The HP Photosmart C6380 performed pretty well in our tests. It printed plain-text pages at a rate of 11.3 pages per minute (ppm), and colour graphics as fast as 3.2ppm - above average compared with the competition, though far slower than HP's claims (33ppm text, 31ppm graphics). On plain paper, text is just slightly fuzzy, and photos a little dark but smooth. Everything improved on HP's own paper, except flesh tones, which were orangey.

The silver-and-white HP Photosmart C6380 offers many useful features. Connections include USB, ethernet, and Wi-Fi. HP sells a Bluetooth adaptor. The control panel stretches along the upper front. Words and images on the 2.4in LCD can get awfully small, but accessing menus is otherwise easy using the adjacent navigational buttons.

Function buttons (for copying, scanning, and photo-editing) are clearly labeled. Interesting copy features include on-screen previewing and cropping. Below you'll find slots for MS, SD, xD, CF, and PictBridge-compatible media.

The HP Photosmart C6380's paper handling is basic. The main input takes a wide variety of media, up to 125 sheets of plain paper. It has a sliding width guide, but no length guide or extension; legal-size paper hangs out the front a bit. A piggybacked tray takes up to 20 sheets of 5-by-7-inch or smaller photo media. The lid for both components also functions as the 50-sheet output tray, which has an impressively sturdy pull-out extension.

The Photosmart C6380 ships with five standard-size ink tanks that fit into a permanent printhead: a 250-page pigment black (K), and 300-page cyan (C), magenta (M), and yellow (Y). The replacements are reasonably priced, and the high-yield ones are an even better deal.


A few things about the HP Photosmart C6380 seem not to fit with its midrange price. In most ways, however, it handles a multifunction printer's many tasks with aplomb, making it one of the better-designed competitors on the market.