HP Officejet 6500 Wireless (E709n) inkjet multifunction

HP's mid-range inkjet multifunction produces decent quality documents

HP's Officejet 6500 Wireless (E709n) inkjet multifunction slots into a competitive price range and doesn't particularly excel. Nevertheless, it does print at fast speeds and produces good quality documents.

The Officejet 6500 Wireless (E709n) can connect over USB, Ethernet or Wi-Fi. An automatic document feeder and automatic duplex unit come as standard on the wireless version. The integrated media card reader supports SD, xD, MMC and Memory Stick removable media but we would have liked to see CompactFlash and PictBridge USB support as well.

Though this multifunction has a smaller footprint and less features than the more expensive Officejet Pro 8500 Wireless (A909), HP has managed to make it look more complicated. There are 37 different buttons to control its scan, copy, fax and photo printing functions, and the small two-line monochrome LCD means that the majority of control and configuration has to be done from a computer.

Thankfully, the front-facing paper tray isn't enclosed at the front, making it easier to replenish media without having to lift up the output tray. The scanner lid doesn't take up the entire top half of the printer either; it is separated from the automatic document feeder so you only have to lift up the portion of the lid which covers the actual scanning bed.

The Officejet 6500 Wireless (E709n) inkjet multifunction takes an average of 24 seconds to print the first page of draft documents, and prints both draft mono and colour documents at a speed of 17.3 pages per minutes. Normal mono documents print at 9.5ppm while colour documents at normal quality print at 5.9ppm. These speeds don't match the equally priced Epson Stylus Photo TX700W, but draft document results from the Officejet 6500 Wireless are much better quality than those from the Epson.

We criticised the "inky" look of documents from the Officejet Pro 8500 Wireless (A909) but this isn't applicable here. Text is particularly crisp at a 7pt font size, and doesn't degrade in quality when the size is boosted to 20pt. Colours in graphical documents are solid and accurate. Reds are particularly vibrant on standard A4 paper.

The colour palette is again quite good in photos, but even when printed at best quality the results are grainy on close inspection. Given this, the Officejet 6500 Wireless inkjet multifunction is best suited toward document printing, but can handle the occasional photo if required.

While HP claims that this multifunction printer can compete with budget lasers on cost, its average cost of 17.8c per page certainly makes it a more expensive option than lasers, but a reasonable price overall. This is certainly a point of consideration for the small office.

Scanning takes an unusually long time and the results aren't outstanding. Still, the multifunction will suffice for basic text scanning and will work well for optical character recognition (OCR) purposes.

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