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HP OfficeJet Pro 6960 review: A capable all-in-one for sensible money

Simon Handby
22 Feb 2018
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
90
inc VAT

HP’s OfficeJet Pro 6960 is a capable home office all-in-one, but its scanner could be improved

Pros 
Touchscreen is easy to use
Good running costs
Great print quality
Cons 
Paper tray isn't removable
Scanning is slow
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Our original review continues below. 

HP OfficeJet Pro 6960 review

HP’s OfficeJet Pro 6960 is a mid-range colour inkjet all-in-one – or multifunction peripheral (MFP) if you prefer – that’s designed for home and small offices. At nearly £100, it’s fairly pricey, but the standard specification includes a three-year guarantee, automatic double-sided (duplex) printing, scanning, faxing and copying, and both wired and wireless networking. The only obvious omission is a USB host port for walk-up printing or scanning.

READ NEXT: Our guide to the best photo, all-in-one and laser printers to buy

Design and user controls

This MFP’s design is typical of the latest generation of HP printers: all swoops and curved surfaces, and a colour touchscreen replacing the clutter of conventional buttons. It’s rather nice, but it’s not perfect: the acres of sombre black plastic won’t be to everyone’s taste, and it’s annoying that the 250-sheet paper input tray is captive in the base. I often mention how this can make loading and unloading paper fiddly, and it certainly was here: it’s tricky to push 6x4" photo paper far enough in, and almost impossible to grab its front edge to extract it again. Everything else works well, however, particularly the touchscreen, which supports tap and drag gestures.

Running costs

The HP’s ink cartridges share similar packaging and design to those of Canon’s Pixma range, which suggests there may be some shared technology. Unfortunately they also share the lack of physical keying that would prevent you from inserting the wrong colour in the wrong slot – care might be needed here.

You can buy XL replacement cartridges rated at 825 colour pages each, and a black cartridge capable of 1,500 pages. Using these, running costs are a competitive 5.8p per A4 page of text and graphics, but this printer is also compatible with HP’s Instant Ink – where new supplies are ordered automatically and delivered as needed. This can typically lower costs further, and it’s worth looking into whether HP is running free trials if you’re planning to buy.

Performance: Printing, scanning, copying

Printing speeds are fast across the board. The OfficeJet Pro 6960 completed our 25-page mono text test at a rate of 15.6 pages per minute (ppm) and our more complex colour graphics test at 4.7ppm. In Draft mode, it reached 18.5ppm on text, and the quality was still quite acceptable. Photo printing was slower, however: with the Max DPI mode switched on, borderless postcard-sized photos took about 90 seconds each.

I’ve reviewed recent HP MFPs with slow automatic document feeders (ADFs). This one was quick for mono copies, helping deliver ten pages in 80 seconds, but in colour the same job took almost three minutes. The scanner itself might not be helping: even over a USB connection it needed 1min 16secs to copy a 6 x 4in photo at 600 dots per inch (dpi), and it took a tedious 4mins 40secs to scan the same photo at 1,200dpi. I’m no fan of HP’s oversimplified TWAIN scan interface, either, and my test photo scans appeared to have been digitally sharpened, which made them look unnatural.

Verdict

The OfficeJet Pro 6960 has good features and a nice design, and printing quality is high. It’s fairly cheap to run, too, which makes a good choice for everyday office work. Its scanner is slow, however, and HP’s annoying software doesn’t help get the best out of it. If you can find it for a good price, then it’s worth considering, but otherwise you’d be better off buying Epson’s Workforce WF-3620DWF instead.

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HP OfficeJet 6960 specifications

TechnologyThermal inkjet
Maximum print resolution9,600x2,400dpi
Maximum optical scan resolution (output bit depth)1,200x1,200dpi (24-bit)
Number of colours (cartridges)4
Maximum number of colours (cartridges)6
Quoted photo durability (source)30 years (Canon)
Standard interfacesUSB, Ethernet
Optional interfaces802.11n Wi-Fi
Dimensions (HxWxD)120x540x130mm
Weight4.2kg
Duty cycle (pages per month)25,000

Paper handling

Maximum paper sizeA3+
Maximum paper weight300gsm
Standard paper trays (capacity)1 (300)
Maximum paper trays (capacity)2 (500)
DuplexYes or No, code if option
Automatic Document Feeder capacity35
Photo features
Borderless printingYes
Direct (PC-less) printingUSB
Memory card supportSDXC
Supported operating systemsWindows 7/8, Mac OS X 10.6+, Linux
Other features6cm colour screen

Buying information

WarrantyOne-year RTB

Running costs

Consumable parts and prices950XL black (2,300 pages ISO/IEC 24712) £22, 951XL cyan, magenta, yellow (1,500 pages each ISO/IEC 24712) £17 each
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge(s)1,000 pages (ISO/IEC 24712)
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s)Cyan, magenta, yellow cartridges 700 pages each (ISO/IEC 24712)
Cost per ISO/IEC 24712 A4 page inc VAT4.4p
Cost per ISO/IEC 24712 A4 page inc VAT (colour part)3.4p
Cost per ISO/IEC 24712 A4 page inc VAT (mono part)1.0p

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