HP OfficeJet Pro 6830 e-All-in-One review

Cheap colour all-in-one for the small business, sadly handicapped by poor paper handling

HP OfficeJet Pro 6830
The OfficeJet Pro 6830 is an inkjet with a scanner and ADF on top

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There's nothing intrinsically wrong with the OfficeJet Pro 6830. Indeed it delivers everything a small business needs to print, scan, copy and fax, does it with some aplomb and for a lot less than laser alternatives. However it has the look and feel of a consumer printer rather than a robust business solution, especially when it comes to paper handling which is a real Achilles heel.

That aside, if the budget is tight it's still worth considering and we'd definitely recommend signing up for Instant Ink. But if you're going to share the printer with lots of users and you can afford a bit extra you're probably better off with something that has more to offer in the paper handling department.

We liked

Despite its low price and lack of size, the OfficeJet Pro 6830 is bristling with connectivity options plus a full complement of mobile printing and scanning tools that we found easy to learn and highly effective. It's also a very easy device to operate, both via the colour front panel and remotely through either a browser or using custom apps.

Inkjets are notoriously expensive to run but HP reckons that the OfficeJet Pro 6830 can produce professional colour documents at up to 50% of the cost of a laser and by signing up to its Instant Ink service this seems more than plausible. In fact, by fixing the cost per page and delivering the necessary ink to your door in advance of it running out, Instant Ink is very much a no-brainer and something we'd strongly recommend to anyone buying this or any other supported HP inkjet.

We disliked

A single paper tray is a real limitation on a business printer, further exacerbated in this case by the lack of a bypass feeder. Not only do you have to keep a close eye on how much paper is available but, in order to print to envelopes, card, pre-printed paper and so on, you have to load the material into the sole paper tray and quickly complete the required print jobs before anyone else tries to use the printer. You then have to remove any unused media and top up with paper to make the printer/copier ready for normal operation.

The catch tray on top of the paper drawer is another annoyance, spilling documents onto the floor rather than keeping them safe. Some of ours also got caught on the plastic stop bar, ending up scrunched and smeared. Moreover, in a busy office the catch tray will nearly always be full of forgotten old documents making it even harder to refill the paper drawer beneath.

And lastly, it must be about time for HP and other vendors to drop the built-in fax modem. Very few businesses use fax these days and we're sure most would rather have better paper handling.

Final verdict

A good little all-in-one for sole traders and micro businesses, the OfficeJet Pro 6830 scores high on both the connectivity front and in its printing capabilities. Plus, if you sign up to the Instant Ink service, it can be very cheap to run. The single paper tray is, however, a real drawback when it comes to high print volumes and sharing, and businesses with more than a handful of users are better off with something a little more flexible in this respect.