Lab Test: HP OfficeJet 6500

Anthony Caruana
18 May, 2010
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HP has a multifunction for almost every type of user at almost every price point. The HP OfficeJet 6500 is a very competent printer that’s suited to the home and small office.

Installation was a snap. Once we’d worked through the 6500’s menu, using the small display and adjacent buttons, we had the printer connected to our wireless LAN. Test systems running Snow Leopard found the printer almost instantly over Bonjour. Software Update then installed the most recent driver and all of the functions were available.

One thing that did get a trifle annoying was the 6500’s noisy workings. Even when idle it made the occasional sound as part of its pre-sleep mode ritual. It wasn’t a big deal but if you’re concentrating on a task it can be disturbing. The 6500 should be able to fit on a regular office desk.

In copying a photo it did a good job with faithfully reproducing skin tones and other colours although it seemed a little ‘flat’. Also, unlike the more consumer focused printers, it didn’t allow you to scale a photo on the flatbed to fit the paper you wanted to print on. Our test photo was a 7 x 5in and there was no way on the printer to scale it to 6 x 4in. Photo printing from iPhoto, on glossy stock, was very clear.

Document print quality was excellent. Text was very clear and images and solid blocks of colour printed evenly with no striping or other artefacts.

Paper feeding was a little painful as there’s only one paper tray. A second tray for letterhead, photo paper or some other stock would assist with not having to constantly swap paper in and out of the feeder.

Lab Test sections

Jacks of all trades

Epson TX610FW

Brother MFC-9120CN

HP OfficeJet 6500 (You are here)

Canon Pixma MP640

Lexmark Prestige Pro805

HP OfficeJet 6500

Rating 3.5
RRP Printer, $299; Replacement cartridges, $100
Cons Single paper feed; noisy
Pros Great print quality

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