* Prices may differ from that shown
Had it for long time, and it served well. Made durable and good quality. It falls on consumer low-to-mid range, printer/scanner/fax combo.
Let's start at...well startup. First thing to notice on startup is that it takes long, between 30-60 seconds. To some it can be off-putting but it is fax machine after all. It was supposed to work all the time and there is no need for turning it off.
Software is essential for running this beast, and I must say it's overkill. Software is spread on couple of CDs and there's ton of it. But problem is during installation there isn't much options, and it will install a lot of redundant software.
HP software for printing and scanning is somewhat cumbersome but does the job. Also it offers enough options for every little thing you need to set.
In the end you can always remove software that is redundant (but it could have been option in install and spare us trouble), and rest of it will satisfy most of the needs, if not all.
Device can be connected in couple of ways, and it is pretty neat. USB, ethernet or wireless. Either one works great. USB is simple and works best for use on single PC. Ethernet and wireless are another set of neat things. When connected by them on network, device can be shared and used by everyone on network. Also wireless is great when you don't have way of doing physical connection.
Works fast on all three connections, and wireless has great range.
If not by USB, ethernet or wireless transfer, you can also print and load data from data readers on front. It can read from USB, and all different cards, so fully functional data card reader with USB support.
Has a nice range of quality with prints. Speed is adequate, not the fastest but does job in reasonable time. Gives great quality when printing photos but it takes slower.
Copying is straightforward and very fast. When loading paper it detects it automatically and gives options for further usage.
Upside is having colors in different cartridges, so when 1 color depletes you need to change only that color. Colors are not very cheap but they last.
Downside is very big, you cannot use printing or copying if you don't have complete set of colors, and ofcourse they mustn't be empty. Which is ridiculous if you want to print B&W page you need all colors (pink, blue).
Also every color has expiration date, but not date written on them, it is coded in electronic chip embedded in color cartridge. When date expires color is not usable anymore, doesn't matter if it is full and working.
These are just ways for HP company to get more money on absurd imaginary limitations.
Faxing works but clearly this is "extra" option. Machine is not the fastest one, and it is more for personal and frequent use. I would recommend as home fax machine or very small business machine.
Scanning is most important part for me. It has nice dpi resolution. On small to medium dpi it actually preforms in good speeds and it can be used on larger quantity scanning. When we dwelve into higher quality dpi it goes really slow and has questionable quality. So it's best use in low to medium quality range.
This device has many more options and it's actually good device especially in ration quality:money spent. It can do all, but fails in some areas (color managing, speed, high quality scanning). It clearly isn't top dollar quality machine, but for home use and small business office it is sufficient enough to get through day.
This is a real gem in that it is rasonably priced and has all the functions required for most home and office situations.
It has multifunction (works as fax, printer, scanner and copier) It can also be set up vaery easily to takes its place on your home or office wirless network. The function that you wish to use is easilly selected by pressing the clearly labelled function button. Each of it's functions has its own area of the control panel which makes the pronter very user friendly. It has a crystal screen (colour) where you can preview what you are doing.
Very usefully it also has slots for all main types of memory card and a USB slot for memory sticks. This alllows you to print directly from the memory source rather than working through your PC.
The copier is obviously not as fast as a designated copier but a print rate of 32 sheets per minute (mon) is more than adequate. It is the same rate when working as a printer. When priniting in clour the rate is reduced to 31 sheets per minute.
It contains 5 colour and 1 black cartridge. The usage of the ink is quite heavy and to replace all cartridges together is fairly expensive. However a goos tip is to make sure that you select the print black only option (this is not automatic) to ensure that you dont use the colour cartrideges when you dont need to. Not only is the black cartridge bigger it seems to last longer.
You can see how your ink is lasting by viewing the ink cartridges on the screen this gives an accurate ink level for each cartridge and warns you in plenty of time if you need to replace one
the fax is reliable but in the email age this is not a function that i use a lot.
