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Brother DCP-8085DN review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £356
inc VAT

This expensive, but very capable, business MFP does everything you'll need. A good buy if you're upgrading your small or home office.


mono laser, 30ppm print speed, USB, PictBridge USB, 10/100 Ethernet, parallel, 475x531x451mm

With an automatic duplexer, a 50-page automatic document feeder (ADF) and a quoted print speed of 30ppm, Brother’s DCP-8085DN mono laser MFP can do almost anything you’ll need in a small office – as long as it’s in black and white.

It has a 250-page paper tray and its specialist media tray handles media up to 163gsm, although it creased some of our envelopes.

The installer detected the MFP on our network, installed its PCL3 driver and set up our PC as a default location for one-button scanning. A five-line LCD screen lets you configure everything from default print quality to power-saving. An ugly but functional web interface duplicates the menu options and makes it easy to restrict access to the printer. The driver supports secure printing: if you set a PIN before sending a document to the printer, the MFP won’t print it until you type the code into its keypad. Scans can also be secured. The printer has 64MB of RAM, but you can upgrade it to a maximum of 576MB.

The DCP-8085DN has a native resolution of 1,200dpi. There’s also an HQ1200 setting, which is actually 600dpi with resolution enhancement, but it produced faster, better-looking graphical prints than true 1,200dpi. We performed our standard tests at 600dpi. Complex graphics were accurately shaded and thin lines and curves were unusually smooth. Text at 8pt and above was very sharp, although some tiny fonts looked spidery, even at 1,200dpi. Plain text printed at 25.9ppm and our complex greyscale prints emerged at an impressive 24.8ppm. Ten sides of duplex text printed in 53 seconds at 10.1ppm.

A button on the front of the device lets you scan to networked PCs, PictBridge or an FTP server. You can send scanned documents to an email client or image editor, or convert them to text and open them in Notepad. The ADF handles both simplex and duplex scanning. The simplistic PC interface lacks auto-cropping or colour adjustment features, but it’s easy to use and stays open between scans. The maximum optical resolution for scans is 600×2,400dpi. However, you can’t scan at this resolution, but must select a ‘square’ resolution, such as 600×600 or 2,400×2,400dpi. The shorter axis is then interpolated to match the long axis of the scan.

Scan quality was good, with sharp detail and consistent colour that produced accurate shading and natural flesh tones. High-resolution images were smooth and precise, with no graininess or significant banding. Scan speeds were quick only at low resolutions. While a 150dpi A4 flatbed scan took just 14 seconds, we waited 35 seconds for the same scan at 300dpi and 42 seconds for a 600dpi scan of a 6x4in photo. A 10-page colour simplex ADF scan at 300dpi took five minutes.

The DCP-8085DN is a capable copier, but we had to set its brightness to maximum to prevent murky copies. A standard copy from the plate took 10 seconds and 10 single-sided sheets copied from the ADF took just 29 seconds. A single duplex copy emerged in 32 seconds.

It’s economical to run, with costs of just 1.2p per page if you buy Brother’s 8,000-page high-yield toner cartridges. However, replacing the 25,000-page drum unit costs an extra £110. Even with the cost of the drum, each page costs just 1.6p – fairly cheap by current standards. The total cost of ownership for three years of medium use (27,000 pages) is £641.

The DCP-8085DN is competitively priced for what it does, but it’s still expensive compared with less well-equipped mono laser MFPs. We liked its security features and fast duplex scanning, printing and copying. If you need one device to handle all the printing and scanning for a small office workgroup or a very demanding home office, this is worth buying. If you want something smaller, we recommend Brother’s DCP-7030 instead.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Maximum native print resolution 1,200dpi
Max optical resolution 600×2,400dpi
Output bit depth 48-bit

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A4 30ppm

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two greyscale 10x8in photos 1.1 19s
Time for six greyscale 6x4in photos 1.0 20s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfaces USB, PictBridge USB, 10/100 Ethernet, parallel
Optional printer interfaces none
Size 475x531x451mm
Weight 18.4kg
Noise (in normal use) 56dB(A)
Power consumption standby 10W
Power consumption idle 11W
Power consumption active 940W

Paper Handling

Maximum paper size A4/legal
Maximum paper weight 163gsm
Standard paper inputs 1
Standard paper input capacity 250
Maximum paper inputs 2
Maximum paper input capacity 500
Duplex (code, cost if option) Yes


Printer technology mono laser
Language(s) PCL6, BR-Script 3 (PostScript 3 emulation), IBM Pro-Printer XL, Epson FX-850
Supported operating systems Windows 2000/XP/XP-64/2003/Vista/Vista-64, Mac OS X 10.3.9+, Linux
Maximum printer memory 576MB
Other laser features and options none

Buying Information

Price £356
Consumable parts and prices 3,000 page TN-3230 toner, £64, 8,000 page TN-3280 toner, £95, 25,000 page DR-3200 drum unit, £110
Price per mono A4 page 1.20p
Price of 2nd paper cassette 250-sheet LT5300, £82
Warranty three years onsite (with registration)

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview 13s
A4 document at 150dpi 14s
A4 document at 300dpi 35s
6x4in photo at 600dpi 42s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi 1m 16s

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.0 10s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.0 29s

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies 99
Max mono copy resolution 1,200x600dpi

Fax Features

Max mono fax resolution N/A
Fax memory (maximum mono pages) N/A