HP’s Officejet 6100 is a strange offering in a printing world dominated by inexpensive all-in-ones. It’s a single-function inkjet printer, designed for the home office, at a price of nearly £90. It aims to justify this price with comparatively high-yield cartridges and fast print, but is this enough?
This Officejet is a fairly unremarkable black box with numerous high-gloss panels – we pulled off a dozen bits of protective film when unpacking. There's no LCD display, but just four ink indicator LEDs in the centre of its top panel, with another three, accompanied by push-buttons, to the right of the paper trays. The four buttons provide paper feed, job cancel, wireless connect and ePrint. There's a final button at the bottom of the front panel to switch the machine on and off.
The single paper tray, which takes up to 250 sheets, projects from the front of the printer, almost doubling its depth. Even so, the top of the tray extends, with a flip-up stop in its front lip, to catch printed pages as they're fed out.
At the back, are sockets for USB, 10/100 Ethernet and low voltage power. This machine, like most other HP inkjets, uses an external power supply, which is messy and unnecessary, as the size of the case could easily accommodate an internal supply.
The curved front panel of the machine folds down to give access to the print head, which automatically swings into view to take the four ink cartridges. These plug in easily and have surprisingly high capacity, in tune with the small-business pretensions of the printer.
Most customers will probably connect the Officejet 6100 via wireless network, as this opens the possibility of remote printing via HP's own ePrint technology and direct print via AirPrint for Apple devices and HP Mobile Print for Android ones.
As the concluding environment swings from desktop devices to laptops, tablets and smartphones, this kind of connectivity is becoming almost ubiquitous. You still don't get the range of controls a typical print driver gives, but for day-to-day print tasks, what's offered in these apps is usually adequate.