Brother DCP 165C

The Good Low cost to print; two-year warranty.

The Bad Poor output quality; slow print times; awkward build quality; outdated design; creative software requires online connection; no USB cord included.

The Bottom Line We've tested plenty of printers at CNET, but very few have frustrated us as much as the Brother DCP-165C multifunction has. The counterintuitive setup, bland design, deplorable print quality, and crawling output speeds earns this printer a double thumbs down. Spend $30 more and you can get the Canon Pixma MX330, an all-in-one printer that adds a fax machine on top of the copy, scan, and print features.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 4.0
  • Features 5.0
  • Performance 4.0
  • Support 8.0
5.3 Overall

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Price $130 MSRP $130 MSRP $2,199 Amazon.com $130 MSRP $130 MSRP
Design
4
6
9
8
3
Features
5
7
8
6
4
Performance
4
5
8
6
3
Support
8
7
...
7
8

Review

Brother DCP 165C

The Brother DCP-165C is the reason why people dread hitting the print button on their computers. During the testing process, we were derailed with hardware malfunctions and hiccups that left us shaking our heads in disdain. Although the $80 price tag is tempting, you'll immediately regret the purchase once you see the results of your printed documents; that is, if you have enough time to wait around for the job to finish. We recommend you stay far away from the DCP-165C and check out the Canon Pixma MX330 instead: you'll be much happier with the Canon's auto-document feeder, 1.8-inch color LCD, and a handful of impressive driver features that will leave the Brother DCP-165C in the dust.

Design
If you've done any printer shopping at all prior to reading this review, you'll immediately notice that the Brother DCP-165C is light years behind the competition in terms of aesthetic design. We knew this printer would receive low design scores right off the bat due to what you could call hate at first sight. Its long footprint saves a bit of space at 15.4 inches wide by 14.4 inches deep by 5.9 inches tall, but the boring rectangular shape has absolutely no appeal to the modern consumer, especially when you consider the aesthetic achievements of printers such as the HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One. The Web site describes the DCP-165C as "low-profile," which might be the understatement of the year.

The button layout on the front lip of the control panel literally reminds me of my family's first dot-matrix printer back in the late '80s, with its small rubber buttons smashed around a pathetic one-line LCD that lacks a backlit screen for nighttime viewing. In addition, the screen is fixed at an angle that's actually difficult to read unless you're hovering over the device. We actually found ourselves having to squint to read the tiny characters during tests.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $130
  • Brand Brother International
  • Type printer / copier / scanner
  • Type Multifunction printer
  • Printing Technology ink-jet
  • Optical Resolution 1200 x 2400 dpi
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