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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.
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on 9 January 2011
The printer was a christmas present and was very well accepted.

It was quick and intuitive to set up quickly. Well made and came with everything (except USB lead as is often the case). Connected itself to my network easily and was pretty straightforward to register for online email printing.

It can access google documents online and print from your account as well as email. An iPad connected to the unit automatically and didnt need any drivers.

Very good purchase.
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on 2 March 2011
Bought this HP after owning HP printers for longer than I can remember, every other HP I have ever bought you just plugged into the PC with the USB and it self set up and was ready for use straight away. Not this one, after having returned the first one as the scanner did not work, the replacement they sent was the same printed fine, sent faxes but would not scan, weeks of emailing to HP support and phone calls later and HP informed me that this printer does not work if you have internet explorer 8 or above on your PC, you have to remove IE8 and go back to IE7 and it will work.

Other reviews made no mention of this and I am not sure if I was so unlucky as to have been sent 2 printers that the scanner did not work on?

It also has japanese drivers on and for example does not recognise DL size envelops but in fairness still printed out OK.

I have no idea if what HP support told me is fact or not as not being a technical person how would I know, what I do know is that if this is correct and is the reason for this model of printer not working, (scanning) who in their right mind makes and sells a printer in 2011 that does not work if your PC has IE8 installed?
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on 15 December 2010
Bought this without paying too much attention to the details. The Amazon tags associated with this product indicated Wireless. Its incorrect. It requires a wired ethernet connection. bit annoying, but thankfully house is all wired up, so not a major problem. Other wifi versions are available

Like this printer a lot. The flat paper tray does prevent the usual paper bend, that ultimately stuffs top loading printers. Its a bit of a racket on warm up, but pretty good.

The software comes with a nifty option of being able to scan from the printer to any nominated PC if you are remote from it.
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on 20 February 2012
As many have commented, there are two versions of this printer, one with built-in WiFi and one without. However there is another dimension to this issue which is that if you have a wireless router (or any other form of wireless network) in your house, you get full wireless access to either version of the printer if you connect it to your ethernet network. This can be achieved simply by connecting it to one of the ethernet ports on your router, even if you have nothing else connected to them.

One other thing to mention is that if you do connect the printer to an ethernet port the WiFi facility of the printer is disabled, presumably because it becomes redundant. So the bottom line is that if you are able to connect the printer to your network using an ethernet cable, and that network has WiFi, there is no point buying the wireless equipped version - you don't need it and it is of no benefit.

This applies to all versions of the 6500A and 7500A, and maybe to other similar HP products as well, although I have no hands-on experience with them.
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on 26 April 2011
I have had the HP Officejet 6500A for around two months. Perhaps I did not read the technical data properly but until I got it I was unaware that it could not cope with double sided printing and that the only way this could be achieved was by setting it to print the odd numbered pages first and then turning them over and printing the even numbered pages.
I have never been able to connect it to my wireless network. It gets 2 stars because it is quiet and prints quickly.
I replaced it yesterday with a Canon MX410, a doddle to set up and connect to the network, and which is capable of double sided printing by command and I paid £1 less (not from Amazon) than for the HP machine. The Canon performs brilliantly.
All in all the HP printer was a huge disappointment.
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on 19 December 2012
Have always gone for HP printers so no reason to change or so I thought !!
Delivery was better than promised, but upacked the printer and followed the instructions. Installed cartridge cradle closed the cover and didnot sound good !! Cradle was jammed and would not move. Contacted help line and followed instructions - No good. Hp e-mailed and said replace in 24 hours, please complete form. Then waited 7 days for replacement, which I cancelled returned to Amazon and could not have been easier. Bought Brother replacement which Amazon delivered 2 days quicker than promised.
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on 13 July 2012
I have experienced two problems with this printer:
1. Ink splotches over the paper
2. Misalignment of print
I have replaced the print head already, but still have problems. Some what disappointed.
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on 13 September 2012
I needed a new office fax to run on a network, we have always found HP to be reliable and reasonable on ink cartridges.
The printer was delivered the day after the order was placed, very good instructions, very easy to set up, very pleased!!
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on 19 November 2011
After 3 weeks trying all ways to get the scanner working, I've given up and returned this thing to Amazon. Kept getting error message saying it wasn't connected, check connection, etc - and yet the printer worked so clearly it was connected. Help from HP was non-existent. I didn't get anywhere near getting it to work wirelessly. Even before this fatal problem, I was disappointed with the printer. First of all it's huge. My previous one - also an all-in-one - fitted easily in a cupboard but this one didn't. It's ridiculously huge with flimsy plastic bits sticking out everywhere. Also the print quality wasn't great, especially on double-sided print setting though why printing double-sided should affect print quality beats me. Maybe sacrificing some print quality for longer cartridge life. Back to the drawing board for me I'm afraid.
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