Brother DCP-8085DN review: multi-function laser printer

Brother reaches a consistently high standard for its office printers. Can it keep it up with this new multi-function, duplex capable laser?

We performed our standard text and illustrated business document tests at 600dpi and were impressed with both. Complex shaded graphics were perfectly graduated, and even thin lines tended to be smooth rather than jagged. Text at 8pt and above was sharply defined, although the printer struggled with our 6pt and under tests even at its highest resolution and these sizes looked a little spidery.

We didn't quite see the quoted 30ppm in our mono text print tests, but it achieved an average speed of just under 26ppm for text and close to 25ppm for our heavily illustrated greyscale document. 10 sides of duplex text printed in 53 seconds.

The DCP-8085DN has a 50-sheet duplex ADF scanner as well as an A4 flatbed. The easiest way to use either is by simply pressing the Scan button on the front of the device. The MFP can also scan to an FTP server or to a USB drive connected to its PictBridge port. You can scan to any PC on your network that you've installed the driver on. It lacks the convenience of some MFPs, which come with preset single-button shortcuts, but you can set up your own One Touch scan profiles and the on-board scanning interface is flexible and easy to use.

If you're scanning to a PC, you have to go through four menus and press the Start button before you can begin. You can scan the object on the platen or ADF as a file, to your default image editor, to an email or use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to scan the text of a document into your default text editor. The ADF can handle both simplex and duplex scanning. The scanner interface isn't as advanced as those from Canon and Epson, but it's much less annoying than even recent HP scanner interfaces. It can't auto-crop your scan area, but helpfully remains open between scans and proved sufficient for all our scanning tasks.

K.G. Orphanides

K.G. is a journalist, technical writer, developer and software preservationist. Alongside the accumulated experience of over 20 years spent working with Linux and other free/libre/open source software, their areas of special interest include IT security, anti-malware and antivirus, VPNs, identity and password management, SaaS infrastructure and its alternatives.

You can get in touch with K.G. via email at