Enterprise Software

Review: Hewlett-Packard Photosmart C6300 Series Printer

The HP Photosmart C6300 series all-in-one printer targets small organizations requiring low numbers of high-quality color prints. With integrated wireless and scanning and copying capacity, the C6300 also fulfills other vital requirements small businesses typically require.

Hewlett-Packard's C6300 series color printers fulfill several business needs, principally wireless color printing. The device also excels at small-batch photo printing, scanning and copying. The device's fast (33 black pages per minute) printing and reliability (the unit is rated for 2,500 printed pages per month) make it an economical fit in many small businesses.


  • Type: Color inkjet w/flatbed scanner
  • Functions: Print, scan and copy
  • Scanner resolution: Up to 4800 dpi (optical), up to 192000 dpi (enhanced)
  • Scanner depth: 48 bit
  • Black print resolution: Up to 600 x 600 dpi
  • Color print resolution: Up to 9600 x 2400 dpi
  • Memory card support: Compact Flash, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, Secure Digital/MultimediaCard, Secure Digital High Capacity Card, xD-Picture Card
  • Networking: Wired and 802.11b/g wireless Ethernet
  • Dimensions: 17.79 x 15.97 x 8.17
  • Operating systems: Windows XP Home SP1, Windows XP Professional SP1, Windows Vista, Mac OS X v10.4, Mac OS X v 10.5, numerous Linux distributions (using HPLIP v 3.9.4b software)
  • Price: $199.99
  • More Info: HP Photosmart C6300 Series All-In-One Printer
  • For a closer look, check out the TechRepublic Photo Gallery

Who's it for?

The HP Photosmart C6300 series all-in-one printer targets small organizations requiring low numbers of high-quality color (including lab-quality photographs) prints. With integrated wireless and scanning and copying capacity, the C6300 also fulfills other vital requirements small businesses typically require.

What problem does it solve?

Many inexpensive inkjet printers deliver printing, copying and scanning functions in a single device. The HP Photosmart C6300 adds wired and wireless Ethernet printing and high-quality photograph printing to the package. The included HP Solution Center software makes it easy for non-technical users to scan photographs and documents, print files and photographs and transfer images from memory cards using a variety of operating systems.

Standout features

  • High-quality color printing - HP Photosmart C6300 series printers are capable of producing color prints up to 9600 x 2400 dpi, while black page print quality can be set as high as 66 x 600 dpi. The device produces lab-quality photographs, and a separate photo tray (accommodating 3 x 5, 4 x 6 or 5 x 7) is included.
  • Small-business scalability - The Photosmart is a desktop printer targeted at small businesses. As such, cost and quality are emphasized over quantity. The sub-$200 Photosmart 6000 series printers possess a monthly duty cycle of 2,500 pages, and the device can produce 50 copies at a time. That said, it excels as a photo printer that's also occasionally used to produce color reports, handouts and other materials. Businesses that require greater production should consider the approximately $300 C8000 series, which is rated at 3,000 monthly pages.
  • Performance - The Photosmart 6000 generates pages relatively quickly. Following first page production, the printer prints/copies up to 33 black pages and 31 color pages per minute.
  • Multiple OS support - HP provides software drivers for Windows XP and Vista, Macintosh Tiger (version 10.4) and Leopard (version 10.5) and a variety of Linux distributions using its HP Linux Imaging and Printing (HPLIP) software.
  • Wireless printing standard - Wireless 802.11 b/g Ethernet printing is included as a standard feature, as is wired Ethernet printing. HP's included software enables printing to Photosmart printers using both dynamic and static IP addresses on supported Windows and Macintosh platforms.
  • Flatbed scanner - Small businesses needing to frequently copy or scan odd-size documents and photographs will find the convenience of the 6000-series flat-bed scanner handy.

What's wrong?

  • No fax capability - Photosmart 6000 series printers include print, scan and copy functionality. Fax support is not included. Organizations requiring fax capability should consider the C7000 series or Photosmart Premium models, instead.
  • Flatbed scanner - The same flatbed scanner that makes it convenient to scan or copy odd-size (non-8.5 x 11) items makes it difficult to easily scan multi-page documents. Organizations that must regularly copy or scan multiple-page standard-size documents should opt for the C7000 or Photosmart Premium models, instead.
  • Older operating systems unsupported - Most small businesses are now using Windows XP or Windows Vista. Those organizations that have not yet updated or migrated to these newer OS releases, however, will find themselves in trouble when trying to track down drivers for older operating systems (namely Windows 2000 or NT), as they're not readily available.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

Hewlett Packard has long been known for manufacturing high-quality printers that include reliable driver support. Photosmart 6000 printers continue delivering on that legacy.

While small businesses needing to print more than a few thousand color pages per month may find themselves better served by adding a color LaserJet rated for 25,000 pages or more, those small and even large enterprises needing proven desktop printers with photo-printing capacity for graphics arts, marketing, communications and other staffers will find the Photosmart 6000 an intelligent choice.

The model's multiple network options and wide OS platform support further simplify tech departments' workload. By offering additional connection options (wired and wireless Ethernet) enabling additional office workers to leverage the device's functions, some organizations will find it possible to meet several users' unique printing needs (including those requiring Mac and Linux connectivity) with this single device.

User rating

Have you encountered an HP Photosmart 6000 series printer? If so, what do you think? Rate the unit yourself and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review of the HP Photosmart C6300 series all-in-one printer in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

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Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

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