HP's PhotoSmart multifunction devices may have photo printing in mind, but the £199 C6180 has one foot firmly placed in the office, too. Some of the more business-friendly features include the 33.6Kbps (kilobits per second) fax modem and full networking facilities, and the HP will slot into wired and wireless networks.

The HP has an ADF (automatic document feeder) built into the top which supports 50 sheets. Versatile page handling is integral to the C6180's clean design, and placed above the standard paper feed you get a dedicated photo tray capable of holding up to 20 sheets of photo paper. This is a nice touch, although it does mean that the facilities are a little cramped.

Other photo features include a nicely integrated and extensive memory card drive and a PictBridge port. The HP's onboard system is very easy to use, although we were rather irked by the printer's regular checkups. The C6180 is a mouthy little so and so and, when not in use, could often be heard churning away to itself - particularly in the few minutes following a print job.

As a general printer, the HP works well. It showed itself to be easily one of the fastest MFDs we've seen yet, producing mono and colour at rates of 15ppm and 11.5ppm (pages per minute) respectively. Even the HP's worst quality mode still produces very attractive prints in both mono and colour. We quite liked the quality of the colour photographs in normal mode - hitting a very respectable 2.8ppm - while clean and dark text output was available at the rate of 6.3ppm. Plus the HP has some very decent scanning facilities.

HP PhotoSmart C6180: Specs

  • Max res 4,800x1,200dpi
  • quoted print speed B=32ppm C=31ppm, actual B=15ppm C=11.5ppm
  • USB 1.1/2.0
  • ethernet
  • 80211b/g
  • ink costs B=£17 C=£6 x 5
  • print life (pages) B=1,120 C=430
  • flash memory drive
  • digicam port
  • 1-year warranty
  • 450x385x247mm
  • 10.6kg
  • Max res 4,800x1,200dpi
  • quoted print speed B=32ppm C=31ppm, actual B=15ppm C=11.5ppm
  • USB 1.1/2.0
  • ethernet
  • 80211b/g
  • ink costs B=£17 C=£6 x 5
  • print life (pages) B=1,120 C=430
  • flash memory drive
  • digicam port
  • 1-year warranty
  • 450x385x247mm
  • 10.6kg

OUR VERDICT

Exclusive business users might find a laser printer more to their liking but, for a home office with a need to mix faxing and decent text output with a desire for eye-catching photographs, the C6180 is a decent option.

Find the best price