on October 2, 2006
So far, this printer is a delight. UPS delivered the unit to me without issue, and a day earlier than Amazon anticipated. Unbox and setup proceeded smoothly and almost without incident on both my MacBook Pro and my wife's Dell Inspiron E1705 (although it ran **very** slowly on the Dell). At first, the PC Setup Wizard wouldn't find the printer. I found C7180's MAC address and had it find the printer manually. True to form, the printer set-up on the Mac was quick and easy.
I was initially worried that printing wireless to the C7180 would be slow, laborious and error-prone. Not so. From both the Dell and the Mac, I noticed little difference between USB and 802.11g printing modes.
The first few prints on the provided 4x6 HP Advanced Photo paper were a little off, both Mac and PC. Black and white prints were flawless, although drying times were longer than I'm used to from my previous HP Photosmart 7520. Looks as if the nozzles needed some cleaning (not uncommon with a new Photo printer), as a single cleaning cycle fixed issue with colour prints.
Normal fast prints to regular paper from Word and Excel (both Mac and PC) were very sharp. Not quite laser quality, but very legible at 5 points.
When trying to print from iPhoto to 4x6 paper, I'm having to use the Advanced print option to choose the print tray, otherwise the photo prints to normal paper. Maybe that could be considered an "Advanced" setting, but that's not something I had to do with the old Photosmart 7520.
I haven't done much scanning, but I'm please with what I have done so far (some slides). For some reason, the light bar on the scanner **never turns off** and I plan to call HP about it tomorrow. The last thing I need is for that light bar to burn out. Additionally, the 3.5" screen is always lit up. Could be a function of being on a wireless network - the screen gives you feedback on the strength of the wireless signal and whether or not you are receiving messages or shared photos via HPs photosharing service.
So far, I'm impressed. I love the ability to print wirelessly from...well, whereever I want to be. I'm sure my mother-in-law will love the internet photosharing function. I'm docking a single star for the light bar and color screen remaining on for hours at a time.
edit - Duh. An option in the printer setup will allow you to shut off the scanner lamp if unused for an hour. Still no solution for the printer LCD remaining backlit.
on October 1, 2006
I bought this printer to replace a hp psc 2100. The automated 4 by 6 picture paper tray is great, no having to take the letter paper out and worrying about getting the picture paper lined up correctly. The printer also is 802.11g wireless, I have the printer connected to my home pc with the usb cable, and I have setup my laptop with the wireless, and it works very well. I printed pictures and documents off of my laptop and the quality was great. the c7180 also is bluetooth ready, I have it paired with my cell phone and have printed pictures that I took with it. I tried out the negative processing on the printer. It takes about a minute to convert the printer over and get the film loaded in the special tray. It took about 5 minutes for the printer to scan and process the 5 pictures that was on the negative. I had a friend come over with a memory card, we put the card in the printers built in card reader, then viewed, edited, and printed the pictures without even turning my computer on. The included photosmart software is ok, it is not the easiest to use and does not have a ton of features but if you are just doing basic editing then it will be just fine. I have not tried the fax, since I already had a fax machine. The price may seem a little steep but with all of the features and how long that hp printer last for me(this is my 3rd hp printer in 15 years.) I would recommend this printer to anyone that does photo printing
on April 3, 2007
I researched this and other products online before testing machines in person at a retail store. Price wasn't my first priority, but it helped that I was able to purchase it on sale.
I have used at least eight home printers in 20 years, including Epson, Canon and HP. I've had a couple of duds, but most have been adequate, and I'm partial to none. I've replaced only one printer due to failure. The others I've replaced as my needs changed and the technology improved. This is my second all-in-one.
As a scrapbooker, photo printing and scanning are important to me. My husband and grandson mostly print, copy and scan in black and white. Connecting our three Macs to one quality printer/scanner/copier made sense to us.
After seeing the machines in person I eliminated the Canon and went back and forth between the HP C7180 and the HP C6180. I considered the 6180 because of the lesser price and smaller footprint. The specs suggested both machines should be equal in speed and print quality, but I found the 7180 to be faster and quieter, with better photoprint quality. It also has a nice solid feel, and even with a little bigger footprint than I like, it fits easily where my old printer did.
As a longtime Mac user, I expect easy set-up, and I was not disappointed. The QuickStart Guide was enough to get me printing, copying and scanning. I was especially pleased that the printer immediately recognized my wireless network, even though we are still using our original Airport rather than the newer Airport Extreme. Connecting the other two Macs was as easy as installing software and going through the step-by-step set-up process. I don't know if this printer would be faster with a direct connection, but it is faster than my previous printer was with a USB connection, so that's good enough for me! I love the wireless connection. Love it.
