I wanted a printer with the following features:
1. separate ink cartridges in order to replace only the color necessary
2. more than the standard primary colors for better color when printing photos
3. good quality photo printing
4. good quality document printing
5. scanner (since my flatbed had recently stopped working)
We decided on the HP C5180 All-in-One. I had on old computer system that could not be upgraded to meet the requirements of the printer, so we purchased a new computer (pc) also. This was just prior to introduction of Vista so I have XP operating system.
I had no problems installing the printer, but I have had intermittent problems ever since. Let me say that the quality is good, when it actually completes my print job. The photo quality is good, when it can actually determines that I indeed have photo paper in the photo paper tray and it prints my photos. The scanner function is fine. The installation of print cartridges is easy.
Here's the problems that I have:
1. It can't seem to recognize that I have photo paper in the 4x6 photo paper tray, or it thinks that I have the photo paper in upside down. The photo paper tray capacity is low so it frequently runs out of paper while I'm printing. Once it runs out, I have problems with it recognizing that I have loaded paper ( or correctly loaded). I have to open and close the paper tray many times before it finally recognizes that I have loaded paper.
2. After almost every time the paper runs out (regular or photo paper) I start having problems with the printer . I may get up to about 1 inch of my photo or document printed then it starts spitting out pages with a few lines of jibberish (like smiley faces, hearts, ampersands, diamonds, letters, numbers, etc.) across the top. Usually one or two lines per page but sometimes one character per page. It usually takes about 10 pages before I can stop it. Needless to say, I've killed a lot of trees and wasted lots of paper. I'm talking reams!!
3. I have called tech support several times and utilized online tech support maybe 4 times about this problem. Each time we go through various trials, sometimes uninstalling and reinstalling the software. Once I even had to do a "deep root uninstall" or something to that effect. The fix will last until it runs out of paper or simply decides to start printing jibberish again. The last time I called, the tech support person was an english speaker and very nice, but he actually told me that my warranty has expired and that it's a shame that they didn't know about this problem while it was still under warrantly. Trust me, all of my other tech support calls were while it was under warranty. Most were handled by people who only seemed to be able to read from a script, not actually troubleshoot.
Sometimes, if I unplug and reconnect, or if I do a cold boot, the problem will resolve. Sometimes it will print fine for months, then just out of the blue start printing jibberish again. I am totally unhappy with this printer because it always lets me down when I need it. It never fails that I will print a test page, say of business cards, then when I actually put the business card paper in...bingo, I've got garbage again and have wasted business card stock.
I am not pleased with the printer nor the tech support.