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Brother adopts ISO test standard with new inkjet models

Issue 0835/2 – Brother has joined the other major inkjet printer manufacturers in releasing ink cartridges with yields quoted to the ISO standard. We take a brief look at the yields and pricing, combining the two with hardware purchase prices to determine the long-term impact on Total Cost of Printing of the new cartridges with one of the new range of inkjet AiOs, the DCP-385C compared to the DCP-350C.

Brother’s main marketing tag lines on the new range of inkjet devices are: “Low cost, High Performance”; “Caring for your printer and the environment”; and “Consumables designed to cut costs”.

While it is not possible to, and nor would we wish to, contradict or dispute Brother’s ability to produce the best colour photo quality on the market, because our own psychometric tests have proved it, see article , both our own test results and the manufacturer’s published figures show that Total Cost of Printing (office printing, not photo printing!) with later iterations of the LC1000 cartridge series is actually on the high side when compared to other inkjet printers.

Brother LC1000 cartridgesBrother LC1000 cartridges
Note that testing by CharisCo Printer Labs with early examples of the LC1000 cartridge set, in the DCP-330C printer (article and ), actually showed the DCP-330C to be the most economical printer for both office and photo printing. Brother has changed the volume of ink contained in the LC1000 cartridges since original launch of the series, accounting for this apparent discrepancy.

Nominal CPP – Brother LC1000 vs LC1100

Brother LC1100 cartridgesBrother LC1100 cartridges

As you will note from the chart above, apart from black ink in Germany, the LC1100 series cartridges are more costly per page even than the later versions of the LC1000 series. The cost of LC1000 cartridges was already tending to push the Brother printers up to the high end of the cost scale when compared to competitors and, as last week’s article () shows, the new cartridges are compounding that situation.

Running a comparison on a pair of All-in-Ones in both the UK and Germany shows just how significant the situation is.

In the UK, the new DCP-385C actually cost less in our sample than the older DCP-350C, while in Germany it cost more.

One might have imagined that the lower hardware cost of the DCP-385C would have counteracted the additional cost of ink over three years – but, no. Even in the UK, the DCP-385C will cost a user more in the long-term than its predecessor.

Hardware Purchase – Brother LC1000 vs LC1100


In the UK, the new DCP-385C actually cost less in our sample than the older DCP-350C, while in Germany it cost more.

One might have imagined that the lower hardware cost of the DCP-385C would have counteracted the additional cost of ink over three years – but, no. Even in the UK, the DCP-385C will cost a user more in the long-term than its predecessor.

Total Cost of Printing – Brother LC1000 vs LC1100


Note that for this level of machine, the mixed mono/colour CPP over three years shown in the accompanying table is calculated on the basis of 250 pages per month; 70% pages in mono and 30% pages in colour; is based on the use of maximum capacity supplies; takes into account any standard, or starter, supplies shipped with the device; and also includes the cost of purchase. All prices are typical street price, sourced in UK and Germany.

This is, undoubtedly, a great shame when the hardware is excellent, high quality, well specified for either home or business use (depending on models chosen), well priced and producing reasonably fast, high quality prints.

One very helpful introduction from Brother, however, is a high capacity ink set for the LC1100 cartridge series, which is a new development for Brother.

Doubling the yield, these cartridges are only available for the upper end of the inkjet AiO range (business oriented), the A3 printers in particular, but reduce the nominal Cost Per Page by 31% for mono printing and 37.5% for colour printing in the UK and 29% and 33% respectively in Germany (Note, they are not permitted for use in the DCP-385C).

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