HP Officejet 6500
The value-for-money option?
Review Looking like somebody’s given a pair of compasses to a penguin and told it to design an all-in-one, the Officejet 6500’s black and white body is all wide-radius curves. From the cheeky quiff at the end of its 35-sheet ADF feed tray to its double-size, 250-sheet paper tray, it’s unexpected in looks and function.
This is the biggest machine of the six I tested and includes duplex print as standard, along with the wireless connection it shares with them all.
The big control panel has only a two-line, mono display, but this is adequate for business. The controls are functional and well laid out.
There are two memory card slots, though there’s no front panel USB for PictBridge or Flash drives. Other connections include 10/100Mb/s Ethernet and fax. Software includes HP’s Solution Center, and applets for OCR and web print. Drivers are provided for Windows and OS X and there’s HPLIB for Linux users – indeed, it may well be in your distribution already.
HP quotes print speeds in normal mode, so brownie points there, and claims 8.2ppm for black print and 5.4ppm for colour. I measured 9.0ppm and 3.9ppm, bettering the black claim. These speeds are only beaten by the Epson.
Print quality is good, though not quite matching HP’s "laser quality" claim. Printed text is clean and sharp, but black text in copies is a little fuzzy. Photo prints are surprisingly good and, considering a 15 x 10cm print can finish in 40s, very quick, too.
If you use the high capacity XL black cartridge, print costs come out at 1.8p for black and 6.1p for colour, both of which are very low and only bettered by the Kodak.
The best value of the six printers I tested by a big margin, and it's reasonably nippy too. I can't complain too much about the print quality, either. ®
Next: Kodak ESP 7
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