Design & Build
At 46 x 44 x 24 cm and 8 kg, the Officejet 6600 is compact enough to fit easily on any average desk. The responsive 2.65" touchscreen is where you enter all user commands and select options, which not only makes for a minimalist design, but also makes the 6600 enjoyable to use. HP's apps for printing without a computer are a simple tap away. The 6600 prints, copies, scans and faxes, but only single-sided sheets, which is a bit of a shame for a business-oriented printer; it also has no card reader. Like the rest of HP's Officejet range, the 6600 supports PCL 3.
The four ink cartridges (four is better than one—that way you can replace only the colours that have run out) are easy to get to inside the printer.
Ink cartridge slots
The paper tray holds up to 250 sheet of A4 and 30 envelopes. Depending what paper size you're using (that's 10 x 15 cm photo paper in the image below), you can adjust the plastic slides and tabs to keep the paper in place. The system is easy to use.
The driver is a cinch to install and it only takes a couple minutes to get the whole thing up and running. The settings menu is basic and, once again, easy as pie to use.
You can adjust the print quality for the document type, as well as the location (when using multiple trays), paper size (A4, A5, A6, B5, envelope, Bristol board...) and type (regular, glossy, photo...).
If you don't like the default settings, you can always change them in the advanced options menu (B&W/colour, page layout, quality settings, and so on). The settings are laid out in a simple, understandable interface for anyone wary of information overload.
The Officejet 6600 prints more slowly than the HP Officejet 6700 Premium (but it also has a lower launch price). That said, it's faster than the Canon Pixma MG5450, which prints 11 pages per minute (ppm) in colour and 6 ppm in B&W. In fact, the 6600 is closer in speed to the Epson Expression Premium XP-700, which prints 11 ppm in colour and 15 ppm in B&W. To really get faster print speeds—which could come in handy in B&W—you'll have to up your budget and go for something like the Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4525DNF, which prints 21 ppm.
Print speeds (documents)
The Officejet 6600 also prints photographs more slowly than the WorkForce Pro WP-4525DNF, which takes 86 seconds for A4, compared to 172 here, and 34 seconds for 10 x 15 cm, compare to 66 here.
Print speeds (photographs)
This is a great printer for all-text documents. And despite the visible ink droplets in solid colours, our test graph below came out clean, precise and with acceptable shading. It also did very well on our "thin line" test, reproducing clearly traced lines, even in complex images. The only downside is the colours, which look dull and washed-out.
Compare with competing printers in the Face-Off
Our measurements showed inaccurate colours, particularly in the blues, reds and greys.
Average Delta E 94 (colour difference): 10
The average for printers we've reviewed is 7.
The ink droplets are just as easily visible on photographs, and the colour accuracy is just as mediocre. But less persnickety users should be pleased with the photo printing quality. The image below has been blown up three times, which is why the child's cheeks look so red and the droplets are so visible. B&W photographs have a high tendency toward blue.
Compare with competing printers in the Face-Off
Average Delta E 94 (colour difference): 6
Scanner & Copier
The fax function was well thought-out. You can have it automatically block specific incoming calls to avoid spam and save digital copies of faxes on any computer in your network, allowing you to choose which pages to print out. The copier function is full of options. But as usual HP makes it just as easy to use the standard options and simply choose "colour copy" or "B&W copy".
In the settings you can select the clarity, copy quality, paper size and paper type, resize and crop images, see previews and enhance the overall quality by choosing text only, text and images or images only. These are all handy features, but unfortunately they don't do much to truly improve the quality of copies. For example, options that are good for text may lower the quality of images and graphs, or vice-versa.
Power Use & Noise
The HP Officejet 6600 doesn't save paper by printing double-sided by default, but it does have an eco-friendly mode where you can have the printer go to sleep after 5 to 15 minutes without use. You can also adjust the screen brightness to (very marginally) consume less power and block or save faxes to avoid wasting paper. Great idea!
It consumes a reasonable amount of power: 20 W during use and 2 W on standby, which makes for an annual consumption of 1.6 kW for 1,000 pages. That's average for inkjet printers. It's also quiet, at 49 dB(A) during use.
Cost Per Page
For this model HP has released new pigmented inks (932 and 933) designed to resist discoloration, water and highlighting, and the cartridges last about 100 pages longer than the older models. When one of the colours runs out, you can still print in black only.
At 6.5 pence, the total cost per page is cheaper than the entry-level HP Officejet 4620 (9.5 pence), which was already one of the best prices on the market.
933 XL Cyan
- Low cost per page (XL cartridges)
- Easy and intuitive to use
- It's eco-friendly: adjustable screen brightness and standby settings, and blockable and savable incoming faxes
- AirPrint and ePrint
- Consumes little power
- No duplex printing
- No card reader
- Print quality (inaccurate colours)
The Officejet 6600 is a versatile, affordable, user-friendly printer that delivers on HP's promise of low cost per page and mobility. The print quality is acceptable, but not enough to impress the most scrupulous users. And why, Lord of All Things Printer, why not include duplex on a professional model like this?