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Printers are a dime a dozen these days, even all-in-ones. It wasn’t too long ago that you could get a free printer with your new Mac. Competition aside, we judged the HP Officejet 6700 Premium on a number of counts, and it passed almost all with flying colors.
First, setup. Setting up the Officejet was a breeze. After we turned it on, the printer’s bright, responsive touchscreen display led us through each step. Manual haters rejoice--you’ll never have to look at the paperwork for this printer.
Looks good on a desk, but you can stash it any place your Wi-Fi network can find it.
With our wireless settings in place, our Mac instantly recognized the new printer. OS X failed to connect to HP’s server to download the appropriate software automatically, but we were able to download the drivers easily from www.hp.com. Fully AirPrint compatible, the Officejet let us wirelessly print files from an iOS device with no problems.
HP claims the Officejet prints at up to 16ppm (pages per minute) in black, and 9ppm in color. Testing the Officejet with several one-page print jobs at default settings, we found all but one took under 15 seconds--including the time our Mac took to connect to the printer. A single-page black-and-white PDF took just a few seconds. Only a full-page, borderless color photo took closer to 40 seconds. This printer is fast.
But it’s also on the noisy side; the sound of it grinding away resonated throughout our testing space. While this didn’t bother us for a few prints at a time, it might bother users printing at higher volumes.
What about print quality? Discerning users might want sharper prints and deeper blacks, but for home office use, we felt the Officejet’s results were more than adequate. Colors in photos printed true, though edges appeared a bit blurry. Users looking to produce high-quality photos will probably be happier with a real photo printer, but for its target audience, the Officejet performs admirably.
Ink costs are the only real problem. Printing that full-page borderless photo used a full 10 percent of the color ink. Since the Officejet uses separate cartridges for each color, you can replace them individually. A black cartridge alone will set you back $32, and a pack of color cartridges is another $40. This means our full-page color print cost $4, excluding paper.
In addition to being a competent printer, the Officejet is also a scanner and fax machine. Flatbed scanning at up to 1200dpi is fast, and the printer networked seamlessly with our Mac to wirelessly transfer scanned documents as PDFs or JPEGs.
The bottom line. While ink costs aren’t something we think users should overlook, the Officejet packs a lot of easy-to-use features in one inexpensive package. iOS users will especially appreciate the printer’s AirPrint capabilities, which couldn’t be easier to use.
G4, G5, or intel processor; Mac OS 10.5 or later
Print, scans, and faxes. Wi-Fi and Air Print compatible. Easy to set up and use. Useful and responsive touch screen display. Good print quality. Relatively inexpensive.
Large. Noisy. Ink cartridges are expensive, and printing in high quality is ink intensive.