Hewlett-Packard's OfficeJet 6110 provides almost everything a small office might need in one machine. The OfficeJet 6110 integrates an inkjet printer, a color scanner, a 35-page automatic document feeder (ADF), a copier, and a fax-modem. And unlike most multifunction printers we've seen, it's even Macintosh compatible. So what does this $300 multifunction printer lack? It doesn't have the full list of fax features you find in other multifunction printers, such as the $700 HP LaserJet 3330mfp; or even the $250 . But if you can live without capabilities such as faxing from your PC, the OfficeJet 6110 is a reasonable choice for a small office.
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The control panel's optimum LCD viewing angle changes whether you're standing or sitting.
The OfficeJet 6110's printer handles letter- or legal-size paper. Despite the A4-size scanner glass, the automatic document feeder actually scans, faxes, and copies up to legal-size documents. The OfficeJet 6110's control panel commendably opts for function over flash, with carefully grouped and clearly labeled buttons for faxing, copying, and scanning. Also, there's even a Set View Angle command in the Maintenance menu to find the optimal LCD viewing angle. The LCD doesn't move, but it alters the contrast so that it's more visible when you are either standing up or sitting down.
Lifting the scanner bed exposes the entire paper path and gives your hands plenty of space to replace ink or clear paper jams. Dual telephone jacks on the back side allow you to daisy-chain the fax-modem with an answering machine. The OfficeJet 6110 distinguishes between fax and voice calls, routing them accordingly.
The OfficeJet 6110 has a couple of minor design flaws. The output tray sits on top of the paper tray; to add paper, you have to remove the output tray. Also, the scanner lid does not come off or slide on its hinges. This makes scanning thick documents inconvenient and scanning extrawide documents, such as newspapers, impossible. HP provides several full-function standalone features in the OfficeJet 6110. For example, like any standalone fax machine, this OfficeJet includes a telephone keypad to enter and store fax numbers. You can use the keypad to spell out names associated with the numbers, retain up to 75 speed-dial numbers, and create 20 groups of numbers in memory for broadcast faxing. You can scan a fax and postpone sending it until lower night or weekend telephone rates are in effect; store incoming faxes in memory if the printer runs out of paper; and detect distinctive ring patterns. In a nice extra, HP set aside six button labels for the OfficeJet 6110's one-touch speed dials.
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|Lifting the scanner doesn't leave much room for large documents.||To print photos, you'll need to replace the black cartridge with an optional photo-ink cartridge.|
Unfortunately, the OfficeJet 6110 lacks some useful features for business travelers. It has no fax-forward feature, for example, so your faxes can't catch up with you while you're traveling. Nor can you fax directly from your PC, a major drawback. You could print documents, then fax them manually, but you'd do so without such office fax standards as custom cover-page design and use of a PC-based address book.
The copy function collates multiple copies of black ink or color documents; reduces an image and prints it several times on one page; or reduces each set of two pages in the document feeder to print side by side on one page. It also shifts the margin to make room for a binder or three-hole punch. Mac users will appreciate the scanner's ability to export images in 48-bit color.
The included software offers tools for working with scanned photos. HP Director, a desktop control app, configures the scanner, runs the automatic document feeder, and opens and prints scanned image files. HP Director includes HP Creative Printing, an application for producing wallet-size copies, stickers, T-shirt transfers, banners, and other special jobs. HP Photo Print, an image-editing application, has fairly deep tools for cropping, correcting exposure and color, and so on. From within Photo Print, jump to a separate application called HP Image Editor, with additional features such as red-eye removal and the ability to superimpose text labels and titles. Or branch off to HP Album Printing, which provides a big assortment of malleable photo-album templates. We were impressed by how easy it is to produce competent photo documents by moving among the applications within HP Director. HP also includes ReadIris Pro 7.5, a full-featured OCR package that converts paper text into computer files.
For ordinary printing, the OfficeJet 6110 uses two cartridges: one black and one tricolor (with cyan, magenta, and yellow). For printing high-quality photos, however, you'll need to replace the black with a photo-ink cartridge. That cartridge costs $25 extra. Fortunately, the OfficeJet 6110 automatically detects cartridge changes and realigns its heads to simplify the switching task.
If you want to expand the OfficeJet 6110's capabilities, pop an $80 duplexer into a slot in the back or attach a $200 Ethernet interface. The latter lets your workgroup print but not use any of the other functions. The OfficeJet 6110's performance is a mixed bag. It lags on some tasks but performs as well as other multifunction printers do on others. It prints high-resolution glossy photos in a reasonable 5.1 minutes, and it copies color documents at a rather zippy 8.4 pages per minute. On the other hand, the OfficeJet 6110 prints ordinary text at the painfully slow rate of 1.5 pages per minute, as opposed to the HP OfficeJet 2210's speedy 4.1ppm. The OfficeJet 6110 also spends 22 seconds scanning a monochrome page, more than twice as long as comparable systems. We also noticed that the OfficeJet 6110 wiggles noticeably while printing.
The OfficeJet 6110's output quality was similarly mixed. On grayscale scans, it wowed us by capturing subtle gradations in shades and showing precise detail. Its color scans have smooth textures and shading and accurate colors with no mysterious detritus, although they lose a degree of detail. The copier also printed black ink and color copies that are difficult to distinguish from the originals.
But prints made on ordinary 20-lb. photocopy paper didn't look so great. Printed text had a shadow or fuzzy outline, and color images looked somewhat washed out and had rough textures. Coated inkjet paper improved both text and image print quality, yet we were disappointed with the results on glossy photo paper, which showed good detail but came out dark with patchy colors.
Ink costs, based on CNET's cartridge drain tests, run 4.1 cents for a page of black text and 19.9 cents for a lightly covered page of color graphics--average for an inkjet.
Multifunction printer text speed (Longer bars indicate better performance)
HP maintains reasonable after-sales policies. You get a one-year warranty that provides a year of 24/7 toll-free telephone tech support, access to a great deal of information on HP's site, and free e-mail access to HP technicians.