Top positive review
23 people found this helpful
Excellent if you know what you are doing.
on 1 April 2011
I've been using the 6500 for a while now, and can't fault it. We recently needed to buy another one, and I was amazed at some of the low reviews for this printer. No of course this printer doesn't have wireless. It isn't a wireless printer! You can however, connect to it via an ethernet cable, and it networks like a dream. It wasn't that long ago that you had to spend a couple of hundred quid on a print server before you could get a printer networked. Now you can get an all in one printer that comes network-enabled out of the box for about one hundred quid!
Not only that, but, whereas the previous generation of all in one printers required a USB connection to a PC in order to use the full range of functions, you can now scan / fax and print from any computer on the network.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't the answer to everybody's dreams. If you have a lot of scanning to do, you want to invest in a decent scanner. Likewise, if you want to do a high volume of printing then a low cost laser would probably work out cheaper in the long run. But for a general purpose small office / home office work horse, this really can't be beaten.
So how easy is it to set up?
First, you need to get it out of the box. If you investigate, you soon see that the printer is in a handy plastic bag within the box, so you can remove the whole unit by grabbing hold of the bag handles and pulling hard. A second pair of hands would help here, though are no means essential.
Then you remove all the packing tape and plug it in (to power, not your PC). Once powered on, after a couple of minutes, you can configure your location using the touch screen. This is simple to do and allows you to cancel if you accidently select India instead of the UK like I did!
Next, install the toner cartridges. I doubt these are full, but you do get enough supplied to allow you to at least get started. If you cannot follow the instruction sheet, you can even watch a little movie on the touch screen, which will show you what to do.
Once you have done that, you need to install the software on your PC. You can use the software on the CD (version 12) but I strongly recommend downloading the latest version from the HP support site first. You should now be able to connect your PC and print.
Setting up the fax is straightforward too, provided you ignore the manual. Specifically, Page 5 of the main setup manual, tells you where to find country-specific information. If you go there, you are told to connect both the printer and the telephone to the phone socket using the supplied splitter. Unfortunately the supplied splitter is not actually a splitter, just a gender bender. IE, you can only use it to connect ONE cable to the phone socket, not TWO.
Fortunately, I had a spare RJ11 cable lying around, and was able to connect the phone to the 6500 using that. I plugged it into the port marked 2-EXT, and used the cable that was connected to the phone to connect the 6500 to the wall socket. This is not what the instructions said at all. Indeed, the instructions never mention the 2-EXT port.
I tested, and the phone still worked as expected. Plus I could phone the number and the answer phone would still kick in after 6 rings. I then ran the fax setup wizard on the touch screen, and specified that I wanted to disable autoanswer. This was because I had an answerphone on the phone that was already present, and I didn't want the fax to interfere.
Anyway, I got it working, and it sent and received faxes. Yippee!
So the bottom line is this: if you are a novice who just wants a plug and play solution that works straight from the box, avoid this product, as it won't work (for faxing at least). If however, you are not afraid to dive in and sort things out yourself where required, then this is tremendous value for money, assuming you don't have to go to PC World and get mugged for an RJ11 cable.
I really wanted to give this five stars, because of the silly one star reviews moaning about lack of wireless. However, the dodgy instructions really don't warrant five stars, even in moments of high charity. So I will give it a generous four stars, all things considered.