HP’s new Officejet 6000 colour inkjet takes an interesting approach to standing out in the current market by placing an emphasis on eco-friendly operation. It claims 40 percent less colour usage and 40 percent lower energy consumption than comparable lasers, and although these factors are difficult to test with any accuracy, it’s nice to see manufacturers attempting to take a little extra care.
Environmentally conscious it may be, but it has to be said that the Officejet 6000 isn’t too easy on the eye at first glance, being rather bulky and finished in a none-too-appealing black and light grey, with what appears to be a fairly limited set of controls.
An unnecessarily lengthy setup procedure begins after the array of components has been unwrapped and installed, the process seeming particularly sensitive to antivirus and firewall software in our case. It threw up a number of errors that could only be resolved using a workaround we found online, so HP’s new inkjet wasn’t really off to a great start.
The Officejet 6000 is a fairly basic device as well, and although there is an Ethernet port for connecting to a network, there’s no LCD or photo-oriented connectivity. Wireless is available as an optional extra but HP really seems to have kept things to a minimum when it comes to including some of the handy extra features found on many rivals’ products.
Once HP’s Solution Center software has been installed you’ll see a rather messy-looking interface appear, to report current ink levels and allow you to adjust default print settings and customise a range of ‘print shortcuts’; the latter are effectively profiles for specific types of jobs that can admittedly come in quite useful.
Thankfully, when the printer is up and running there are a few more positive things to say, starting with the generously sized 250-sheet paper tray. We ran off some plain text documents and noted an impressive speed of one minute for ten sheets (including warm-up) at default quality, which drops to just over 30 seconds at fast draft setting. Quality here is very good as well, with crisp, clean lettering that retains its clarity even at higher print speeds.
A full-sized borderless A4 photo appeared in two and a half minutes on the highest quality settings, with 6 x 4-inch prints available in under a minute, though it’s worth noting that with no dedicated photo tray, photo paper has to be lined up manually at the back of the main tray.
At standard quality, full colour A4 prints appear in just over 20 seconds and although colour accuracy and sharpness are affected slightly, we were still very impressed at this level, and would imagine the quality here to be fine for most users.
The only real issue we had with the printing process was that the 6000 seems to spend an inordinate amount of time shifting cartridges back and forth between jobs, which is noisy and can be frustrating, causing some delays in processing multiple small jobs.
There’s little to criticise in terms of speed and quality with the Officejet 6000, but there’s quite a lot of competition and a number of cheaply-priced rivals in this market. Though HP edges out many of them in these key areas, there’s not a lot in it and the lack of features and other issues described above may put some people off.
Taking all of this into account we were left a little disappointed by the overall showing, and while certainly capable it doesn’t really do enough to stand out from the crowd.
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