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Product Review - HP C6180 All-in-One Printer, Fax, Scanner, Copier

By Andrew Pollack on 02/02/2007 at 03:09 PM EST

After finding my Epson printers to be complete garbage and essentially throw away items due to their very poor ink management (leaving clogged heads, wasted cartridges, and a bunch of money by the wayside) I decided to try an HP model this time around. After all, a good friend works there now.
http://h20195.www2.hp.com/V2/pdf/4AA0-4465EEE.pdf

The C6180 uses HP's newest ink technology with six individual color units which cost about $10 each at staples. They're not really large, but seem big enough to be comparable with much more expensive units from other vendors. Their design is simple and elegant, making them easy to replace as well. The six colors also lead me to believe that the photo printing will be outstanding.

I've used this machine for a week now, and here are my impressions:

This thing is fast. It's the fastest inkjet I've ever used. They claim as high as 30 pages per minute on high speed draft, and something like 8 pages at normal quality which is more important. This seems to hold true. This unit is good looking. The white high gloss finish would like ok even next to a fancy Apple monitor. A pop up LCD display makes using the menus fairly easy, and when combined with a joystick like device and a separate back button make using the menus extremely easy to deal with. Paper capacity is small, I can see having to reload more frequently than I like, however a distinct tray for photo paper means you can leave the photo paper available if you do that a lot. I don't, so rather than letting it spoil I'll load as needed. It doesn't have an envelope feed from what I can tell, though I haven't looked too hard.

As far as features, it has everything you'd expect -- memory card readers, flat-bed scanner, etc. There are few notable features though. My favorites are the 25 sheet feeder which serves both the fax and the scanner, while at the same time the whole unit can come off to scan something larger on the flat bed if just raising the lid isn't enough.

Oh, and not only is this thing network ready -- it is WIFI ready! It can take a USB connection, an ethernet cable, or it can connect to your WIFI network and just sit wherever you want it to! I love that.

A nice surprise has been HP's software. Usually the excessive software vendors load on your PC just annoys me, but HP's is really turning out to be nice. This afternoon I went to fax something so I put the sheets on the sheet feeder and before I could start putting the number in, HP's menu came up on my screen. It was just as easy to key in the detail there and hit send -- the software even offered to insert a fax cover page for me -- but at the same time I added the destination to my address book for the future. Sweet! From that same point I could have scanned the multipage document and move it through the OCR software into a word document or whatever.

It works the other way as well. When I put something on the sheet feed, a menu on the LCD panel offers to scan it and send it to my PC automatically as one of several kinds of documents from Office to Paint Shop Pro. The integration seems to really make a lot of sense the way they've done it.

So far, HP, I'm very impressed.


There are  - loading -  comments....

re: Product Review - HP C6180 All-in-One Printer, Fax, Scanner, CopierBy Greyhawk68 on 02/02/2007 at 04:13 PM EST
Totally agree that this is a great unit. I bought one in December and have
been thrilled with it. If you go with the best quality and some good HP photo
paper it'll produce some of the best photos you'll see.

I've printed out a bunch of my photography for wall art in my house, and the
prints just turned out stunningly. I've had good photo printers before, but
this one is the best I've used to date.

The paper tray is definitely too small though. We have to refill paper far too
often. But, that's really my only complaint.

Nice to see someone else digging the unit.

-Grey
re: Product Review - HP C6180 All-in-One Printer, Fax, Scanner, CopierBy Rob McDonagh on 02/07/2007 at 03:00 PM EST
Fantastic. Thanks for the recommendation, Andrew (and John). I ordered one
myself and set it up last night. Installation was painless, the device is high
quality, the software works well even on my Mac, and the wireless network
support is awesome. My old shared printer/fax/scanner was the only device in
the house that still required a physical network connection, so we're not fully
un-wired. Sweet!
re: Product Review - HP C6180 All-in-One Printer, Fax, Scanner, CopierBy Jim Jones on 04/17/2007 at 09:06 PM EDT
Saw your review. Good printer except for the fact that is sucks ink like a
demon. I've never had a printer that uses as much ink as this one. Very
expensive printer to use on a regular basis. I would recommend a laser.
Ink? I haven't seen that.By Andrew Pollack on 04/18/2007 at 11:34 AM EDT
I haven't had the issue you describe yet, but I don't use it for high volume
printing. I do have a color laser for that which I turn on (dimming the lights
in the neighborhood)when I have a lot of color printing to do. I also think if
I were doing a hundred page manual or something I'd want to use my old lexmark
black and white laser.

I have to say though, that one thing this does is make it really easy to print
two sided documents, saving a lot of paper and making those manuals easier to
staple.

Are you leaving your printer on? Turning it on and off will waste ink (on any
inkjet) as the cleaning cycle tends to dump some.
re: Product Review - HP C6180 All-in-One Printer, Fax, Scanner, CopierBy Patrick on 02/08/2007 at 01:48 PM EST
Got one of these for Christmas and had my doubts. The software that came with
it would not install, turns out the CD was bad actually. Got a new one no
hassle from HP, and it worked fine. The printer/copier part has worked great, I
have yet to use the fax or scanner features, but I am definitely impressed.
Flatbed ScannerBy Gregg Eldred on 02/09/2007 at 12:27 AM EST
I have been looking at these units lately. My OfficeJet K60 has been a
workhorse for me, but seems to be gasping lately. I am really impressed that HP
(and some other manufacturers) have gone with a flatbed scanner. The old way,
feeding in the sheets like it was a fax, made for some off center scans.
Annoying. Do you have to jump through hoops to get it to scan in black and
white?

Excellent review. I know what I want now. :-)
If you start in software, it's software controlled. However if you start at the scanner....By Andrew Pollack on 02/09/2007 at 09:01 AM EST
without doing anything on the pc, pressing the scan menu option offers to:

Scan and reprint
scan to memory device (an inserted flash card)
scan to Microsoft Word
scan to HP Document Viewer
scan to Photosmart Express
scan to HP Photosmart Share
EMAIL
Paint
Save to File
Lotus WordPro
Photosmart Premier
JASC Paint Shop Pro 7

Clearly it read some of those from what is installed on my PC.
re: Product Review - HP C6180 All-in-One Printer, Fax, Scanner, CopierBy Carolyn Kraut on 02/19/2007 at 09:56 PM EST
Well this all-in-one sounds better than my HP K60 which stopped
scanning/copying/faxing a year or so ago. However our mutual friend at HP told
me that printers are a commodity (forget about repairing them), they make their
money on the ink
re: Product Review - HP C6180 All-in-One Printer, Fax, Scanner, CopierBy Larry on 02/23/2007 at 12:39 PM EST
Before I purchase this...does anyone know if the OCR software that comes with
it is substantial...or is it a dumbed version or trial, as HP usually
includes. Also, does the OCR software work with a Mac. Many thanks.

Larry
re: Product Review - HP C6180 All-in-One Printer, Fax, Scanner, CopierBy gary yoho on 03/22/2008 at 12:00 PM EDT
I cannot get this printer to print small envelopes? Any suggestions on what I
am doing wrong?


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