I like the individual color ink tanks, three for regular color printing, five for photoprinting. The printer automatically knows when to use all five. The cartridges are color coded, easy to access and change -- no waiting for the printer carriage to align. Simply open the door, pop out the old and pop in the new. Cost was about $10 per color cartridge. For my previous printer, I was spending almost $50 for one black and one color cartridge, so this didn't seem bad to me, considering that I won't have to change a whole cartridge when my most used colors are gone. This is still an unknown, though, so I may have to report back later.
I also like the two paper trays -- one for regular paper and one for photo paper, with a special slot for 6x4 photo paper. All papers align perfectly for printing and copying.
While all the buttons on the control panel are a little initimidating at first, the functions are well-labeled and easy to use. Press one button to copy. Press another to scan, or scan from the HP Studio software. Borderless printing is a snap from iPhoto or card and the photoprint quality is the best I've gotten from any printer ever. So far the HP C7180 is well worth the cost (I paid $399) and deserving of five stars.
on April 28, 2007
The HP PhotoSmart printer series is an extremely high value. It has been pretty much since its inception. However, it has typically been less of a bargain due to its much higher cost than the non-PhotoSmart equivalent. Finally, price meets value with the c7180. This printer is awesome! It has great networking capabilities with 10/100T Ethernet, 802.11b/g wireless and Bluetooth! The viewing screen is amazingly brilliant and large, and provides great onscreen instructions to perform any task.
I was having a problem choosing between this and the c6180. One of the deciding factors was the power plug. The c7180 uses a standard "computer" cable for power while the c6180 uses the proprietary 3-prong connector. This was a huge selling point for me because I may have a time where I need to replace the cable (puppy chews cables, kids pull on things, accidents happen...) and being able to replace it with any PC cable makes it considerably easier (and potentially cheaper).
Other factors that weighed in my decision were the auto document feeder, or ADF. The ADF is a very nice addon to any all-in-one printer. It sort of completes the package for copying and faxing. However, my point of realization for that feature was when I sat back and thought about why I was getting either of these printers. Primarily for photo printing, secondarily for document printing, and all other features are "bonus". I occasionally need a fax, sometimes need a scanner, and rarely need a copier. With this in mind, and knowing I was getting an inkjet, I decided the ADF was a cool, but unnecessary feature for my typical needs. Using the flatbed scanner in its place would prove to be an easy task when it came up. If you really need this feature, I would recommend a laser printer instead.
The added features that really offset the ADF were the photo gadgets that came with the printer. The slide and negative brackets are a nice plus. In addition the Bluetooth is truly the way of the future. Bluetooth is still in its relative infancy even though it has been out for several years. Because of its late adoption, only the newest of computers and accessories are realizing its potential. As we move forward Bluetooth will be how a product is judged on whether its life will continue or if it will be replaced with a newer (Bluetooth enabled) component.
And last, but probably the most 'valuable' part, the ink. The last printer I bought was also an HP. The 932C. It was a very good printer, even by today's standards. However, it had lived its life and was ready to be retired. One of the biggest downfalls of that printer was ink. The cost of the cartridges was extremely high, and the number of pages was increasingly low. With the c7180 you get individual cartridges for each color! Replacing only the color you need saves you a ton of money by not having to throw out a cartridge not completely empty. In addition, the cost of replacement colors is extremely cheap. Doing some window shopping I found them for as low as ten bucks USD. I am very pleased to see some standardization with the new cartridges and the cost finally becoming a reality for everyday people.
In the box you get a telephone cord for the Fax, a power cable, a packet of paper that includes photo paper and brochure paper, your first set of ink cartridges and a lot of tape. You also get a Windows and Mac install CD if you are so inclined to be that mainstream. If you are ahead of your time and run Linux you can rest assured that CUPS as well as HP themselves, directly both support this product in its full capacity (not just a driver, but full utility tools as well).
Finally, a purchase well worth making in the printer arena.
on November 12, 2006
I got this printer the other day to replace my HP PSC 950 all-in-one printer but found it to be a very mediocre printer compared to mine. The printer is nice and compact at a hefty 26-27 pounds. The screen menus are straight-forward and easy to use.
The setup was a snap. The printer offers several setup configurations. You can connect it to your computer via USB, router or just plain wireless. I choose to connect it via my Linksys Router since I didn't want to put my desktop on a wireless network. At lease this way my other three other computers (connected to the network via wireless) could still access the printer. I didn't have any problems with the printer recieving the data from the wireless computers--it took a little time but it was acceptable. If you allow the printer to be standalone, it might take a little longer to print a document or have a couple more issues (dropped network connectivity) since you're relying on HP's wireless hardware to connect your computers to it. Don't know how long HP has been in the business of making wireless hardware--that could be a issue. It worked ok for me, but I'd rather rely on my Linksys router for connectivity since I've rarely had a dropped connection.
