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HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 Printer Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Jan 19, 2022 at 10:45 am
HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 Picture
Small/Home Office
Black & White
Type All in One
Technology Inkjet
Wireless Yes
Color Yes

The HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 is an all-in-one inkjet printer designed for small or home office use. It has a flatbed scanner with a high resolution, great for digitizing items with small details. Also, it has an automatic document feeder that can scan double-sided sheets, so you won't need to manually flip over each page. Unfortunately, its printing speed is disappointing for an office printer. Since it doesn't yield many pages before its cartridges run out, you'll spend a lot of money on ink replacement, especially if you print a lot.

Our Verdict

7.8 Family

The HP 6978 is good for family use. While its page yield is low, especially for black prints, it might be fine if you're only printing a few sheets every week. It prints excellent-looking photos with decent color accuracy, which is more than good enough for casual photo prints at home. If ever you need to digitize a picture or a page from a book, it has a flatbed scanner with high resolution and color depth.

  • Excellent photo printing quality.
  • Has a flatbed scanner and an ADF.
  • Low cost-per-print for photos.
  • Low color document cost-per-print.
  • Only decent color accuracy.
  • Low black and color page yields.
  • Disappointing printing speed.
6.4 Small/Home Office

The HP 6978 is mediocre for small or home offices. It has low page yields, especially for black prints, and it's slow at printing for an office printer. The first page takes an especially long time if you've left your printer inactive for more than an hour. On the plus side, it had a lot of helpful office features, like automatic duplex scanning, faxing, and a built-in OCR.

  • Has a flatbed scanner and an ADF.
  • ADF supports duplex scanning.
  • Low black and color page yields.
  • Disappointing printing speed.
6.7 Student

The HP 6978 is okay for students. It has a flatbed scanner, an ADF that supports duplex scanning, and a few wireless connection options to choose from. That said, it doesn't support printing via Bluetooth. Unfortunately, it has a low page yield, so you'll be spending a lot on cartridge replacements.

  • Excellent photo printing quality.
  • Has a flatbed scanner and an ADF.
  • Low black and color page yields.
  • Disappointing printing speed.
5.6 Black & White

The HP 6978 is inadequate for black and white printing. Since it doesn't yield many pages before its black cartridge runs out, it has a high running cost since you need to buy replacements often. Also, it prints slowly for an office printer. On the bright side, there are high-yield cartridges available separately that will last you longer.

  • ADF supports duplex scanning.
  • Low black page yield.
  • Disappointing printing speed.
  • First page takes a long time to print.
7.4 Photo

The HP 6978 is decent for casual photo printing. It prints photos that are detailed and vibrant, though gradients are very grainy. It reproduces colors decently well, but it struggles mostly with blues. That said, it's fine for casual photo prints. It can print on most photo sizes, but it can't print 2" x 3" photos.

  • Excellent photo printing quality.
  • Low cost-per-print for photos.
  • Only decent color accuracy.
  • Can't print 2" x 3" photos.
  • 7.8 Family
  • 6.4 Small/Home Office
  • 6.7 Student
  • 5.6 Black & White
  • 7.4 Photo
  1. Updated Jan 19, 2022: Review published.
  2. Updated Jan 14, 2022: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Build Quality

The HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 has decent build quality. You can easily access the sheet rollers by lifting the cartridge bay. The cartridge bay has a stand that keeps it open, so you won't need to hold it up yourself with one hand when dealing with a paper jam or changing the cartridges. However, its dampener isn't very good, so you need to glide the scanner back down slowly, or it'll slam down. Also, the plastic it's made with feels somewhat flimsy.

Height 8.9" (22.6 cm)
Width 18.5" (46.9 cm)
Depth 15.3" (38.8 cm)
Height When In Use
8.9" (22.6 cm)
Width When In Use
19.2" (48.8 cm)
Depth When In Use
21.6" (54.9 cm)
17.5 lbs (8.0 kg)
Expected Maintenance
Ink Related Maintenance
Drum Unit
No Drum Unit

You need to perform typical inkjet maintenance tasks on the HP OfficeJet Pro 6978. We didn't experience any clogging on our unit, but if you do, there are tasks for printhead cleaning, printhead alignment, and smear cleaning. You can also access the sheet rollers by lifting the entire flatbed scanner to get to paper jams.

