In addition to the drivers, the J6480 also ships with HP's Photosmart Essential and Solution Center software. The former allows you to import, organize, edit, and share your digital photos, while the latter helps you fax and scan documents as well as order additional supplies to use with your printer. The J6480 has a two-cartridge bay with one single black cartridge ($15) and another tricolor cartridge ($18) for color prints. We ran low on color ink during our testing, so we suggest that you purchase the XL cartridge that's available on the HP Web site for $35. They're double the price of the standard cartridge but offer three times the page yields in both black and color.
The scanner on the J6480 comes with onboard Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software that allows the scanner to interpret graphics into editable text. The HP Solution Center software has a "convert to text' option as well as an embedded "save as editable text" feature that automatically converts as it scans. We tested this functionality using several documents, including handwritten notes as well as simple text document printouts, and we received mixed results. Large, clear text translated well, and the software even matched the original fonts, but the algorithm couldn't recognize our smaller letters as well as any of the handwritten portions, no matter how uniform the character. Instead, the scanner changed our letters into a font that looked a lot like Wing Dings. All in all, the OCR isn't perfect, but you can count on it to work for light editing on presentations and other large format scans.
The HP Officejet J6480 excelled against its competitors in all the speed test categories except photo. In this case, the HP tested dead last at 0.83 photo per minute and couldn't even beat out the Lexmark x7550, which was the previous model to beat for dead slowest photo printer (1.16 PPM). Photos aside, the rest of the speeds were surprisingly quick. The J6480 blew away the Brother MFC-685CW and the Kodak EasyShare 5500 in the speed test, and the 3.4 page-per-minute scan speed is one of the higher benchmarks in the AIO printer category.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|Copy (PPM)||Color scanning speed (PPM)||Photo speed (PPM)||Graphics speed (PPM)||Text speed (PPM)|