Most printer makers have two ranges of inkjet printers running in parallel, one aimed at the home photography enthusiast and the other at small and home-office customers (SOHO). HP’s Office-jet Pro 6830 is a mid-range printer in the latter category and is surprisingly well equipped.
We are undecided about Instant Ink for SOHO inkjets. It can represent very good value if you print a lot of photos, where there’s high ink use, but for business, with typically small amounts of text on a page, it may not prove that cost effective. The four separate ink cartridges clip in under the scanner bed, when you fold that up out of the way and are available in standard and XL capacities. The printer is eligible for Instant-Ink, HP’s subscription ink service, where you pay for a set number of pages per month. A page counts, no matter how much is covered, and a duplex page counts as two pages of ink. The Office-jet Pro 6830 can be connected through USB, Ethernet or wireless, with the wireless option offering direct connection for mobile devices as well as for remote printing, through e-Print.
Specialties And Features
Slung underneath this, at a permanent slope, is a touchscreen control panel, with a good sized, 63mm LCD and several dedicated touch buttons.The grey and black casing has a slight stealth-bomber look to it and the automatic document feeder (ADF) far from being built into the bodywork, like some of its rivals, has been made a feature of the design.
The five-page text and color graphics printed at 4.6ppm, which is less than half the spec and a 20-page mono document printed duplex gave 7.1 sides per minute, which is fair, slowed only by the drying time between printing sides. HP claims the Office-jet Pro 6830 can manage 18ppm mono and 10ppm color. In our tests, which measure from pressing Print to the last page arriving in the output tray, we saw 10.7ppm on our five-page mono test. This rose to 13.8ppm, around three quarters of the rated speed and a good throughput.
Costs And Benchmark
Black text is clean and sharp, near laser quality. Color graphics on plain paper are also very clear and bright, though we did notice slight banding in some color fills. While colors were also well reproduced in copies, fill textures became a little ragged in places.
Using the best prices we could find for the high-yield cartridges, the page costs are 2.3p for a mono page and 5.6p for a color one. These are low compared with the page costs from similar printers. The Epson Work-Force WF-2650DWF, for example, has page costs of 3.6p and 11.0p, respectively, while the £70 Canon P.I.X.M.A MG-5650 has costs of 2.6p and 6.6p.
The HP Office-jet Pro 6830 is a good, general-purpose, SOHO inkjet all-in-one. It’s neatly designed and prints fast, though print quality isn’t quite up to HP’s normal standard. It’s versatile connection options make it a good machine for a wide variety of different applications.