I tried scanning a printed text document (without pictures) and have to say that it was much slower compaired to my printer. The only reason I can think of is that it's trying to also generate (and save) a preview on its small screen which I think is useless. The screen is too small to use as a preview for text. It also took its sweet time printing the copy (text only). They result was also below average print quality. I found better quality on my HP 722C injet printer. I tried printing a color photo and the print quality wasn't as good as some of the Epson printers. You still have to be careful how you handle the pictures--it probably has a lot to do when the quality of HP's paper. I think Epson ink and paper are better then HP. I'd actually look at buying one of those picturemate printers to print my photos before I relied on these all-in-one printers. When you start cramming a lot of features into my printer--you're bound to run into some technical issues in other areas.
Yes--cartridges for this printer can be purchased individually compared to many older printers so you don't have to replace those that have three-in-one color cartridges. That really didn't matter to me since I really don't print in color very often. I tend to go through black (for text printing) anyway. The 10ml black cartridge ($18)for the C7180 is pretty small compared to the 25ml black cartridge ($14-$25) on my old printer. If you do the math--these newer cartridges (costs per page) will turn out to be more expensive (especially if you print in color). When I printed a test page and compared it to other HP printers, frankly the quality wasn't that great. I expected more from this printer.
I didn't try the faxing capability since I use my computer to send/receive my faxes--besides I get a better size preview screen (for my text/graphics documents) on my computer. The one thing that really disappointed me was the mechanism for feeding paper into the printer. The entire tray is made of much softer/flimsy plastic (especially the small embedded tray for 4x6 pictures. The paper didn't fit in it smoothly. When I tried adjusting the width, it took some doing and highlighted how cheap it was. My 950's paper tray is much more sturdier than the one on this printer. Additionally--it seems you have to remove the 8.5x11 paper from the tray if you want to print envelopes. I didn't see a seperate tray/slot for inserting individual envelopes for printing. These couple things turned me off to this printer in a hurry--that's why I decided to keep my HP PSC 950 and yes--my HP 722C inkjet for now and return the C7180.
Don't be roped into this printer because of the fancy screen. Don't waste your money if you plan to use this printer to print a lot of pictures--you'll go through these small cartridges in a hurry. Get yourself one of those portable picturemate printers (with a preview screen)--like Epson. They work great. The scanner on this printer is not that good either--it's the same as my PSC 950. It probably has a lot to do with the scanning software the HP provides with this unit. HP hasn't made a lot of improvements since they started packaging it with older printers (like my PSC 950). I've also heard people having problems using other scanning software (like Paperport) with this unit but I wouldn't know.
Three stars--for the compact unit, screen menues, network connectivity and fax feature.
on July 4, 2007
After my old HP 890c made its last print. A desire to scan my 35mm color slides, negatives, and old photos for digital archiving and to print photo quality images from old and new digital images, led me to the Photosmart c7180. I took it out of the box and plugged it in, installed the ink cartridges, loaded the 2 sample sheets of photo paper and immediately inserted my SD card into the card slot. Wow, I couldn't believe how easy it was to preview, select, crop, zoom, and auto correct picture quality without the computer. The first print was great. I will only have to use Photoshop for special editing projects. Time for a quick one button copy of a document on regular paper. It was perfect and fast. I then installed the software and plugged the HP into a usb port. Next I scanned in a color slide followed by a color negative and both printed perfectly. After a couple of weeks use I have nothing but praise for it. To conserve ink it is set at the lowest quality for my general printing and copying. It prints very fast and doesn't seem to use much ink. Next I set up the wireless to receive from my laptop and sent a Word document to the HP from outside and 300 feet away. Again the HP worked flawlessly. Finally, I printed a 2 sided document. YES, it does 2 sided. It will print the odd pages the pause and prompt to turn the pages around while moving them back to feed tray and the even pages will print. Only high volumn printing would need the 2 sided document accessory.
on December 31, 2006
I bought this all in one recently and i have it set up and working wirelessly with my Mac and PC's. I research my items alot before i buy and then go to stores and get demos and let me tell you this thing is brilliant! If your after a wireless printer/scanner/fax this is for you, especially if you have different platforms. The photo print quality is excellent, I find it better than the ones in stores for some pictures.
I am not sure if my firmware is different to others here but my screen sleeps after inactivity and the lamp goes off after an hour of no use. The setup was really simple to do also, follow the brief instructions, first set up the printer and get it working, then install the software and it does the rest for you.
So far no problems with the unit and i think this could be up there with one of the best printers i have ever owned. I definitely recommend this product and am sure you won't be disappointed.
on August 5, 2007
I purchased this C7180 after returning a 7600 series all-in-one that had print head alignment problems (problems of course that could not be resolved by HP support). The C7180 was picked because of the emphasis on photo quality printing.
