs also manage to emerge relatively faithful to the original hues with just a slightly paler caste. The running costs of the 1,000 page toner cartridge for the DCP-1510 work out at around 3p per page.
Although Brother may target this budget MFP at small businesses, the heavily restricted features might suggest it's more likely to end up in home or student studies, despite its rapid print speed.