Pros Network ready, duplex printing standard, Smart Web printing, easy setup, individual ink cartridges, quality output
Cons No PictBridge port, no fax, lengthy software installation
Summary For around $200, the HP Photosmart C6280 is a good, economical solution for those who want a Windows Vista-ready, networkable printer that provides quality printing, scanning and faxing. While it may not be a speedy, feature-loaded all-in-one, what it does, it does very well.
Setting up the C6280 was simple and connecting it to my wireless home network was far easier than I expected. It now supports two wired PCs running XP, a wireless PC running XP and a wireless laptop running Vista. No Canon all-in-one printer in this price range can do that. Better yet, the C6280 easily fits into the footprint left by the printer I replaced.
As a digital photographer, I am impressed with the photo-quality prints produced by the C6280. (I usually post-process my photos and print them through editing software, so perhaps I am getting better results than others.) I also see no obvious problems with the quality of the text, which is black, crisp, sharp and very readable.
As a writer, one of my primary reasons for purchasing the C6280 was to print copies of my articles from the Web. Using the duplexer and Web Smart printing, I can produce excellent, two-sided copies on heavy stock that are scaled to fit the page while filtering out extraneous, ink-wasting elements. Anyone who does a great deal of printing from the Web will consider these features major pluses.
While scanning and copying weren't high on my list of priorities, I have found that the C6280 more than meets my needs in these areas. I have had no problems navigating the menus to produce the results I want.
Overall, how well this printer fits any individual user's needs depends on the priorities of the user. The C6280 does all that I need it to do without breaking the bank.
"Low print quality"on by jctwu
Pros More ink efficient than PSC 1510
Cons Low print quality, large, slow network interface
Summary The reviewer is correct about the print quality. I thought I was going nuts. We upgraded from a 3-year-old HP PSC 1510 (the one with the paper feed problems).
There are lots of extra dots ("fuzz") on every single letter when you print a Word document on Normal setting. Surprisingly, the print quality gets much better (becomes normal ...) if you print on Fast Draft (the fastest setting) and duplex modes ... but the ink is not as dark. Fast Draft also has a tendency to print your pages off center (even after you've made sure the paper guides are flush against the paper). If you don't believe me, print one on Normal, then print one on Fast Draft or in duplex mode, and compare the difference. The Normal one is WORSE (but darker).
If you print in duplex mode, the printer also defaults to waiting about 5-10 seconds per page for the ink to dry, so keep this in mind. This compared to a laser printer which will print the other side right away. There is an option to reduce drying time.
The Ethernet network interface also appears to be slow. A 64KB page transfers in after, you guessed it, 15+ seconds (you can double-click the printer icon in the System Tray and watch the progress). The PSC 1510 (over USB) was twice as fast.
The software takes a long time to install (more than the average) on a 2-year-old computer, and you distrust it a bit as your computer slows down in strange places where it didn't before.
The printer is also larger and twice as heavy compared to the compact HP PSC 1510.Updated
I've since discovered that if you set the Paper Type to "HP Premium Paper" or "Other inkjet papers" (while you're still using normal multipurpose paper) the poor print quality will go away. I've found the best results using a Print quality of "Fast Normal".
Apparently the previous generation printer (C5180) and the related new printer (C7280) both have this problem, so this workaround may work for those owners too.Updated
testThis is a test
Pros Excellent picture and document quality
Cons Scan software leaves a lot to be desired
Summary I’m an HP advocate from way back. I had an old deskjet that I wanted to upgrade. I liked everything about this printer, except that after you install the "Imaging Device" software, which you need to scan images to your computer, your CPU meter stays pegged at 100%. I restored and re-installed using every permutation of installation and it's clearly the "Imaging Device" software that causes svchost.exe to eat up any available CPU time. It's cosmetic, in that svchost.exe relinquishes the CPU to any other exe, just like the idle process, but your CPU meter will no longer function. This appears to be poor programming and not becoming of HP. I returned the C6280 in search of another vendor’s all-in-one wired network printer.
Pros Unknown, never got to use it
Cons $180 paperweight
Summary As soon as I turned on this printer I get this chestnut: "The following ink cartridges [all 6 of them] cannot be used after device initialization and must be replaced" The hell? I just bought this thing! I got on HP's support chat channel, and got 'Earnest'. He kept asking me if I installed the 'right' cartridges. Of I did you dolt! Unless HP sent the wrong ones with the printer. After spending 45 minutes getting mostly canned responses from this guy, he just said I should return the printer. I did. And I bought an Epson instead.
Pros Fair picture quality
Cons Barely ever works.
Summary My overall opinion of this printer is horrible. I got it as a gift in December and it worked for the first two weeks but now it does not even work.