HP Officejet 6700 Premium e-All-in-one Printer

The HP Officejet 6700 Premium e-All-in-One colour inkjet multifunction (print/scan/copy/fax) offers many impressive capabilities, especially considering its affordable price of just $170 (as of March 28, 2012). Geared toward the needs of a midvolume home or small office (printing dozens, not hundreds, of pages per week), the Officejet 6700 Premium performs quickly and produces decent text and photos. Its inks, especially colours, are affordable in their high-yield versions. 

The OfficeJet 6700 Premium is a triple treat, interface-wise: USB, ethernet, and Wi-Fi are all present. Setup is easy, and the software is the usual competent but easy-to-use HP suite, including optical character recognition.

The control panel is a 2.65-inch touchscreen colour LCD with additional touch controls to each side. The only nontouch control is the power button. A USB port on the OfficeJet 6700 Premium’s front allows you to offload scans or perform direct printing.

Highlights in paper handling include a roomy 250-sheet bottom-mounted paper tray (most of its competitors have 100- or 150-sheet trays) and a 75-sheet output tray, plus automatic duplexing. The flatbed scanner platen is your typical letter/A4-size offering, but the 35-sheet automatic document feeder above it can scan legal-size media and capture both sides of a two-sided document (one side at a time). Telescoping hinges for the scanner cover/ADF are the only things we missed.

The OfficeJet 6700 Premium’s speed is peppy for the price range: In our tests the OfficeJet 6700 Premium reached a medium-fast rate of 10 pages per minute printing plain text on the PC and Mac platforms, and it posted average or faster speeds printing photos and colour graphics. Only its scanning was significantly more sluggish than average.

Though the scans are slow, at least they look good: fairly accurate in colour, not too choppy or dark. Print quality disappoints at default settings on plain paper, as text appears dark charcoal rather than black and slightly soft around the edges, while colour images look orangey and fuzzy. Switching to a finer quality mode for text and photo paper for colour improves matters considerably (and uses more ink). The draft mode is both faster and more readable than most.

The Officejet 6700 Premium uses a four-cartridge ink system that’s costlier than average with the standard-capacity supplies, but considerably cheaper than average with the high-capacity cartridges. The normal $20 black that lasts for 400 pages works out to a rather pricey 5 cents per page. The $11 cyan, magenta, and yellow last for 330 pages, or 3.3 cents per page. That’s a slightly above-average 15 cents per four-colour page.

The high-yield cartridges include a 1000-page black for $32, or 3.2 cents per page, and 825–page colours for $16 each, which works out to 1.9 cents per page. That makes for a far more affordable, 9-cent four-colour page. Text pages still cost about twice what you’ll pay with fancier models such as the HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus

Though the HP Officejet 6700 Premium falls a bit short in scanning capabilities and ink costs, it’s otherwise a capable midpriced inkjet MFP. A similarly priced competitor, the Brother MFC-J825DW, offers CD/DVD printing and a two-year warranty (compared to the HP’s one), but it also has a lower paper capacity and some higher ink prices.

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