The intended implementation was a networked environment of mixed Windows machines (Vista and XP) and a Macintosh computer. The built-in networking of the C7180 was appealing.
Vista drivers are not included with the product and have to be downloaded. This was not an issue. Although setup was acceptable on all platforms, it quickly became apparent that the computer to scanner capabilities were not working.
Calls to HP support exacerbated the problem. After multiple uninstalls and resinstalls, rummaging through directories for drivers, modification of hosts files, the problem remains. The HP support reps although nice enough, generally lacked product knowledge and were ill-equipped to handle Vista issues. I imagine the reps must have felt as frustrated as me, as they attempted to support the Vista environment without access to Vista machines. To improve service levels, HP clearly needs to resolve this predicament.
Although assigned a case number, each follow-up call to HP support seemed to initiate a completely new call history. After repeating the same scenario mutiple times and spending nearly three hours on the phone I've given up. I tried to assist and facilitate (I've done this, here's the result, I've tried that, here's the otucome) but all to no avail.
Admittedly the picture quality appears to be good. The lack of scanner functionality and multiple problems encountered with HP products and this one in particular is a serious issue. If you need to call HP support for the solution of more than an elementary issue, all bets are off.
on June 3, 2007
The Photosmart C7180 does exactly what HP says it does and it does it with acceptable speed and ease. As other reviewers have noted, if you want to use it with Vista, an extra step is needed. My printer did contain a prominant notice to check the HP website if you want to use Vista. The CD ROM that comes with the printer will not load on a Vista machine. I've seen the work of other manufacturers who will let their software load on systems that they are not fully compatible with, so I give credit to HP for its approach. The Vista compatible software for the C7180 was easy to find on HP's website (just do a search for Photosmart 7180). After downloading it, it installed with ease. Before loading the software, the printer had been found by my network and connecting it was a breeze.
Installing the software completes the process. There is one more download you may need however. If you are like me, you might have earlier versions of HP software on your computer (this will likely be the case if you have an HP computer or your previous printer was an HP). These earlier versions may interfere with the scanning feature of the 7180. A small patch available at the same place as the Vista download is designed to take care of that. Sure enough, before loading that patch, my printer would not scan to the computer though it would scan to print or to a memory card stored in the printer. After installing the patch, the scanner scanned to the computer as well. The 7180 also connected without problem to my Bluetooth phone. The printer produces beautiful prints and I find the text to be every bit as good as my previous regular HP printer. I like the layout of the controls and the fact I can tilt them to the angle I prefer. The LCD is bright and clear and it does shut off on its own after an idle period, as does the scanner light. The printer seems to go through a series of adjustments after each project, but I am told this is common to the new HP print technology. I have only two quibbles: I wish the printer had native two-sided printing without requiring me to purchase an overpriced accessory. And because the 7180 uses TWAIN drivers rather than WIA drivers, Vista Ultimate's Scan and Fax program can't see the scanner or fax. I can use the HP programs that come with the download, but I like Vista's Scan and Fax feature better. Here is hoping HP will make this adjustment.
on March 27, 2007
I have been using this printer for over 2 months now, and I have to say that I am very impressed with it. The wireless feature is a must for anyone who has more than one computer on a wireless network. I am able to use all of the printer's funtionality from each computer on the network that has the HP Software installed. Unlike a traditional printer server that permits printing functions only, the wireless printer does not use a printer server and provides scanning and faxing features to each computer on the network. There are 3 different ways to hook this printer up:
LAN Connection to Network
USB to PC
You can use the printer as a network device with all 3 configurations, but the USB to PC will only offer printing functionality to the other network PC's (also must have printer sharing enabled on the host PC).
I definately recommend using the wireless connection, as it supports WPA Security, as well as, WEP.
There is a slight lag with the wireless configuration, as it may take more time to send the document / photo over the network at a slower pace than if it were hard wired. But, as soon as the printer has the entire document and is ready to print, it is fast (not as fast as laser, but laser does not have the same photo capabilities).
I also fooled around with the bluetooth features by sending a picture of my daughter from my phone to the printer. The picture quality was as good as what was captured by the phone. It's a nice to have feature, but I could live without it.
Setting this up was very simple. Installing the HP Software was a little tough because of all of the new security in the latest PC's. It took quite a while, but once it finished, I was printing from all PC's.
**I am updating my review 10 months later, and I still love this machine. I just bought an Apple iMac running Leopard, and had absolutely no issues setting this up. Leopard was able to find the printer on the network and had the printer working in about 3 clicks. I did download the Mac software for the printer so that I could also use the scanner and fax features. I now have a mixed network of Mac and PC's (3 XP, 1 Vista, and now 1 Leopard), and all have full access to the printer.