The scanner is good. You can scan direct to a usb sick that is inserted into the high speed usb slot. the images are then usuable on your PC.
General & Price:
I have had this printer for a while now and i am really pleased with it. I ordered it from HP for £199.99 and it came a day later which i was surprised and very pleased with. Elsewhere i could find the printer in the price range of £200-£250. I unpacked the box and took everything out. Everything was in the box that was supposed to be.
With the printer came a full instruction book on how to do everything, and a quick step guide on setting up the printer. The quick step guide was really easy to follow. It gave 3 seperate sections for setting up with USB, wired network and wireless network.
I followed the quick step instruction first to set up the printer and this was really easy to do. I connected all the cables then turned it on and it worked fine.
I then installed it on my computer with the CDs that came with it. This was easy to do. I put the CD in and the message came up asking me if i want to install the printer which i did. I followed all the steps which was simple, the installation process took a little while but nothing to worry about.
Once i had the priner connected to my computer by USB i decided to test its features. I started with a simple Microsoft Word document print with just black text. This printed straight away and was very quick. The text was excellent quality even with draft quality selected. When draft quality is selected the printer prints as fast as some lasers and the quality is nearly as good.
I then tried a photo firstly on A4 printer. I put glossy paper in the main paper tray, found a photo and selected good quality etc and it printed perfect. I thought my last photo printer, Epson Stylus Photo 750, produced excellent photos but i compaired the HP print to the Epson one and the colour from the HP one was so much clearer and brighter. It is also much faster than my Epson printer and quieter. The quality was excellent and dried straight away.
I then tried a print on photo size paper which was really quick and again brilliant quality.
Wireless network setup & printing:
Ok so i was happy with the USB setup so i decided to try the wireless setup wih my laptop. Firstly i went to the menu on the printer itself which was easy to do. I found wireless setup and it found my wireless network very quick. I then put the CD in my laptop and followed the wireless setup in the step by step instructions. This installation took a little longer than on the computer but still nothing bad.
Once it had found the printer i decided to try a print. I went onto Word and printed a simple document. I was doing all this in a different room to that the printer was in. I clicked print and went into the room the printer was in, just as i got there the printer started up and was printing the page. I must say, from when you click print on the laptop and when the printer starts printing there is a slight gap, takes longer than when it is connected via USB but that was expected.
Scanning & copying:
Now for the scanning and copying. This was simple to do both on the printer itself and via the computer. I first started wth a document in the flat bed. Quality was fantastic even when it was only selected at 600dpi. I selected the copy function on the printer itself and it gave me a wide choice of places to scan to including microsoft Word, Paint, HP photosmart which comes with the printer and other places. I scaned to Paint. It started the scan (this is one point, when you scan straight from the printer you cannot easily select copy quality, if you want to select all the different options then scan from your computer using the software including). Even so the quality was excellent. I then tried a scan from the computer which was better as it gave you chance to choose different options such as quality. Scanning speed was quite quick even with high quality selected.
I then tried copying. I tested the auto document feeder above the flatbed scanner. I put a sheet of paper in and a little sensor detected the paper and opened the print/scanner function window on the computer. This allows you to either copy from the computer and select different options but i find it easier to copy straight from the printer. All you do is click copy menu then you can choose copy size, quality, etc. Then you click either Colour copy or black copy button and the sheet will be taken through the top scanner and the printer will print onto a new sheet of paper. This was quick and good quality.
The inks are nifty. There are 6 colours altogether. A large black, a yellow, a light and normal Cyan and a light and normal magenta. These were to easy to put in. They are all colour coded and have set shapes on the back so you can't install then in the wrong slots. Each one pushes in then a cover clicks over them. The printer detected when any cartridge is missing, and tells you the levels of each ink on the winodw on the computer and you can also see the levels on the screen on the printer. Unlike some people say, the ink does not get used up quick. The only ink i have had to replace so far is the yellow. This is quite understandable though. The other inks stay full as instead of just one colour, there are two, light and normal which saves on alot of ink. Most of my other colours except black are still full. The black lasts a long time as it is a bigger cartridge than the others.