Display Screen
Display Screen Yes
Display Screen Size
2.6" (6.7 cm)
Touchscreen Yes

The HP 6978 printer has a great, responsive touchscreen with an easy-to-navigate menu and audible feedback. There are also tactile buttons around the screen for Home, Back, and Help. If you need help performing a task, there are built-in How-To videos to guide you. The screen has good visibility from the front whether you're sitting or standing, but it's a bit harder to read from the sides. Also, the panel is fixed, so you can't tilt it in any way to adjust to your needs.

Photo Cartridge
Number Of Color Cartridges
Black Cartridge Model
HP 902 Black
Tested Black Page Yield
8.86 prints
Estimated Black Page Yield
168 prints
Color Cartridge Model
HP 902 C/M/Y
Tested Color Page Yield
9.99 prints
Estimated Color Page Yield
212 prints
Third Party Cartridge
Purchased One Worked
Ink Type
High Yield Cartridge

The HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 has a disappointing cartridge system. It doesn't yield many black or color pages, so you'll need to replace the cartridges often, especially if you print a lot. The printer gives a few out-of-ink alerts before the cartridge is empty, one when the ink begins to fade and a second when the cartridge is empty. You can continue printing in color even if one of the cartridges is empty, which helps you save money if you only need to print with one color but are out of another. The black cartridge has two high-yield versions available: the HP 902XL (advertised to yield 825 pages) and the HP906XL (advertised to yield 1500 pages). On the other hand, the color cartridges only have one high-yield version available: the HP 902XL.

Scanner Features
Scan Flatbed
Flatbed Extendable Hinges
0.00" (0 mm)
Automatic Document Feeder
ADF Capacity
35 pages
Scan Speed
Duplex Scanning
Flatbed Scan Size
8.5" x 11"
OCR Included
Yes (Built-in)

The HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 has fantastic scanner features. It has a flatbed scanner for fragile items and an automatic document feeder to process multiple pages in one go. While not all the scanner lid's hinges can lift to scan thicker items, the right hinge extends slightly to accommodate the spine of a small book or spiral notebook. Its ADF can scan double-sided sheets automatically, so you won't need to manually flip over each page. Also, it has a built-in OCR, which lets you save your scanned documents as searchable PDFs. This lets you easily search for and edit text that would take a long time to do manually. You can also save your document as an RFT file, so you can easily edit the formatted text in word processing software.

Note: The ADF scan speed we measured is much slower than the advertised speed.

Scanning Resolution And Color Depth
Max Scan Resolution
1,200 DPI
Max Scan Color Depth
24 Bit

The HP OfficeJet Pro 6978's flatbed scanner has a fantastic maximum resolution and a great color depth, which is great for capturing small details and colors in documents or photos. The ADF scanner and the flatbed scanner have the same max resolution and color depth, so your scans look great no matter which method you use.

Printing Size
Letter (8.5" x 11") Yes
Legal (8.5" x 14") Yes
Tabloid (11" x 17") No
A6 (105mm x 148mm) Yes
A5 (148mm x 210mm) Yes
A4 (210mm x 297mm) Yes
Photo (2" x 3") No
Photo (4" x 6") Yes
Photo (5" x 7") Yes
Photo (8" x 10") Yes
Max Paper Weight
280 g/m²
In The Box

  • HP 902 Setup Ink Cartridges
    • 1x HP 902 Setup Black Instant Ink Ready
    • 1x HP 902 Setup Cyan Instant Ink Ready
    • 1x HP 902 Setup Magenta Instant Ink Ready
    • 1x HP 902 Setup Yellow Instant Ink Ready
  • Power cord
  • User guide

Advertised Battery Life
Tested Charging Time
Black Cartridge Price
20.99 US$
Color Cartridge Price
40.99 US$
Black Only Printing
0.13 US$/print
Color Printing
0.19 US$/print
Photo Printing
0.51 US$/print
Ink Subscription

The HP OfficeJet Pro 6978's cost-per-print is okay. While the cartridges are relatively inexpensive, the low page yields mean you'll be replacing the cartridges often. Running costs add up quickly, especially if you print mostly in color.

Printing Speed
Black Only Text Document
Color Document
Photo Printing Time
51.2 s
First Page Out Time (Black Only)
24.7 s
Duplex Printing
Input Tray Capacity
225 pages

The HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 isn't very fast at printing. While HP advertises the black page printing speed as 20 PPM, we measured a much slower speed during our tests, as you can see in the video above. The first page also took a while to print. We did both tests twice and got consistent results each time.

