Reviewed on: March 2015
This Brother is suitable for Home or home-offices that need budget running costs in addition to budget purchase costs. It can also excel as a printer for students. The quality is good enough for home use and it has the base features you need, but anything bigger than a home office will quickly exhaust the small paper tray and low yield cartridges.
Features & Connectivity
For the budget buy price the Brother DCP-J132w gets you:
- Wireless or USB connection
- 100 sheet paper tray
- On-board display
- AirPrint & Google Cloud Print
That's it, short and simple for this budget Brother. Setup is easy as you'd expect from such a basic machine, with quick wireless connection or plug-and-print via the standard USB connection (note it doesn't come with a USB cable). The single-line LCD display is handier than you'd think too, giving clear information on print settings or status messages which you really miss when using a budget Epson that lacks a communicative screen. It's easy to navigate and control, a big plus point for the machine.
One of the best bits of the DCP-J132w is the AirPrint and Google Print compatibility, allowing prints and scans from a mobile device. We're not massive fan of the manufacturer-specific software that gets advertised with this, in this case Brother iPrint, but the AirPrint and Google compatibility is a major perk for such a cheap machine, if you need mobile printing you're all set.
Print Speed & Quality
Budget printers are not renowned for speed and the DCP-J132w is no different, trundling in at a meagre 4 pages per minute (ppm). Mono prints come out slightly faster, but generally this printer is slow. 20 page documents will take 5+ minutes to print so get the kettle on and settle down for any big print jobs. Photo prints are even slower, you'll be waiting over a minute for quality printouts.
At least the print quality is decent, with good results for both standard documents and image printing. The colours aren't as vivid or accurate as the budget Epson's on the market, but they're more expensive to run so it depends what is important to you. The Brother DCP-J132w inks are more than good enough for everyday prints and we'd happily use it as a home printer, however if you want photo's to frame or documents for important meetings it's probably best to either not buy a budget machine or give the Epson budget printers a go.
Cartridges & Running Costs
Running costs are this printers strength. Typically budget printers make their money from the ink cartridges and, whilst the Brother cartridges for this printer aren't as cheap as more expensive printers, they are impressively affordable. You have two cartridge sizes with standard and high capacity inks, plus multipack options to buy the inks in a bundle.
Depending if you buy the multipack or individual inks running costs will vary between 1.5-2p per page, far lower than other budget printers using genuine manufacturer cartridges. Stick to the high capacity cartridges for the cheapest prints and you're golden.
Installation is simple with a fold-down hatch on the side of the printer. Each colour is clearly marked and just clip in and out when needing to be changed. There are live prices for the cartridges at the bottom of this review or you can see a full list of the DCP-J132w ink here.
Who Should Buy This Printer
Anyone looking to print purely on a budget. This printer has the lowest combined purchase price and running costs on the market, and with pretty good print quality and basic features it is excellent value for money. Ideal for a Home or student printer.