The printer has quite good paper handling. On the bottom it has the main paper tray which pulls out for easier access. It has to sliders to hold the paper into place. Just above this is a small blue tray which is just for 10cmx15cm photo paper. This means you do not have to remove all the other paper to print on photo paper. Above this tray is a third tray. This is the output tray which has a section which pulls out to hold all the paper. On the top of the printer is the scanner/copy section. This has a flat bed scanner. The top opens to allow paper to be placed on. There is also the auto document feeder which holds around 50 sheets of paper and feeds then into the tray just underneith.
Other printer features:
This printer has faxing capabilities. I do not know much about the fax function as i do not need it but it has a 0-9 keypad to dial numbers. You can fax in black or colour, and there is a auto answer function to allow faxes to be sent straight through.
On the left of the keypad area is the screen. This is a good size screen which allows you to see photos, the on screen menu etc. It is very bright in full colour. Next to the screen are fuctions such as zoom, back, cancel etc which is all for the menu.
On the front right of the printer is the memory card section. There are 4 slots which allow around 6 or 7 different types of cards. When you plug a card in on the screen you will be given 4 different options: view and print, reprint, save, and share. The view and print allows you to see the photos on your card, you can crop them etc them print in colour or black and white. The reprint isn't actually to do with the card, this is when you have a hard copy of a photo and it asks you to put it in the scanner. The save function allows you to save the photos to any computer connected to the printer. The share function allows you to add the photos to an email. There is also a USB port for is your camera is pict bridge which means you can connect your digital camera to the printer via USB cable.
I could say more about this printer but i will be going on for ever. I can't really think of many faults with this printer. I can be a little noisy whilst printer but nothing major. The output tray is a bit flimsy, the carry handles either side are two small to carry the printer for a long time. Apart from these little things, i can't really find much else with it.
I am very pleased and i hope this printer will last as long as my previous printer. I recommend thid printer for anyone looking for a brilliant quality all in one photo printer.
While it excels in neither role, it's a decent all-around all-in-one for a home user who wants a machine that can do everything., but then I bought it for £80 new and boxed with 1 year warranty but the glass for the scanner was broken and was definitely worth it for only £10 glass replacement. Maybe its my scanner but i didn't like the quality no matter what i did..
WIFI: very good signal with wep and wpa keys
BLUETOOTH: Add £10 Bluetooth dongle to USB Pictbridge and you have ability to print from your mobile phone!!
SCANNER: Cant really comment as mines had the glass broken.
NET CONNECTION: You can connect to the printer directly via USB or mount it on a network so everyone can share. Even better, you can network the printer wirelessly, as it comes with a built-in wireless print server.
FAX: fax functionality make it attractive as an office printer, but its task speeds are too slow for all but the smallest offices. depending on the type of phone line and accessories you have (such as answering machines). You can program up to 60 individual speed dial numbers and up to 60 groups. If you subscribe to caller ID, you can also turn on junk-fax blocking, which blocks faxes from numbers you designate.
Mounted on the front of the printer are four media card readers and a PictBridge-enabled USB port. The media card slots can take a wide range of cards, though some require adapters. You can connect PictBridge cameras to the USB port to print photos directly, or you can attach a USB storage device, such as a thumb drive or a hard drive.
* Built-in networking, including wireless
* Supplies ADF and media card reader
* PictBridge port can be used to connect storage devices
* Great print quality and good scan quality
* Dedicated photo paper tray
* Task speeds are a bit slow
* Colour prints can be expensive
* Photo print features need to be fleshed out
I chose the HP Photosmart C6180 All-In-One because I had the C5180 before but I wanted one with an Automatic Document Feeder (ADF), which the 5180 lacks, so this is more of an upgrade for me. That aside, I prefer multifunctional printers because I do not have room for a both a printer and a scanner on my desk. I specifically wanted an HP because I like how the paper tray is on the front rather than on top at the back. This became important to me since I owned an Epson CX6400 multifunctional printer, which irritated me when it kept spitting out the paper I wanted it to print on because the paper wasnt loaded properly or it wasnt in the tray before I started printing. Also, it was inconvenient to load paper when I kept it under my desk, which isnt an issue any more, as its on the desk now but I do find the vertical paper trays to be fiddly sometimes. Another reason for choosing this series of printers is because it takes separate colour ink cartridges rather than having a single colour for all colours. The C6180 takes five colour cartridges and one for black.
