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HP Officejet 6500A Plus - Performance and Verdict

By Simon Williams


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Review Price £80.00

It’s convenient for printer manufacturers not to have to quote processing and preparation times in their speed figures, particularly when, as with the HP Officejet 6500A Plus, it regularly takes 15 to 20s before printing starts. HP is one of the better manufacturers when it comes to speed specs and this printer does get closer to the quoted 10ppm, though in normal rather than best print mode.

Our 5-page text document produced a speed of 6.3ppm, with the 20-page one doing better at 9.0ppm. The black text and colour graphics test gave 4.6ppm. These are good speeds, compared with other machines at a similar price. They’re noticeably better than, for example, the Dell P513w.

The other place you will see some delays is when printing duplex. HP has tried to mitigate the length of time it's pigmented ink takes to dry, but even so there's a full 15 second pause between printing the first and second sides of each page. Also, oddly some sides are printed smaller, with larger borders in duplex mode than when printed single-sided - not really what you want.

Photocopies are reasonable, at 29s for a single colour page and 2:18 for a five-page black text document from the ADF. 15 x 10 cm photos are also quick, taking between 40s and 54s, depending on source.

HP Officejet 6500A Plus

The print quality is generally good, with dense, clear black text showing very few signs of bleed and colours on plain paper being bold and even. A colour copy showed very similar colours to the original, though with some variation in dither patterns. Black text in copies from both the glass and the ADF comes through rather thick, though, looking almost as if it's emboldened.

Photo prints are generally up to HP's high standards, though any true black looks raised and over-emphasised.

Ink cartridges are available in standard and XL versions though, confusingly, HP refers to the XL cartridge as Value. Using these consumables gives page costs of 3.1p for black and 9.7p the colour. Both are better than average so, even though the purchase price of the printer is low, you won't be paying through the nose to run it.

HP Officejet 6500A Plus - Cartridges


This is a good, general-purpose home office all-in-one, though it's not without its idiosyncrasies. The long wait between duplex sides and the reduction in size of some pages is annoying, as is the overall size of the machine. However, its extra features, such as ePrint and fax, are unusual in a printer at this price and help keep it a contender.

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February 19, 2013, 2:33 pm

My comment on this printer after one year,

After using for a year, I put this one out to the curb! Garbage long-term.

Problem 1: ink lasts me only about 20 pages of regular children's use. I suspect this is due to a loose power plug into the external power supply. I plug it in as hard as I can, but the smallest vibration and it loses power and needs to be plugged in again. I suspect that the power cycles drain the ink with some sort of power-on self-clean, but not sure. I replace ink cartridges every couple of months. For extremely light use, this is not acceptable. Other inkjet printers only needed replacing annually at my usage level.

Worse, the flatbed scanner seemed to get dust on the underside of the glass. There is no way described in the manual to fix this. The white spots on the scanned photos stay in place on the scan and do not move with the picture even when I move the picture or clean the top-side of the scanner glass. This scanner is now garbage.

This is a shame, since the software and the networking are great. The installation was good, the printing was 100% perfect (did not test photo printing), razor sharp prints and fast and the scanner had good colour etc.. Too bad I had to throw away this printer due to its flaws.

Another problem, when looking up help, service or drivers on web-site, entering the printer product name of 6500A, you still need to know the internal HP designation for the printer which is not anywhere external on the printer. That is just dumb, and a waste of time to search around the printer. The only way for me to find out the model number other than 6500A was to search the internet and match the features. Stupid Stupid Stupid!

Here is what the HP web site says for support when you enter "Officejet 6500A",

"2 matches found. Please select one belowHP OFFICEJET 6500A E-ALL-IN-ONE PRINTER SERIES - E710

HP Officejet 6500A e-All-in-One Printer - E710a

HP Officejet 6500A Plus e-All-in-One Printer - E710n"

The E710a or E710n designation is NOT on the model number or anywhere else external. Waste my time!

Sander Rekveld

July 24, 2013, 4:34 pm

There is a sticker with both the printer and cartridge type number underneath the lid. Not a terribly bad place to put it, as you have to lift the lid to replace the cartridges...


March 29, 2014, 2:06 am

Black ink jet plugged from print cartridge to jet after 1. years. Went through 6 black ink cartridges in that time. Tried the warm water on the cartridge but got not results.

vincent jimenez

May 11, 2014, 5:23 pm

The control panel stopped working and there is no info in how to repair if any

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