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Published on April 30, 2009
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  • Resolution 4800 x 1200 dpi
  • Mono/colour speeds 32 ppm / 31 ppm
  • Ink droplet size
  • Cartridges required 4
  • Number of base colours 4
  • Scanner yes
The Officejet 6500 is a pro HP printer with fax. The overall design is nice even though it’s a large machine. Once again HP hasn’t gone for the touch screen – this would have allowed them to simplify the interface. What we have instead is a lot of buttons and a very small screen. All the same, navigation is simple and accessible.

The printer has 4 separate cartridges, available in standard and XL sizes. The good news: with the XLs, you get a cost per page that is well below average.

One printer, two names

The OfficeJet 6500 exists in two versions: the first, the CB815A is “basic” with a 32 MB memory, ethernet and manual double-sided mode… The one we have here is the CB057A. It has more functionality: auto double-sided, WiFi and a 64 MB memory, as well as an ethernet port.

: very fast for office docs, not bad for photos

The Officejet is really fast on office documents: on our test documents, the printer got up to 24.3 ppm in draft mode. In standard mode, things obviously aren’t as fast, but remain well above average. 11.4 ppm in standard colour mode and 11.5 ppm in black and white: impressive.

Photo mode is also fast (but not particularly impressive – we’ll come back to this). You have to wait a little over a minute as of print validation to get your 10x15 colour photo. Some manufacturers are faster but for an office orientated model, the Officejet puts in an honorable performance.

If you have sensitive ears this machine is not one of the quietest during printing.

Above average quality

It has to be said, photo prints (in standard mode) are not very convincing. Drips are visible and the prints do not merit the “lab quality” label! Grays come out with a redish tinge, something that's also visible on colour prints. The Epson Stylus SX600FW – another pro office printer – gives much better photo quality even in text mode (cf. see the face off)

The office docs however are better. Draft mode gives nice legible characters and deep blacks. Tinted areas are homogenous. However, on coloured graphs you can make out droplets on the writing. Which is a shame!

                               x3 enlargement

Cartridges: better than average

HP supplies its cartridges with an envelope (stamp not paid!) for you to return them when empty. They will then be recycled.

Cartridge   Lifespan ISO  
920 (noire)   420  
920XL (noire)   1200  
920 (cyan)   700  
920 (magenta)   700  
920 (jaune)   700

Office prints are around average. But things are better with the XL cartridges.

Scanner and copier
Scanner speed is standard but fine: a little under 14 seconds to digitalise a 10x15 300 dpi colour photo. Digitalisation is typical of what you get with HP: ie. strong accentuation of detail and slightly noisy results. Not designed for the demanding photographer! Fine for everyday use however. Especially as the colours are fairly faithful.

Nor does the copier do too badly: a little under 12 seconds for a black and white copy and 23 seconds for colour.


  • Very fast
  • Good text quality
  • Low cost per page
  • Wi-Fi + Ethernet port


  • Droplets visible on photo prints
  • Colours show redish tinge
  • Digitalisation quality leaves something to be desired
  • Noisy
  • An expensive machine


The OfficeJet 6500 is a) – very economical with ink b) – very fast and c) – it has a built-in fax, WiFi and an ethernet port A good model that would have been better for a larger navigation screen and improved photo quality – however not a priority for the target market.
4 HP Officejet 6500 DigitalVersus 2009-04-30 00:00:00
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