The unit is mainly white with gray in places, lots of buttons at the front with an adjustable 2.4 colour LCD display. The buttons on the front panel allow you to use functions such as copying, print pictures from memory cards, crop pictures without a PC as well, as for configuring the settings. The device is quite bit and chunky looking but not as big as some of the HP OfficeJet models Ive seen.
Setting up the printer is very easy just as it is any other HP printer. I simply inserted the CD that came with the printer in my computer and followed the on screen instructions and plugged a USB cable (not included with the printer) from my PC to the printer. It does take a while to install all the software as they do bundle a lot of software but you can choose a Custom and only install what you think youll use.
The printer, as all new printers do, comes with a complete set of ink cartridges consisting of black, yellow, cyan, dark blue, pink and magenta. Installing the cartridges is quick and painless. All I had to do was pull up the bracket lock, shove the cartridges in the appropriate position according to the colours and close the bracket.
Setting up the network on the printer just involves plugging the printer into your network and then adding the printer to your computer via the Add Printer wizard in Windows. For the network function, you are required to have a home network so you would need an Ethernet hub as a minimum and preferably a router to accompany it or your printer would need to be given an IP address manually. Quite straight forward if you have a basic knowledge of networking otherwise, reading the manual should help. Setting up the wireless is also quite straight forward if you have a wireless router as the printer looks for your router if you use the wizard. You do need to enter your WEP or WPA wireless security key if you have one set up (which you should!). The printer menus show Bluetooth as an option but the options inside are greyed out, which was a bit disappointing as it got my hopes up! Ive seen the function with some higher end functions and it seems they use the same software in this printer as those.
Aside from, scanning and copying like youd expect, it can also be used as a fax machine. Ive not used this function but its there if you need it. Like most consumer multifunctional machines, the C6180 also has a built-in card read for you to print pictures directly from a memory card out of your digital camera, as well as just load the pictures to your PC. It supports most of the common memory card formats with the exception of the new smaller mini and micro ones (would work with an adapter). With the LCD display, it makes it very easy to print pictures this way by following the step by step on screen instructions.
As for connectivity, the printer can be connected via USB 2.0, but it stands out from most consumer printers and even has an Ethernet (network) port so that you can plug the printer into a network to be used as a network printer. The advantage of this form of connectivity is that you can plug the printer into your network (assuming you have one) and use it as a network printer. This means that it does not need to be plugged into a PC so it does not rely on a PC to be switched on to be able to print to the printer. However, scanning wouldnt work over the network. To top even that, it has Wireless connectivity so that you can print straight to it from a wireless enabled laptop or mobile device.
The ADF is a very useful feature if you have lots of documents to scan or copy in one go. Simply place your pile of documents into the feeder and it will feed each one through the printer. This saves you from having to place each document under the scanner one at a time which can be very time consuming.
It has a small 6x4 tray for photograph prints, which slides out. I thought this was quite a nice feature as it let me print straight to the photograph sized paper easily. It did require a bit of fiddling but it wasnt too difficult. Although its a nice feature I would have preferred something like a CD printer but that aside, this printer has some great features. The LCD displays the date and time and it even makes noises when you turn it on/off and choose options as it has its built-in own speaker for this.