Document Sample
Color Ink Needed for Black & White
Photo Printing Quality
Borderless Printing

The HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 prints excellent-looking photos. Colors are vibrant, though the contrast is a bit high. Overall, pictures are a bit grainy, but it isn't enough to ruin the look of the images. However, gradients are noticeably grainy, which isn't great for photos of a cloudless sky. Also, there's a vertical band of graininess about one inch from each side.

We base these results on the actual physical photo, not the scanned image provided for reference above, which may not represent the printer's photo print quality.

Color Accuracy
Average Color dE

The HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 has decent color accuracy. While most colors look very close to their originals, the printer struggles most with reproducing natural colors and blues. That said, it's good enough for casual color printing.

Color Gamut

The color gamut is mediocre. Blacks have a reddish tint, and greens are darker than they should be. Also, the printer struggles to reproduce very light colors since they end up looking white. The transitions between colors isn't smooth, and there's a lot of grain noticeable.

Mobile App And Connectivity
Mobile App And Connectivity
USB Input To Computer
Wi-Fi via Router
Wi-Fi Direct
External Storage Support
Apple AirPrint
Mopria Print Service

The HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 has a USB port at the front for printing directly from a USB key.

Mobile App And Connectivity
Mobile App
Mobile App Yes
App Name HP Smart
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Photo (JPEG, PNG)
Yes (Android and iOS)
Yes (Android and iOS)
Microsoft Office Files
Yes (iOS Only)
Text Files (TXT)
Yes (iOS Only)
Webpages (HTML)
Yes (iOS Only)

Using the HP Smart app, you can print photos and documents, scan the flatbed remotely or scan using your phone camera, send mobile faxes, and manage your HP Instant Ink subscription. There's also a "Printables" section with free calendars, coloring pages, greeting cards, and other crafts that you can print. However, while you can print photos and PDFs from Android or iOS, you can print some other commonly used file types only on iOS. Also, the iOS version lets you use the app to print documents from other services, like Dropbox, Google Photo, Google Drive, Box, Evernote, and Facebook. However, on Android, this feature only works with Facebook.

Mobile App And Connectivity
OS Compatibility
Windows Fully
macOS Fully
Chrome OS Fully

The HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 is fully compatible with all operating systems, but Windows requires you to download the drivers. The HP Smart app isn't necessary, but you need the HP Printer Assistant software if you want to scan directly from the printer and not from your computer. On macOS and ChromeOS, no drivers or apps are needed to print or scan.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The HP OfficeJet 6978 is available in black only. There are no variants, though another model in this series, the HP OfficeJet Pro 6970, looks nearly identical. You can see our unit's label here.

Compared To Other Printers

The HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 is a mediocre home office printer. It has some useful business-oriented features, like a flatbed scanner, an automatic document feeder with support for duplex scanning, and a built-in OCR. That said, its printing speed is much slower than other office printers on the market. Also, its page yield isn't very high compared to other models in this price range, which increases the running costs since you'll be buying replacement cartridges often.

See our recommendations for the best small business printers, the best home printers, and the best all-in-one printers.

Canon PIXMA TR8520

The Canon PIXMA TR8520 and the HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 are designed for small or home office printers, but the Canon is better overall. The Canon has a higher page yield and a lower cost-per-print. If you intend on printing photos as well, it has better color accuracy and a wider color gamut. On the other hand, the HP has an ADF scanner that lets you scan double-sided sheets. Also, its paper input tray can hold more sheets, so you won't have to worry about the paper as often.

HP OfficeJet Pro 9015

The HP OfficeJet Pro 9015 and the HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 are from the same series, but the 9015 is more updated. The 9015 can print significantly more pages at a cheaper cost-per-print, and it prints much faster. Otherwise, they both have similar features, including an automatic document feeder that can scan double-sided sheets and faxing capabilities for those who need it.

HP OfficeJet Pro 8025e

The HP OfficeJet Pro 8025e and the HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 are from the same series, but the 8025e is newer. The 8025e yields slightly more pages at a lower cost-per-print, and it also takes less time to print the first page after the printer has been idle for a while. On the other hand, the 6978's ADF scanner can scan double-sided sheets, and its OCR is built into the printer instead of being part of the software. Also, it prints much nicer-looking photos.

HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e

The HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e and the HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 are from the same series, but the 9015e is more updated. The 9015e yields many more pages at a much cheaper running cost. Also, it prints much faster, and its ADF also scans much faster. Comparatively, the 6978 has better photo printing quality and color accuracy, so it's a better choice for people who print photos more often.