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HP Photosmart C6280 All-in-One review: HP Photosmart C6280 All-in-One

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Other memory card print options include creating album pages with various layouts, creating panorama prints, and making wallet and passport prints. Share options include attaching photos to e-mail or uploading them to Snapfish, HP's online photo sharing service, and inviting others to view them. Finally, you can save the contents of your memory card to your PC, designating where you want the files saved (via Photosmart Essential). One option the Photosmart C6280 lacks is the ability to search the card by date, handy if you're prone to taking lots of photos without first offloading files. It also doesn't allow you to print a scannable index of the contents of your cards. You can print an index, but doing so is a bit convoluted. HP needs to work on making its menus and processes more intuitive and user-friendly.

Performance
In CNET Labs' tests, the HP Photosmart C6280 was all over the map when compared to other $200 all-in-ones. It was in the middle of the pack with text printing, with a score of 5.19 pages per minute, behind the Canon Pixma MP600's 7.88 pages per minute. It scored 2.53 pages per minute with color graphics prints, on par with both the Canon and the Kodak EasyShare 5300. Of the group it was, by far, the slowest with 4x6 photo prints, scoring just 0.47 page per minute, a far cry from the 1.08 pages per minute posted by the Kodak and the lightning-fast 2.33 pages per minute from the Canon. On the other hand, it beat the pack by more than 1 page per minute while scanning in grayscale, with a score of 7.98 pages per minute, but fell to the back of the pack again with color scanning, scoring a pokey 3.38 pages per minute.

CNET Labs' photo inkjet multifunction speed tests (pages per minute)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Color scan  
Grayscale scan  
4x6 Photo  
Graphics  
Text  
Canon Pixma MP600
4.36 
4.44 
2.33 
2.32 
7.88 
HP Photosmart C6280
3.38 
7.98 
0.47 
2.53 
5.19 
Dell Photo 966
6.57 
4.71 
0.67 
1.87 
4.82 
Kodak EasyShare 5300
6.3 
6.36 
1.08 
2.59 
4.34 

The quality of the Photosmart C6280's prints and scans were a bit disappointing. The black text print showed a rich, dark black, but it was marred by a lot of wicking and fuzzy edges, even though we printed on coated inkjet paper. The color graphics print suffered from the same wicking and fuzziness, and added graininess to the mix. Color blocks weren't as smooth as we'd like, the photo elements were grainy, and the printer had trouble with the barcode patterns, rendering them blurry. The 4x6 photo prints were also grainy and suffered from compression in the dark end of the grayscale, resulting in lost detail in darker areas of the print. The photo could benefit from improved sharpness as well.

We were disappointed by the quality of the grayscale scan. We saw compression on both ends of the grayscale, so light areas were overblown and dark areas were muddied and without detail. Also, the scan just wasn't as sharp as we'd like to see. Happily, the color scan was much better. Colors were true and details were reasonably sharp. Overall, we liked the quality produced by the Canon Pixma MP600 much better.

CNET Labs' inkjet multifunction quality
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Color scan  
Grayscale scan  
Photo  
Graphics  
Text  
Canon Pixma MP600
2 
2 
3 
4 
4 
HP Photosmart C5180
3 
3 
3 
3 
3 
Kodak EasyShare 5300
3 
3 
3 
3 
3 
Dell Photo 966
4 
4 
2 
2 
2 

Service and support
HP backs the Photosmart C6280 with a standard one-year warranty. Toll-free phone support is available 24-7, or you can chat live online with tech support, also 24-7. HP's site has drivers, software downloads, FAQs, and troubleshooting guides, as well.

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