PRINT QUALITY AND SPEED
On turning on the printer, the start up time is quite slow as it take about 30 seconds for it to get ready the first time to prepare the ink. It doesnt always need to do this but I do find it sometimes does this again and the LCD display does tell me not to shut down the printer so it must be an important process. Usually, switching on the printer is quite quick for it to become ready (less than 10 seconds). Its also quite noisy when its preparing itself and so is printing and scanning. Scan speed is quite quick with the USB 2.0 connection but scanning at high resolutions can take a lot longer.
I scanned in a passport photo printed from one of those photo booths at a high resolution and then printed copies of it with the Best quality setting, and printing on glossy photo paper, the results were amazing! The colour was a bit different from the original but that was because of the light from the scanner. I couldnt quite get my face the same colour as the original in Photoshop but it was passable. I managed to use two of the copies to renew my passport. There is also a Maximum dpi (1480 x 1200 dpi) setting but that takes up a lot of memory and takes a long time to print. I tried it but didnt manage to get it to come out even with my powerful PC but I think the printer may not have much memory for the job either as there was a response from the printer. The Best setting is 600 x 600 dpi, which still produces excellent prints. However, I do find that printing black text bleeds a little when looking closely at the text.
The print speed isnt bad at all. Printing at draft quality shoots the page right out but it doesnt look too great. Normal quality takes about 10 seconds for a page full of text. Printing images takes longer and printing at higher quality settings can take even longer, which is normal with all inkjet printers.
In terms of software, HP gives you everything you could possibly need to use the scanning and printing of pictures and documents. The HP Solution centre lets me do things like scan pictures, scan documents, send faxes from the computer, transfer images from memory cards or a digital camera to the computer and make copies so its very comprehensive. Each of the programs are intuitive to use but you can still use your own software to do things like scan as the driver is on the computer. For example, I can scan pictures by going through the Import > Acquire > Twain menu in Photoshop.
It also has an OCR program called IRIS included, which is for scanning text documents and converting the text into editable text so that you can change the text. This, as usual, has a 1% margin of error and I did find it quite tricky get the result that I wanted with a scanned document containing some handwritten text as well as printed text. Even though this software solution isnt that sought after, HP have included it, which can only be a good thing.
I bid and won mine on eBay for £160 including delivery but it turned out it had a German control panel (which you attach to the printer when you set it up). I had to spend another £15 to get an English panel straight from HP so it cost me £175 but this printer currently ranges from £200 from places like Staples and PC World.
As mentioned earlier, the C6180 uses separate ink cartridges. The colour cartridges cost £6.99 each in most shops but a bit cheaper online. Buying them in a set also gives you a further discount. The black cartridge costs around £11 for a standard one or £21 for the high capacity version. The colour cartridges are quite small whereas the black is twice the size, which is the size Im used to seeing with HP printers.
The reason I prefer separate colour cartridges for colour is because if all of the colour were in a single cartridge, I would have to change the cartridge if even only one colour had run out. These cartridges usually cost £15 up to £26 each so not only would I waste the remaining colour in the cartridge; I would be wasting money for having to spend so much each time. With separate colour cartridges, I only have to replace the colour I run out of and pay a lot less for them.
- ADF (Automatic Document Feeder)
- Excellent quality photo prints
- Card reader
- Ethernet port
- Copy documents without a PC
- Print from memory cards and even a digital camera without a PC
- Separate colour ink cartridges to reduce ink and money waste
- Text prints bleed a bit
- Quite noisy
- A bit slow to get ready sometimes
- Slow to print in higher quality compared to colour laser printers
- Quite expensive at £200 (but price will eventually drop)
This printer has plenty of features and the wireless connectivity wasnt even a reason for the purchase but it makes the printer seem all that much more impressive. I find the ink quite long lasting for this printer, even after printing a number of photographs, Ive not noticed the ink levels dropping at all according to the ink monitoring software. Despite the few minor niggles, I am very content with the performance of this printer so I can highly recommend it but if you need to print more, and do not require a printer for photograph printing, the HP OfficeJet series of printers may also be a good choice as they do boast a higher monthly duty cycle, meaning they are capable of printing more before they break down.
Thanks for reading!