HP has something of a delicate balancing act to reach, as it sells both inkjet and laser all-in-ones for small business usage. In pitching the HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus, the company points out that it costs less than half as much to run as a normal laser and it's also, or course, around half the cost to purchase. So why doesn't everybody go for the inkjet?
HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus Design
But for a start, it's not black, white, black, cream or grey, basic colours of most laser-based machines. Rather it is a kind of bronzy brown colour, using inlays of dark brown; quite tasteful, nothing too garish.
Then, it is modestly sized for what it could do, using a profound, 50-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) and a sizable, 109mm LCD touchscreen, which is extremely easy-to-use and can be supplemented by six dedicated touch buttons.
HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus Features
There are two memory card subscribers in the base of this HP Officejet Pro 8600's left-hand of front panel and one socket to get a USB drive. Come to think of it, these things are all great reasons to purchase this machine, instead of a laser.
There is one, 250-sheet paper tray, which projects from the front of the device by around 100mm. There is no multipurpose tray, however a 2nd 25-sheet menu can be obtained as an alternative. If you're used to printing on foolscap or American legal paper, the printer may also support these dimensions, though subsequently the output tray extends from the front by almost 300mm.
Front cover of the HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus comes down to give access to the permanent printhead, which carries four, separate ink cartridges, using a double-width black cartridge which, at the XL model, can print up to 2,300 webpages.
Sockets at the trunk cater for USB and Ethernet links, though most will choose the wireless link, since this provides complete ePrint, AirPrint along with Wi-Fi direct printing from portable devices like the iPhone 5, iPad 3 along with Samsung Galaxy S3. Software includes ReadIRIS OCR, via the HP Scan application, in addition to drivers for printer and scanner.
HP asserts the HP Officejet Pro 8600 print speeds can achieve 20ppm for black and white 16ppm for colour printing, neither of which looks very realistic when you take into account pre-processing time. This is something that the ISO standard does not involve, but customers will have to include most of the moment.
We saw a speed of 9.1ppm on our five-page black text record and 8.3ppm over the black text and color graphics evaluation. The black text test was a ideal scenario measurement and at the worst case, the first sheet did not go out of the paper tray for 32 minutes later we had clicked Publish. In draft mode, the speed rose to 12.5ppm, with little apparent difference in print quality.
On the 20-page test, we saw another small growth, to 13.6ppm, the fastest speed we saw, but only two thirds of the headline rate. This system is fully duplex and printing the exact same record because a 10-page duplex print gave 6.9ppm. This reveals HP has been able to reduce the ink drying period between sides of a duplex print.
Copies took 31 minutes to get a colour page from the flatbed and 38 seconds to get five pages of text from the ADF. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus has a three-pass duplex scanner, even when you include the third move to collate pages along with a five-page duplex backup shot just two minutes.
15 x 10cm photographs took between 46 minutes and 1 minute 10 seconds, depending on source, using a specific fast time coming out of your Samsung Galaxy Mini with HP ePrint Home & Business. It is possible to print from memory card and a USB drive, though oddly the socket does not support PictBridge, for electronic cameras.
The quality of prints in the system is extremely great; not very laser quality, but sharp and thickly black text. Colour business images are sleek and dither-free and, unusually, a colour copy came via showing hardly any difference from the original. Photo prints are normal and well detailed, although as is often the situation, some detail has been lost from darker regions of pictures.
The black cartridge can be found in regular and higher return versions, together with the color cartridges only available in high return. Employing the XL variations throughout gives a cost per page of 1.8p for black and white 5.1de for color. These are both extremely great characters, into the realms of the finest the Epson WorkForce Pro range could manage.
There is no true comparison between the HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus and also equal laser machines, since this one is more economical to buy and cheaper to operate. Against equivalent inkjets, like the Epson Workforce Guru WP-4535DWF it also holds its extremely well and is an excellent general selection for small and home business.
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