The HP Officejet 6500 is cheap and benefits from low running costs, but is slow compared to most lasers.
Low RRP; decent running costs; good range of features.
Slow compared to most lasers; no wireless.
Laser printers are often seen as the obvious choice when printing in bulk, but HP is looking to tempt smaller businesses with its new range of inkjet printers.
Promising savings of up to 40 per cent compared to lasers in terms of running costs, the Officejet 6500 costs just £100 including VAT and can copy, scan and fax, as well as print. It is sturdily built and, thanks to the large control panel located at the front, easy to install and operate.
Hooking the Officejet 6500 up to a corporate network is no problem thanks to integrated Ethernet. USB connectivity is also provided, but there's no wireless option.
An automatic document feeder is included as standard and allows for multi-page copying, but it's only able to cope with 35 pages at a time. There's no automatic duplex unit for double-sided printing, but it does feature a manual duplexer which basically means it's up to you to flip the page over to allow printing on the other side.
Using replacement ink prices on HP's online store, we calculated print costs at 3.3p per page for mono and 8.1p for colour. A high-capacity black ink cartridge can also be purchased, reducing mono prints to just 1.9p each. So, compared to most sub-£300 lasers, the Officejet 6500 is indeed a fair bit cheaper when it comes to running costs.
Power consumption is also low, drawing just 23 watts when printing and under seven watts in standby mode.
The Officejet 6500 might be cheaper to run than a laser, but it's not nearly as fast. Printing a fairly text-heavy document at default settings, we only managed a rather lethargic six pages per minute, around half the speed of most lasers.
In terms of print quality, though, HP's inkjet impressed and you'd be hard pushed to tell the difference between its text prints and that of a laser. Inkjets always have the upper hand when it comes to photo output, and the Officejet 6500 is no different with its four ink cartridges able to produce some vivid and reasonably detailed images. Again, though, it's much slower than a laser, with an A4 photo taking almost three minutes to materialise.
There's no doubt that the Officejet 6500 is cheap to run compared to lasers, and £100 isn't much for an inkjet with print, copy, scan and fax functionality. However, its slow print speeds ultimately make it really suited only to very small workgroups or home offices.