Why it’s junk, and what you should buy instead.
This is my review for the HP OfficeJet Pro 6978. Many other sites have raved about how amazing this printer is. If that’s what you’re hoping for here, then I’m sorry to disappoint. However, I’ve promised the best and most honest printer reviews and ratings available, and that’s what I’m giving you today.
On paper, the HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 is a fantastic printer for a home office. It’s quick, reliable, and uses reasonably priced ink cartridges.
However, in my time selling this printer, there have been some issues. We’ll get to them, but let’s start with the positives.
When I talk to customers about this printer, the first thing they like is how small it is. As printers get bigger and bigger, it is refreshing to see a home office printer that takes up a smaller footprint. The HP 6978 will fit on most desks or even a lateral filing cabinet.
The HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 takes an HP 902 ink cartridge. The XL black cartridge costs about $45.00 and has a page yield of up to 825 pages. This gives you a price per page of about five and a half cents per page for black pages. At twenty dollars per cartridge for each of the three colors, which also have an 825-page yield, the OfficeJet Pro 6978 will print color copies at just over seven cents per page. For home office purposes, this is an exceptional value.
The OfficeJet Pro 6978 stores just under a half-ream of paper in the bottom tray. While some customers may wish for a full-ream storage, this contributes to the smaller design of the printer.
Printing at speeds of up to twenty pages per minute, with a host of features like wireless AirPrint and automatic duplex printing, the HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 seems like it may be a dream come true for home offices and small business owners. But there are a few serious drawbacks.
First some small nitpicks.
The HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 features a screen which is very small. Many of the customers who come into my store are elderly and/or vision impaired, and the smaller screen is hard for them to read. Also, being a touchscreen, users may have difficulty navigating it. The reason for the small screen is not very apparent. My guess is that the HP 6978 has a smaller screen so HP can up-sell customers to a more expensive printer with a larger screen.
Also, as is often the case with these home office inkjet printers, the top document feed doesn’t always recognize paper when it’s inserted. Also, the OfficeJet Pro 6978 claims a copy speed of up to thirteen pages per minute, but whenever I demonstrate this for customers, it takes at least thirty seconds to kick out the first page. For an inkjet printer, there’s no reason for this.
Those issues are forgivable, but here is the deal breaker. This printer is about as reliable as a two-dollar mechanic.
In the months since the HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 has been released, I’ve sold hundreds of them. However, in the past month, I’ve had about six get returned. Even our display model, which was barely used, broke down and needed to get replaced.
Most of the issues I’ve seen with this printer relate to paper jams. However, every single one of them had no paper jammed in the printer. I opened them all myself and checked. But when you clear out of the error message, the printer says there is a problem and it needs to restart. Rinse and repeat.
We’ve had about one out of four of these printers come back to the store recently with issues. And HP has refused to fulfill warranty claims on them, since it appears to be a software issue. Also, they tell customers to bring the printer back to the store, since it happens so soon after purchase.
The customers lose, and the retailers lose.
If you think the reward outweighs the risk on the HP Officejet Pro 6978, you can get it here.
But here’s what I think you should get instead:
HP Officejet Pro 9015
Yeah, I know, it’s another HP. But hear me out.
The Officejet Pro 9015 costs about fifty dollars more than the HP 6978, and the HP 962 cartridges cost a few dollars more. However, the cost per page is about two-and-a-half cents for black and about four cents for color. It also stores more paper and is just a hair faster. All of the other features are virtually identical.
Overall, the HP OfficeJet Pro 9015 is a better printer and a better long-term investment than the HP Officejet Pro 6978. It holds up over time, and won’t break down in two months due to some bogus error code.
16 thoughts on “HP Officejet Pro 6978 Printer Review”
I bought one 8978 Saturday to replace a very disappointing Brother J885DW (I had very good satisfaction with Brother LaserJet in the past) and it blacked out on us Sunday morning, internal psu gone, exchanged it, luckily had purchased Best by insurance, printer was replaced no questions asked. I agree with you in regards to the touch screen being very small and I’m surprise you recommend the 8710 as it seems to share the same screen. I still have 15 days to return the printer so I am still looking.
Another issue I have with the 6978 is that 1 of our old lap top still runs under XP and it seems the driver is not compatible.
I would be interested to know which you would recommend at this time considering your review is now 10 months old.
Hi Denis, sorry to hear you’ve been having trouble. I currently use the HP OfficeJet Pro 8720, and I love it. It’s fast, reliable, and efficient, and it has a big screen. Just make sure you have a big enough place for it, as it is quite large.
The issue with XP is going to be one you run into with most printers. Almost everything you find in store now will only support back to Vista service pack 2. You could try emailing documents from your computer to your printer, but it doesn’t always work smoothly.
