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This basic Brother printer is a fast fix for home office needs

The Brother DCPL2550DW is a fast and reliable monochrome laser.
Brother DCPL2550DW
MSRP $199.99
“The Brother DCPL2550DW is a fast and capable monochrome laser printer that's perfect for a home-office.”
  • Fast 36 ppm printing
  • Scans and copies are equally fast
  • Paper tray olds 250 sheets
  • ADF holds 50 sheets
  • Four months of toner in trial subscription
  • Needs extra room for ventilation
  • Toner is a bit expensive in standard size

Home-based businesses are quite common, and even if it’s a secondary source of income, it still might require as much paperwork as a dedicated office. That’s where a printer like the Brother DCPL2550DW can really shine.

It’s a low-cost black-and-white laser printer that can scan, copy, and print, providing all the paper-handling functions you need for a business. We tested the print and scan quality, speed, and ease of use to confirm its long-term value and to see if it can stand against the best printers you can buy.


The Brother DCPL2550DW. has a tapered design with vents on both sides.
The Brother DCPL2550DW has a tapered design, with vents on both sides. Alan Truly / Digital Trends

As a workhorse printer, the Brother DCPL2550DW is big and sturdy. The textured charcoal and black color scheme is businesslike, and the tapered sides avoid a boxy look.

This is a budget all-in-one laser printer that has everything you need with no extras. The display is a small, two-line monochrome screen with navigation buttons on the side. The control panel is tilted upward at a convenient angle, but it isn’t adjustable.

The paper tray holds up to 250 sheets, and there’s also a manual feed tray for envelopes and small pages. Trays, bins, and paper-size sliders have labels or icons that are easy to understand.

The printer’s footprint is 16.1 inches wide by 15.7 inches deep. Since it has an automatic document feeder (ADF) on top, it stands 12.5 inches tall. The DCPL2550DW weighs 25.6 pounds, so it’s fairly easy to move despite the bulk.

It’s important to note that Brother suggests leaving four inches of clearance for ventilation. That means you’ll need 24 inches of space to center the 16 inches printer within. At the edge of a desk or table, you’d only need 20 inches.

Printing performance

The DCPL2550DW monochrome laser printer outputs 36 ppm.
The Brother DCPL2550DW monochrome laser printer outputs 36 pages per minute. Alan Truly / Digital Trends

Laser printers are usually fast, and the Brother DCPL2550DW is a splendid example. It prints multipage documents at up to 36 pages per minute.

There are quality controls in the menu system, but everything looks good with the default settings. Text is crisp and graphics render well.

Printing labels and envelopes is simple with the manual feed tray. Everything worked as expected, with proper alignment and good quality.

The manual feed tray is handy for envelopes and small labels.
The manual feed tray on the Brother DCPL2550DW monochrome laser printer is handy for envelopes and small labels. Tracey Truly / Digital Trends

You’ll notice a grainy, sometimes patchy look in photos. The quality is fairly standard for a monochrome laser printer that’s not designed to print pictures.

If you’re looking for a low-cost photo printer with color, Brother’s MFC-J1205W is a nice inkjet printer for home offices.

If you need text, bar codes, charts, and graphs, the Brother DCPL2550DW will roll out a thick report quickly and reliably.

Special features

Scanning is just as fast as printing, making copies super fast.
Scanning is just as quick as printing on the Brother DCPL2550DW monochrome laser printer. Tracey Truly / Digital Trends

The Brother DCPL2550DW is an all-in-one printer that can scan to your phone and computer. Like other all-in-ones, the print and scan features combine to make copies.

Scanning is just as quick as printing, enabling copies at 36 pages per minute. Scan quality is good, and the DCPL2550DW captures in color despite being a monochrome printer. Reductions and enlargements are available via a dedicated copy options button to the left of the display.

The ADF can take 50 sheets at a time and handles duplex scanning and printing with no trouble. You can even scan single-sided pages and output double-sided.

The flatbed scanner supports up to 1200 dpi resolution when scanning from a computer. Brother’s iPrint&Scan app supports 600 dpi. The ADF offers 600 dpi from computers and phones.

Software and compatibility

It's easiest to connect the Brother DCPL2550DW to Wi-Fi manually.
It’s easiest to connect the Brother DCPL2550DW to Wi-Fi manually. Tracey Truly / Digital Trends

It’s best to set up the Brother DCPL2550DW manually. The mobile app couldn’t connect to the printer until I completed a network connection using the printer’s control panel.

You can connect via Wi-Fi, a USB, or Ethernet (cables not included). Wi-Fi is simple, quick, and reliable. It’s nice to have the option of a wired connection, though.

The Brother DCPL2550DW works with an iPhone, iPad, Android phone and tablet, Mac, Windows, and Linux. Chromebooks are compatible for printing, but not scanning.

To get the most control of a Brother printer from your phone, the iPrint&Scan app for your iPhone and Android phone helps with scanning, checking toner levels, and more. There aren’t many options, and sometimes it’s easier to use the system print options, but for a work-centric printer, the app handles anything you can’t do natively on your phone.

Windows and Mac will recognize the printer immediately, but for complete access to scanning functions, you should install the Brother software.

The price is right

Brother includes a 700-page toner cartridge.
Brother includes a 700-page toner cartridge with the Brother DCPL2550DW monochrome laser printer. Tracey Truly / Digital Trends

At $199, the Brother DCPL2550DW is a fast and reliable office printer that will keep rolling through thousands of pages. Brother recommends up to 2,000 pages per month, but the printer has a maximum duty cycle of 15,000 pages.

It’s a low price for such a solid printer. That calls into question toner cost and long-term value.

Brother includes a 700-page starter cartridge, along with an offer of four months of free toner if you try the Brother Refresh subscription refill program.

If you choose to buy toner separately, a standard cartridge costs $45.49 and prints about 1,200 pages. A high-yield cartridge is $80.49 and provides 3,000 pages. That makes the cost per page for toner three cents to four cents.

That’s not bad for an inexpensive and fast black-and-white laser printer. If you order a two-pack of high-yield cartridges at $145, the cost drops to 2.4 cents per page, which is quite low.

Is this the printer for you?

Brother’s DCPL2550DW checks all of the boxes for a home office/small business printer if you don’t need a more expensive color laser printer like HP’s LaserJet Pro 4301fdw. The DCPL2550DW is fast enough to handle big print jobs, and the 250-sheet paper tray keeps it rolling with few interruptions.

The small display makes navigation take longer than it would on a laser printer with a big touchscreen like the Canon imageClass MF275dw, but most functions are accessible from a computer or phone if you install the app.

The DCPL2550DW comes with a one-year warranty, and Brother says customers can get help via online chat or by phone for the life of the printer. The long-term costs are low if you order toner in bulk.

Editors' Recommendations

Alan Truly
Computing Writer
Alan is a Computing Writer living in Nova Scotia, Canada. A tech-enthusiast since his youth, Alan stays current on what is…
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