The HP OfficeJet Pro 6830 is… well, it’s a multifunction printer. It prints, scans and faxes at a fair kind of price, but there’s little that’s genuinely exciting here. That goes with the territory, though.
Printers are — and I’ll be brutally honest here — not terribly interesting creatures. Sorry HP, Lexmark, Canon, Epson, Fuji Xerox and company, but they’re just not. We’re well past the age where the concept of being able to put images onto paper from our computers has gone from novelty to an absolute expectation. Printers are, if you’ll forgive the analogy, the spark plugs of the IT world. We certainly still need them, but there’s not often much to get all that excited about in the printer world.
Nowhere is this more true than in the inkjet space, where even multifunction devices have seen price tumbles in terms of outright unit costs, although inkjet ink retains its rather unique quality of being one of the most expensive fluids on the planet, right next to unicorn tears.*
Enter the $229 HP OfficeJet Pro 6830 e-All-in-One printer. HP’s particular pitch for the HP Officejet Pro 6830 e-All-in-One printer is that it’s suitable for high print flow small group work situations. This isn’t a $99 home AIO by any stretch of the imagination, and as such it’s equipped with just about every print-compatible technology HP could possibly throw at it. It’s not small at 461.85×387.65x224mm and 8kg, so you’ll also need to give it a fairly decent amount of clear desk space as well.
The HP OfficeJet Pro 6830 e-All-in-One printer is a full multifunction device, which means it’ll print, scan, copy and even fax if for some reason you’re stuck in a Groundhog Day style time loop back in 1998.
Printing is supported via USB or 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi with support for AirPrint from iOS devices as well as Android print support. Again, this is what you’d expect from a 2014 multifunction printer.
The HP OfficeJet Pro 6830 e-All-in-One printer uses four ink cartridges (Black, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow) although there doesn’t seem to be a high yield black cartridge for this particular printer. According to HP’s own figures, the standard black cartridge runs at $16.99,and the colour cartridges sell in a combination pack for $37. Expected yield from the standard black cartridge is 400 pages, giving an average black cost of around 4.2c per page.
The HP OfficeJet Pro 6830 e-All-in-One printer is duplex-capable, and sheer print speed and capacity is the clear selling point of the Officejet Pro 6830 e-All-in-One printer with a standard 225 sheet tray designed to keep office paper supplies (and, not coincidentally, HP’s printer ink sales) flowing smoothly. HP rates the Officejet Pro 6830 e-All-in-One printer as being capable of up to 29ppm in draft black mode and 24ppm in draft colour.
So how does that translate in the real world?
In a straight black and white print test, the HP OfficeJet Pro 6830 e-All-in-One printer spat out a draft page in around seven seconds from a cold start printing from Wi-Fi with an average of 16 standard coverage pages in a minute. I did encounter some issues with Wi-Fi printing necessitating a reboot of the printer when printing from Mac OS X 10.9.5, but that’s not an uncommon occurrence with any kind of wireless printing. Print quality was fair but not exceptional for business purposes.
The HP OfficeJet Pro 6830 e-All-in-One printer isn’t specifically touted as a photo printer, and while it can turn out fair photo prints, they’re not terribly vibrant if you’re after long lasting masterpieces. They’d do in a pinch, but you’d be better off with a dedicated photo printer if that’s what you’re after. Straight colour reproduction on plain paper was slightly better, and clearly a printer like this only really makes sense if you do need a fair amount of office colour printing work on a regular basis.
The HP OfficeJet Pro 6830 e-All-in-One printer is definitely a workhorse, but it’s one that’s stuck in an interesting position in the current printer environment. If you do just want fast, and you need colour fairly regularly it could pay off reasonably well, but it still doesn’t quite deliver on the promise of “laser” quality printing in most situations. That means that you’d need the particular combination of needing colour output with absolute time critical delivery as a key component of your workplace for the The OfficeJet Pro 6830 e-All-in-One printer to make significant sense.
* Unicorn tears may not be available in all retail locations. You can substitute fermented gnome earwax in a pinch, though.