Best of luck! -Joe
I’m on my second HP Officejet Pro 6978. First one lasted two months…printhead error did it in. I got the second one direct from HP (factory reconditioned…yeah, right). It has lasted around three weeks and now magenta isn’t printing. Decided to change cartridges from the starter one to my first instant ink shipment…still waiting on the printer maintenance to finish. I wish I had gone with the next higher model!
I’m sorry you’ve had so much trouble. I wish HP would fix this printer or just stop selling it!
You are right on — the HP 6978 is a piece of junk!! The printer will not stay connected to the drivers on user PC’s. It drops offline frequently and requires rebooting the printer and the PC to re-establish a connection. HP’s customer support always blames the network even though the printer is still accessible via its IP address. This printer has a serious design flaw and should not be purchased for use in a wireless environment.
I’m sorry you’re having issues. Unfortunately, the only remedy I’ve found is to bring the printer back and get a different model. I hope you find something that works for you! -Joe
That is my problem all the freakin time!!!! Always have to connect it back to my wifi, such a pain in the ass, why can’t it just stay connected!!!
Unreal, I just bought this printer last week at Office Depot and from day one, I have been getting that same problem. I hope when I return it to Office Depot I will get my money back for the cartridges as well! Getting a bit fed up with HP. I had the Instant ink program but found out that there is no way to print if you are not on the internet. Not practical if your are an Event planner and need to print onsite. I have lost 2 printers because of this stupid problem.
What else would you recommend besides the Officejet Pro 8710? I do have one of those, but need to have another printer as we are away for 4 months. Thanks in advance.
I have an HP Office Jet L7590. Yes its old and yes it still works. Have had some issues with it over the years, but it has proven to be a work horse. HP advised me that has been End of Life for some time now and recommend and sold me an 8720 (glad to see you are using one and like it). I have read some very negative reviews on Amazon and Best Buy about the printer, but overall it seems to be a good product, and the price is right $179.00.
What do you think about taking a 2 year extended warranty for $55.00. I figured if it lasts 3 years, I got my money’s worth and will just buy a new one at that point.
Hi Dennis. For $55 I’d pass. I usually shoot for 25% of the purchase price or less when buying warranties on printers.
HI Joe !
Here is my problem with HP OfficeJet Pro 6978:
It Does Not Print at all !!!!!!!!!
Document sits in the queue … and this is it !!!!!
No matter which way it is connected to the computer:
WEP, Wi-Fi, USB, Ethernet port …
Document sits in the queue … and this is it !!!!!
I gave up on my HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 as a color printer because it consumed all of the colored ink in self-maintenance. I hoped this was just a one-time start-up issue, but it continued to happen with the second set of color cartridges. The ink levels quickly drained away even though I printed only a few occasional color copies. I took the printer back to the store. They exchanged it for another printer. That one did the same thing. I now use it only as a black and white printer. I really miss having a color printer, but I’m unwilling to purchase color cartridges and have the ink quickly “evaporate” in self-maintenance.
Thanks for revealing.
I tell people to read this when they ask me about a HP.
And I just tell them to ignore the 2nd part, when you recommend another HP.
What are you thinking?
Brother is not perfect, but much better than HP.
H and P are rolling in their grave.
Joe, I have read all the comments about and your review of the HP 6978 and as always I take everything with a grain of salt. I have had my 6978 for maybe two years without any problems whatsoever other than color ink usage. In fact this printer was more reliable than the larger HP used at our local City Hall office. Then it happened, two months ago in the middle of a small printing project the printer quit, I called in the local IT guy to help, to no avail. I am so proud of my little printer that I often print and fax items for locals at my home office so I was facing levels of frustration as I needed the printer and in that moment of frustration I punched the printer and lo and behold it began to work and continued for at least two months then stopped again. Well, one more punch and we’re working, but my hand can’t continue so I will be making a change soon, per your recommendation.
I just want to say thank you for an honest review. I try so hard to find reviews that aren’t guided by th almight dollar bill, but it seems near impossible these days. I actually ordered the 6978 on backorder for $89 ( still waiting to be fulfilled). But reading your review and all the comments, this still doesn’t sound like a good deal at all. Luckily I still have time to cancel. Tbh, I literally have no knowledge of printers, but I know I know this is not the model I want. Thank you again for the honesty, it is much appreciated.
On 2nd HP 6978, no problem with 1st one but this one does not print a full page in any color. I have run printer maintenance 5 times and changed cartridges to new ones twice, cleaned cartridge heads twice and still get very bad copies but when I print the alignment sheet it is ok. Anything I can do besides dump it. It’s out of warranty by 1 month