Review: HP Officejet J6480 one of the best all-in-ones for the money
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Review: HP Officejet J6480 one of the best all-in-ones for the money

It seemed slower than that to me, but unless you're a "gotta-have-it-right-now!" type of guy or gal, the speeds are acceptable if not earthshaking. On the other hand I was impressed with the print quality.


But let's back up. The HP Officejet J6480 was a breeze to set up. You can network it via wireless 802.11g or by wired Ethernet. I did the former and found it worked just fine with my 24-inch iMac.

The HP OfficeJet J6480 All in One InkJet Printer includes automatic two-sided printing, a 250-sheet paper tray, a scanner with Optical Character Recognition, an autoduplexer, an auto document feed (with adjustable arm), photo finishing, one-touch faxing, and an auto-document feeder (ADF). The front panel has some shortcuts for the scanner, the printer, the copier, and the fax, with the numerical keypad and faxing buttons occupying half of the console.

There's a two-line LCD screen for accessing system preferences. The front panel of the all-in-one has an external card reader that supports g xD, Memory Stick, SD, and CompactFlash. The OfficeJet has a two-cartridge bay with one single black cartridge ($15) and another tricolor cartridge ($18) for color prints. They cost US$15 and $18, respectively, to replace.

The OCR feature isn't flawless, but it works okay for light optical character recognition needs. I wouldn't want to use it on, say, War and Peace, however.

The photo printing is excellent for a relatively inexpensive device. Text and graphics print with sharp lines and details, but the photos show great skin tones, realistic backgrounds and more -- especially if you fiddle a bit with the enclosed image-editing software or use iPhoto. For the best print-outs, use HP's Premium Presentation Paper. Also, the J6480 can print directly from memory cards.

What's not to like besides the relative slowness? Well, the all-in-one has no PictBridge support, though I didn't miss it that much. PictBridge is a standardized technology that allows printing images from a memory card in a digital camera directly to a printer, regardless of brand. The technology completely bypasses the need for a computer. Each PictBridge device is automatically recognized by the other.

Also, the HP OfficeJet J6480 also has only three autodial fax button. Again, this is something that didn't bother me, but you may feel otherwise.

On the other hand, I do wish it had a color LCD for previewing photos on memory cards. Instead, you must print an index sheet, then use the LCD-based menu to specify which photos to print, which is a bit of a pain.

The HP OfficeJet J6480 All in One includes more features than you'd normally see in a system costing under 200 smackers. It's one of the best choices around if you need a single all-in-one for both home and home office. And its wireless features are a nice bonus.

The J6480 weighs 16.9 pounds and measures 10.0 by 18.7 by 18.6 inches. It's compatible with Mac OS X 10.3.9 and higher.

Macsimum rating: 8 out of 10.

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