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HP OfficeJet Pro 6970 review: A fast budget printer with some issues

Expert Reviews Staff
30 Jul 2019
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
92
inc VAT

The OfficeJet Pro 6970 is a good home office MFP, but it still comes with some frustrations

Pros 
Fast printing
Decent colour prints
Slightly cheaper print cost than other models
Cons 
Limited resolution choices
Black and white printing not the best
Paper loading is tricky
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The HP OfficeJet Pro 6970 is an inkjet MFP all-in-one that prints, scans and copies. It comes with a number of smart features designed to make life in a busy home office a little bit easier.

HP OfficeJet Pro 6970 review: Features

Its home office bias is reflected in sensible features, such as a 225-sheet paper tray in the base, a 35-sheet duplexing ADF on top, and ink supplies rated for up to 1,500 black pages or 825 in colour. At the front there’s a USB port, but you can only print photos from an inserted USB drive – not PDFs or other documents.

The OfficeJet Pro 6970 seems much wider than necessary and it’s not the most user-friendly MFP. Its large paper tray is tricky to load unless you release the two blue catches near the rear and pull it free. Its lid doubles as the output tray and latches up nicely to help you reload. However, its two telescoping parts felt too loose and tended to stick momentarily as we extended or retracted it.

HP OfficeJet Pro 6970 review: Specifications

This is a fast printer for the price, reaching 4.7ppm in our colour graphics test, and churning out black text at an impressive 18.5ppm. Copies were swift in black, with a ten-page mono job needing just 89 seconds, but a colour version took twice as long and a duplex colour copy inched out at 2.1ppm. 

HP’s scan interface is over-reliant on shortcuts and too proscriptive, allowing only a limited set of pre-defined resolution choices. The 6970 spent nearly five minutes working on our 1,200dpi photo scan before giving up and returning no image. We reset the host PC, reinstalled HP’s drivers and retried over a wired Ethernet connection, but the issue remained.

Scan quality was generally good, although our 600dpi photo scan looked as though it had been overly sharpened and seemed artificial when viewed at 100%. We were also disappointed by the faint bands that appeared in some graphical prints on plain paper

Colour photos were good for a non-specialist device, but our black-and-white print had a distinct green tint. Using the highest-capacity supplies, it should cost the 6970 around 6.8p to print a page of mixed text and colour graphics – a couple of pence cheaper than typical at this price.

HP OfficeJet Pro 6970 review: Verdict

Overall, the HP OfficeJet Pro 6970 is a good-value MFP for a busy home office, but with frustrating scan software and a design that’s clunky in places, it’s not perfect.

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