My husband Bill and I have had a string of bad luck with printers. I think it started right after we got married, eight years ago. I had used a Lexmark printer all through graduate school with no issues, but then needed to replace the Lexmark when I upgraded my computer. Ever since then, we've gone through printer after printer conking out after a relatively short time in service. Last year, I needed to buy a new all-in-one printer to handle the lightweight office tasks I sometimes encounter when I do freelance writing jobs.
Recommend this product?
Bill and I headed to the local Staples, where an enthusiastic salesperson recommended the Hewlett Packard OfficeJet 6500 All-In-One InkJet Printer. We told him all about our miseries with printers and he promised us that this machine, which is capable of faxing, copying, scanning, and printing, would please us. I think what ultimately sealed the deal was the fact that the 6500 is also supposed to be wireless, uses 40 percent less energy than laser printers, and is Energy Star compliant.
We took our bulky new machine home and set it up. At the time of our purchase, I was using a Hewlett Packard computer and running Windows Vista. We had no issues hooking up the printer to my old computer as long as we didn't try to use the wireless function. Bill fiddled with the wireless for a long time before he finally gave up on it. That issue ended up being no big deal, though, since I was used to having a lot of wired peripherals. This printer also has memory card slots.
The printer came pre-loaded with black and colored inks. We went ahead and purchased HP 920 XL refills at the time we bought the printer. Setting up the ink is an easy task; just raise the lid and snap in the ink wells. Our printing tasks are so light that we didn't even switch from the original ink until just a couple of months ago. I'm happy to report that for once, the ink didn't dry out before we had a chance to use it all. As of this morning, I've priced a set of XL black, cyan, yellow, and magenta inks at about $60.
My printing needs are pretty basic. Sometimes I need to print out a hard copy of a document, which is rarely more than a few pages in length. I never need to do two-sided printing, though this machine is certainly capable of that task. This printer is supposedly capable of printing up to 32 pages per minute, but I have never had the need to test out that claim. I just fill the bottom tray with paper and the printer spits it out.
I do often have issues with the printer not grabbing the paper out of the bottom tray. I usually have to sit by the printer and push the paper so that the printer will grab it and print it; otherwise, I get the dreaded "out of paper" alert. That aspect of printing with the 6500 makes me think I'm either not loading the paper right, or there's some flaw in the process. Either way, it's a bit of a pain that makes me glad I don't have a lot of print jobs like I used to have when I was a student. The printer also makes a lot of noise as it prepares to print and sometimes takes a long time preparing for the task.
I have used this machine to scan the occasional old photo. I have generally found scanning easy to do with the OfficeJet 6500. I place the photo on the glass, close the lid, and press the scan button. It pops up on my computer for editing. No problem.
I don't have a lot of need to use the copying function on this machine. Nevertheless, it's easy to make copies with this printer. Just place the document that needs to be copied in the top tray and press the copy button. The LCD display on the front of the machine will lead you through a menu that allows you to choose one or two-sided copies, black and white or color printing, collating, and sizing. Once you've made your choices, press the okay button, then the start copy button and your document will be fed through the machine. I just tried this out and got a perfect copy of a UPS label with no issues.
Next to print jobs, faxing is the function I tend to use most often on this printer. I don't fax often, so I use my landline telephone number to send and receive faxes. The process is easy. I just place a document in the top tray, press the fax button, enter a phone number, and hit send. The printer is pretty good about leading me through the process and I've successfully faxed quite a few things with this machine, including Epinions prize affidavits. People rarely fax me, so I can't comment on the quality of receiving faxes. This machine is capable of storing up to 100 fax numbers and has a speed dial function.
What comes in the box? (from Amazon.com)
HP Officejet 6500 Wireless All-in-One
HP 920 Black Officejet Ink Cartridge
HP 920 Cyan Officejet Ink Cartridge
HP 920 Magenta Officejet Ink Cartridge
HP 920 Yellow Officejet Ink Cartridge
Fax Getting Started Guide
Wireless Getting Started Guide
CD-ROMs (for software)
This machine weighs about 27 pounds and is a bit boxy. We actually used the box it came in as a "table" for it. Those who like printers with a small footprint may want to keep in mind that this particular machine takes up a relatively large amount of space. It's also a bit bulky in terms of driver requirements. I recommend going to HP's Web site and installing drivers from the Web site instead of using the CD-ROM that comes with the machine.
Compatible with Macs
I switched computers last month from a Hewlett Packard to an iMac. I'm pleased to report that I had no trouble connecting the OfficeJet 6500 to my iMac and, in fact, even got it to connect wirelessly this time.
I've had this All-In-One printer for over a year and it's worked pretty well. Granted, I don't use this machine every day, but it's stayed pretty faithful regardless. My only big issue with this printer is that it's very particular about paper loading for printing purposes. If I don't load the paper just right, the printer isn't able to grab it. I have to sit by and make sure the paper feeds, which makes multi-tasking difficult. Luckily, I'm not usually that busy. Also, this printer takes awhile to settle down after it does a job. It has a rather noisy rolling process it goes through as the printer heads move back and forth and resettle themselves. I'm sure a computer nerd could explain this better than I can, but it is kind of annoying.
Anyway, I don't think the HP OfficeJet 6500 is perfect, but for my purposes, it will do.
For more information: www.hp.com
Amount Paid (US$): 230
Operating System: Windows and Macintosh